TORONTO (June 6, 2023) – The Canadian Football League (CFL) has partnered with Pro Football Focus (PFF) to shine the spotlight on the league’s world-class players and action on the field. PFF provides an added layer of insight for coaches, general managers, scouts and league personnel to more thoroughly evaluate performance and prepare for opponents.
“Partnering with Pro Football Focus allows our league to better understand its drivers of play,” said Greg Dick, the CFL’s Chief Football Operations Officer and Head of Grey Cup & Events. “We’re removing the microfocus on the individual and taking a long view to look at the bigger picture. We’re quantifying how each role and every action contributes to an overall outcome being achieved.
"This partnership is about providing our teams and coaching staffs with a powerful tool that will revolutionize how they operate and prepare, ultimately leading to a stronger CFL product and more incredible performances on the field."
PFF utilizes extensive review of game footage to provide additional context for every action. Highly trained PFF staff breakdown every game, player and play to provide over 200 unique data points to allow team personnel to improve efficiency and make more informed decisions. The PFF Grading System translates these data points into a numerical representation of player performance at their specific positions, while providing an unbiased measure to compare player production to their peers.
While statistics alone measure individual performance, the PFF Grading System takes into account the contextual contributing factors which allow those statistics to be achieved. In the case of a quarterback, passing yards alone can be indicative of performance, but they fail to account for the effectiveness of the offensive line. PFF breaks down the play of the pivot alongside each offensive lineman, while factoring in the performance of the opposing defensive players, and accounting for field position, weather conditions and a multitude of additional factors. This in-depth contextual analysis can be extended to all positions to evaluate all plays. For more information on PFF, Player Grades, the Grading Scale and more, please visit pff.com/grades.
“We’ve looked forward to working with the CFL for many years and are happy to finally make that a reality beginning with the 2023 season,” said Rick Drummond, PFF’s GM of Football. “Tailoring PFF’s data systems and tools to the intricacies of Canadian football created an opportunity for us to expand our efforts to include a very different, nuanced and exciting form of our game. We can’t wait to work with all nine teams and the league to see this work put into action.
“We are so thrilled for PFF to become a part of the CFL’s story as they add to their long and successful tradition in the coming years.”
In addition to its work with the CFL, PFF’s data and tools are used and trusted by the NFL, USFL, XFL, 131 FBS teams and 47 FCS teams. The use of PFF analysis and Player Grades across the collegiate and professional football landscape allows for player comparisons between leagues and advanced scouting metrics for incoming draft-eligible players and free agents.
The league will employ Player Grades to recognize the best performances of each week through the all-new CFL Honour Roll powered by PFF, which will highlight the highest graded player at every position and the top offensive line.
“Technological advancements and state-of-the-art analyses provide more information and enable deeper understanding,” added Dick. “As we continue to grow the CFL and Canadian football, it is incumbent on us to work with the best organizations, like Pro Football Focus, to push the boundaries of our game and celebrate our tremendous players.”
Headquartered in Cincinnati, PFF was launched in 2007 and gained majority interest from former NFL player and award-winning broadcaster Cris Collinsworth in 2014.
Over the last 17 years, PFF has built the world’s most comprehensive football database, covering every player on every play of every game for the NFL, FBS and FCS. Its data and tools are trusted by all 32 NFL teams, 131 FBS teams, 47 FCS teams and professional leagues such as the CFL, USFL and XFL. TV networks, player agencies, sports betting, and video game companies also use PFF’s services.
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Built on a foundation of more than 110 years of football tradition and history, the Canadian Football League features nine teams, millions of fans, and a commitment to service to the community, as well as elite sport. To stay up to date with CFL news, visit CFL.ca.