Home / Sports / Grounded: What’s happened to the CFL’s running game? – CBC Sports – Football

Grounded: What’s happened to the CFL’s running game? – CBC Sports – Football

Never earlier than in the Canadian Football League have groups deserted the running sport greater than they’re this season.

The checklist of significant CFL running backs over the years is a long one however the sport is converting temporarily from a closely targeted flooring assault to an aerial attack.

Normie Kwong. George Reed. Mike Pringle. Jon Corish. All nice runners of the previous, however instances have modified.

Steve Daniel has been the head CFL statistician since 2007. He tracks common numbers to the maximum difficult to understand ones thru each and every 60 mins of soccer right through the season. And Daniel is eager about the traits he is seeing in the sport this yr, particularly when it comes to the converting offence.

“The rushing carries per game is the lowest it has ever been in our history and by quite a large margin,” he says.

“In the last four years it’s absolutely plummeted and I don’t think that trend is going to stop.”

There’s handiest been one different time in CFL historical past the place offences were this closely tilted towards the passing assault. That got here right through the early 90s when quarterbacks Kent Austin and Doug Fluti e have been whipping the soccer round the gridiron. It’s again to tempo in the 2017.

“The raw number of pass attempts right now is around 75 per cent per game. That is the highest since what used to be referred to as basketball on grass with Flutie and Austin. Basically all of our passing records date back to that time for yardage.”

But the ones numbers are being rivaled this yr in a large means. Daniel attributes the moving CFL sport to the top quality quarterbacks in the league at this time. He says coaches are understanding they may be able to be a lot more efficient throwing quick, prime share passes to achieve yards fairly than dashing.

“This is the CFL model based in the era that we’re in. Right now we have a selection of quarterbacks, Trevor Harris, Ricky Ray, Bo Levi Mitchell, Kevin Glenn, there are so many of them in the top 40 of all-time and they’re all playing right now.”

Daniel says CFL groups had to have the ability to be extra productive on offence following the 2014 season, right through what he calls the yr of the defence. Scoring that yr was once at its lowest in additional than 30 years, with groups averaging a blended ranking of 45.48 issues according to sport. The blended ranking reasonable has climbed each and every season since then. The 2014 season pressure training staffs to adapt and alter temporarily. That supposed forsaking the run and the use of running backs in a fully other means.

“Our coaches are enormously resilient and resourceful and have reacted to that by changing their strategy.”

Bombers have not deserted run

While the dashing assaults were thwarting general, one crew is seeing nice luck on the flooring.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers running again Andrew Harris is on tempo to grow to be the first-ever participant in the CFL to have 1,000 yards dashing and 1,000 yards receiving in a single season.


Blue Bombers Andrew Harris is one running again who’s having a really perfect yr. (John Woods/The Canadian Press)

Daniel says the means the Bombers have integrated him into their offence is what is allowed the crew to achieve success this season with and performs a large function in the 7-2 document.

“Basically they prefer to throw the ball in a bit of open space to him,” Daniel says. “If you look at Andrew Harris, we’re reverting to Robert Drummond. He’s the guy that came closest to 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 receiving in the same year.”

Through 9 video games this season Harris has 570 yards dashing and 490 yards receiving.

“They’re averaging 109 yards per game,” Daniel says. “They lead the league in that category. “

Numbers do not lie

While the dashing numbers are the lowest they have got ever been in league historical past, scoring is coming near the absolute best it is ever been. Daniel says since that low scoring 2014 season, coaches have discovered techniques to exchange the offence to be simpler and now that paintings is paying dividends and lovers love it.

“In my opinion, I believe they’re happy with the quality of the game right now,” he stated.

“There’s parity. Offence is up. Points are up. It’s a really good thing for us. Hopefully those trends continue.”

Daniel says traditionally as the climate begins to drop and the components play extra of a think about video games, groups have carried out the run sport into their offences a little bit extra. However, he believes that will not be the case this yr.

“I think teams have found a strategy that works. And climate change works its way into this too.  It’s easier to make a first down when it’s a nice day then when it’s snowing.”

If there are two stats Daniel says lovers will have to stay their eyes on to expect winners and losers for the remainder of the season, it is the turnover ratio and 2nd down conversion.

“Those are really two of the most important numbers,” he says. “Numbers aren’t everything but they do tell a story. I’ve confronted coaches who have confronted me. If you provide them with those numbers, it’s surprising how much they use them.”

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