Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cfl Football Here? Why Not, and Also Bring Back Coryell

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cfl Football Here? Why Not, and Also Bring Back Coryell

Article excerpt

If St. Louis has to settle for half a loaf, at least temporarily a Canadian Football League franchise rather than one in the National Football League, maybe we could get Don Coryell to come out of retirement as coach.

As a master of the pass, Coryell, coach in the mid-1970s of the football Cardinals' greatest teams, always liked at least one concept of Canadian football - a wider field.

Fact is, showing that even a little bit helps, Air Coryell preferred even college football's sideline rule to the American pros' rule. Colleges require only one foot be kept in the field of play on a pass reception, not both feet.

Said Coryell, "A difference of maybe 6 feet - 3 on each side - when one of those acrobatic big guys can lunge left or right by keeping just one foot in bounds rather than toppling over."

I've thought for years that the CFL was more exciting than the NFL, which, in a sense, was less attractive offensively as the American Football League it absorbed in the 1960s.

Truth is, if Canadian football had four downs to make 10 yards, instead of only three, the high-octane offenses would be even more fascinating. After all, they have more than 12 feet extra width in their fields.

Also, positively speaking, no deflating fair catch is permitted when a punt is fielded. There is merely a 5-yard restraint that permits the recipient the chance to put the ball away and hopefully begin to zigzag before he can be hit.

One thing more that is exciting. With the playing field 10 yards longer, Canadian rules also require a 25-yard end zone, not just 10. But all punts into the end zone must be returned past the goal line. If the kick returner fails to get out, the kicking side receives a point.

Similarly, if the kick goes beyond the distant end line, the kicking side gets a point. So you can see the coaching dilemma at times. Whether to try for a questionable three-point field goal or to settle for a more likely one?

There's more excitable harum-scarum to the Canadian game, more emphasis on speed than size, though, of course, it helps to have both.

Teams field 12 players instead of 11, with the extra man on offense stationed as a flanker and No. …

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