As we all know the NFL again this year is seeing an uptick in injuries. Specifically head injuries and knees.
I have sat back yet again and heard from the talking head and couch potato experts whom point fingers at everything, the nasty ...dirty player all the way to the "stupid” NFL and rule committee.
The issue is/was and continues to be the degrading fundamental skills of the pro football player in general. My colleagues don't dis spell this but want to look at college football as an issue.
Sadly it goes way down to the pop warner level. Quietly the NFL sees it thus your new "heads up” football program. For the last 10-15 years we have coaches at youth level up that have stopped coaching fundamental football. Proper tackling and blocking are harder and harder to find.
The issue has been compounded by the emergence of the "spread” offense system which leaves players specifically QB lacking skills.
I would use the analogy of trying to teach algebra to someone who hasn't learned multiplication or division. You have to have the basics to be solid long term.
Let's look at some recent hits by Safeties, first understand something. If a player commits to a hit or tackle full speed he can't stop 3/4 in. Once he is moving that fast it's done.... gravity. That's were the rule part of the problem is a factor but here is where you see the other glaring issue.
A lot of guys are dropping their heads and spearing because that's what they were taught. They just don't understand the concept of breaking down square up and tackle.... they were never taught.
Yes I know your saying "come on" watch... watch HS watch college and on Sunday. Take one whole weekend and just watch fundamentals and you will see just how bad it is.
We have been so busy making the game "fun" and watchable we forgot about basic bread and butter football fundamentals.
Just last week I watched a rec dept. game with a coach screaming "lower your head and stick “ him” This coach is considered a king because his teams "win" just one example of how players are being taught the behavior that leads to our issues.
In closing let me summarize for you in reality what is really causing this as a whole:
1. Bigger /stronger players
2. Lack of fundamentals at all levels ( the big elephant in the room)
3. New helmets and pads that give a false sense of security "helps prevent concussions” (crap)
4. New CBA rules that cut down on practice time and coaching as well as strength and conditioning.
The rest is smoke and mirrors and haphazard finger pointing. Until the league address' the above issues and the players want to accept it those issues will continue to degrade the game and make it more dangerous.
Many will again disagree with my thoughts but I strongly believe them.
Until next time Go Pack GO!