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Old 11-12-2004   #1
GangGreen
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Default Bradford vs. Armstrong

Hi all I'm new to the site

First off, I'm a huge Saskatchewan Roughrider (CFL) fan the team that Derick Armstrong last played for before joining the Texans

I was unable to see last week's game and was curious on Corey Bradford's status. Have his injuries healed up 100% in people's opinions? Last week stats-wise Armstrong had a bigger day than Bradford and I was wondering if Bradford's injuries affected his play last week? Do people here think Bradford will see more action than Armstrong on Sunday?

I hope the Texans take advantage of Indy coming off a short week and pick their secondary apart. Go Texans.

Derick may be happy to know that the Roughriders beat Edmonton in Edmonton last Sunday to advance to the Western Final. If the Riders beat B.C. on Sunday they advance to the Grey Cup the following week. Disregard this last paragraph if you want but Arnstrong was a very good receiver with the Riders and I wish him all the best in the NFL with the Texans. GO RIDERS and GO TEXANS. I hope Carr rips Indy's secondary apart. Go after them from the start not like Minnesota who without Moss tried to run the ball and got behind 14-0. I hope Johnson and all the Houston receivers burn Indy's DB's early and often.

Thanks for listening, peace
GangGreen
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Old 11-12-2004   #2
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Armstrong took a mean body bend in Denver. Last heard that he had a back strain from that ugly hit. But yes, he is fun to watch and I hope he's our future.
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Old 11-12-2004   #3
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Armstrong has been the difference in many games for us this year and I believe he is only going to get better as he has every year he has been with us.
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Old 11-12-2004   #4
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Thanks for the info SassyTexan/El Tejano. Does anybody here get to see/hear about the Texans practices this week?

Armstrong ripped it up in the CFL, I hope he does really good with the Texans. I think he could complement Johnson very nicely


obscure CFL/NFL trivia: Before Joe Horn started playing for the New Orleans Saints he played for an American-based CFL team in the mid-90's, the Memphis Mad Dogs.
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Old 11-12-2004   #5
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It wonít be obscure to some because I was telling them about Horn last year when I was telling them about Derick. There are about 40 ex-CFLers currently playing in the NFL in fact, which, considering that there are only around 250 ďimportĒ players in the CFL in total, is a significant number. More trivia for you. The Colts have two starting players who are ex-CFLers, CB Nick Harper and PK Mike Vanderjagt. The Texans also have a backup OL named Garrick Jones who is an ex-CFLer. You donít hear about ex-CFLers much because in comparison to the draft and NCAA FA market not that many come into the NFL each year, but smart teams, and the Texans are becoming one, can sign these guys to relatively low signing bonuses and initial contracts and get some darn good value for their money.
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Old 11-12-2004   #6
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I kind of liken Armstrong to Spiderman, everything thrown his way he somehow catches it, like have a web like hands. I too would like to see more of him, and he has a great team attitude also.
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Old 11-12-2004   #7
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Old 11-12-2004   #8
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Do you think that the signing of Warren Moon to the Oilers started all of this?
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Old 11-12-2004   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Tejano
Do you think that the signing of Warren Moon to the Oilers started all of this?
Hi Grizzled

For "modern-day" players yeah I guess so, I only say modern-day based on my age, Flutie followed Moon for QB's ripping up the CFL then having some success in the NFL Some QB named Joe Theisman played a year in the CFL before cracking the NFL but I was just a wee-un then. All CFL'ers dream of playing in the NFL because it's "the show", the league is run and marketed better and the $ is significantly better.

BigWig I like your nickname for Derick, he does catch most everything his way, plus he's got decent size and speed.
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Old 11-13-2004   #10
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Hey GG, Iíve got a few notes for them too. Did Theismann only play a year for the Argos? I think he played 3 years actually.
http://www.pawling.net/theismann.html

And thatís a picture of Armstrong playing against the Toronto Argonauts!

To answer the above question, there have been players going back a fourth forever essentially but the degree to which this has happened has varied over the years. In the 50ís the CFL paid more money and people like Billy Vessels and Bud Grant and many others came up for the money. And players like Johnny Bright were coming up for racial reasons too. Later the money evened out and the NFL started paying more but still players like Joe Kapp and Joe Theisman came up and started their careers in Canada.

You have to remember that there are significant differences between the games and different kinds of players tend to excel at each game, so often players that donít quite fit the NFL mould come up and develop even further and then catch the interest of the NFL again. In recent years this would describe Jeff Garcia and Doug Flutie, neither of whom fit the NFL mould but who both became very smart successful QBs in the CFL and were able to transfer that experience and leadership ability to the NFL too.

Even in the 70ís, though, top NFL players were occasionally coming up for money. Dan Yochum was a 2nd round draft pick of the Eagles in 72 but came to Canada and never went back. Tom Cousineau was the #1 overall NFL pick in 79 but came to Canada before returning to the NFL several years later.

Moon and a number of other African American QBs came for racial reasons but I think Moonís level of success in the NFL really opened peopleís eyes. In recent years Garcia, Flutie, Vanderjagt, Joe Horn, and Shelton Quarles have all gone to Pro-Bowls as well, and that catches peopleís attention too.

You have to be careful when evaluating CFL talent for the NFL, though, because of the differences in the games and the playerís history w.r.t. durability and other issues. They key differences are that the CFL field is 11.5 yards or over 20% wider, and we only have 3 downs to get 10. We use an extra receiver/DB too but for the RBs, QBs, LBs, DEs and everyone in the box, the number of men is essentially the same but the field is a whole lot wider. This means that open field players, guys who can use that space do well, while the power backs donít because of the 3 downs. Almost all of our QBs are scrambling type QBs and our best backs are the very quick and fast, but quite small by NFL standards. Overall we have superb athletes and very accomplished players, Div. 1 all-stars, Heisman Trophy winners and nominees, but they tend to be the smaller quicker type players. This is just a very general rule of thumb and there are lots of exceptions.

There are a 101 stories for how a player gets to the CFL so Iím sure all these factors make these guys hard to scout for NFL purposes. Armstrong, of course, is not small at all. He is a good sized very fluid athlete with very good hands and good but not great speed. His hands are a big part of what made him a very good CFLer because in 3 down ball drops are very costly. Obviously his size and athleticism didnít hurt him any, but we have a number of better overall CFL receivers who are quite a bit smaller than he is, so the size is nice but not essential in the CFL game. The NFL game on the more compact field is quite a bit more punishing so size and durability and the ability to take hits like Armstrong took and still get up are quite a bit more important. So Armstrong has a skill set that has made him a very good player in both games.

So whatís his story then? He comes from Jasper Texas which I was told by someone on this board is a bit of an out of the way place in football terms. He played JuCo ball there as a QB I believe and then transferred to a Division 2 school, the University of Arkansas Monticello. He put up good numbers there but Iím guessing that thatís not a heavily scouted school. Many CFL teams hold FA camps in the US to find players and the Roughriders are no exception. Some of the players who show up at our camps are walk-ons and some are invitees. We have the best GM in the CFL (who incidentally is apparently the first African American GM in pro-football anywhere) and how he finds some of the guys he does I have no idea. I donít know whether Armstrong was a walk on or an invitee, but we worked him out at one of these tryouts and offered him a contract. This is the calibre of player that our GM Roy Shivers seems to pull out of thin air. We get most of our player other ways, but these camps have turned up some real gems for us.

Anyway, Iím a bit of a rambler, as you can tell, but thatís it for now.

PS-Players almost invariably love playing in the CFL. Players only have to practice for 5 hours per day so they have some extra time during the season. (There are only 9 teams so you play every team two or three times per year and you can watch all the games on television. Players still watch tape but itís much easier for them to keep up with the other teams.) And itís also a very fun brand of football. Doug Flutie, for example, has said a number of times that the CFL put the fun back into football for him. But given that you can make from 5 to maybe 20 times more money in the NFL, for most players there is no real choice to be made. Although itís sad to see them leave the CFL you have to be happy for them in that theyíll be able to take care of their futures and families in a way that they probably wouldnít be able to if they stayed in CFL. That said, if you have a long CFL career you can put away some decent money. Our top QBs now earn around $250k US and the top 15% to 20% of the players will make roughly $90k US, and up. Itís not NFL money but it sure beats a lot of other things they could be doing.
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