Former players Flutie, Kelly recall 18-game grind

JOHN WAWROW - AP Sports Writer
FILE - This Nov. 24, 1996, file photo shows Toronto Argonauts' quarterback Doug Flutie scrambling against the Edmonton Eskimos during first half action at the Grey Cup in Toronto. For those wondering what the effects might be if the NFL goes through with its bid to expand from 16 to 18 regular-season games, take it from those who've been through it: It's a grind.  (AP Photo/Frank Gunn, File)
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FILE - This Nov. 24, 1996, file photo shows Toronto Argonauts' quarterback Doug Flutie scrambling against the Edmonton Eskimos during first half action at the Grey Cup in Toronto. For those wondering what the effects might be if the NFL goes through with its bid to expand from 16 to 18 regular-season games, take it from those who've been through it: It's a grind.

Doug Flutie remembers feeling how his arm was ready to fall off during his one year in the USFL. Nate Newton recalls how he did nothing for an entire month after playing his two USFL 18-game regular seasons.

And former CFL quarterback Danny McManus can still see the telltale signs of blurry-eyed fatigue that set in on rookies when Week 13 rolled around in Canada with five games still left to play.

For those wondering what the effects might be if the NFL expands from 16 to 18 regular-season games, take it from those who've been through it: It's a grind.

Physically and mentally, players are going to "blow a fuse," Newton says. He's the former Dallas Cowboys star offensive lineman, who began his pro career with the USFL's Tampa Bay Bandits.