“NFL-12 Month Calendar-Screwed Up”
The ‘Good Ole Days’…that’s what some people call them.
Back in the day the NFL used to play 7-exhibition games, that’s right.
In those days clubs could bring in 120-players to camp to survive the rigors of two-a-days and all those preseason games.
In that the NFL has now become all about money, and the Union has gotten so powerful, lots of things have changed.
Included in preseason are lots of new rules, but many say not for the better.
Over the last two years, the NFL invoked limitations in off-season workoouts.
Complaints mounted that football was becoming an 11-month a year job, and that players had little or no time to recover from the wear and tear of a 16-games schedule, with post games added on.
With cutbacks negotiated thru the union, players were barred from practice facilities for a near 3-month span.
Teams now have a 90-man roster limit.
You now have a 3-day rookie orientation camp in May right after the draft..
They added 3-weeks of OTA workouts, with limited time on the field in helmets and shells, no pads, no contact, but more teaching and film work than actual on the field activity.
Preseason camp under the new rules has virtually done away with 2-a-day drills. Now a padded practice and a walk thru. Days in pads and contact workouts have been limited to alternating days in practice.
The NFL put an arcane rule into effect that draft picks cannot take part in OTA drills, if their schools have yet held graduation ceremonies. Ridiculous considering virtually all draft picks drop out of school in January to train for the combine, and they are not student-athletes when the OTA’s start.
But we still have a four game preseason schedule. We still have heavy criticism that it is nothing more than a money grab.
And we have lots more injuries, preseason thru regular season.
The NFL, plagued by a concussion crisis, now has problems too with massive numbers of ruptured achilles tendons and ACL injuries. Many believe it is a by-product of less off-season team-training sessions.
Two years removed from the installation of all these new off-season rules, changes are in the offing.
Coaches want more off season access to players to teach fundamentals, install systems, and get them in better game shape. Players themselves say they need more coaching.
GM’s want more time to evaluate their younger players, and need that in off season camps.
Roger Goodell wants the 4th preseason game dropped. He wants it replaced by just a rookie scrimmage. He may push to add extra weeks to the OTA schedules in the spring as a teaching tool.
Of course it has been rumored, the NFL would really consider dropping the one preseason game, if they could add games to the regular schedule, going from 16-to-18 games.
That will never pass because of the injury crisis in the league. Goodell should count up how many players are on NFL-IR by the last week of December. And you want to add a 17th and 18th game to the schedule?
Oh that’s right, because the NFL is all about making more money, isn’t it.
So as the NFL preseason schedule kicks into high gear tonight, teams will hardly play starters, will charge full ticket prices to see rookies and free agents, and will try to avoid catastrophic injuries.
Somewhere between what the NFL used to be in the off season, to where they are now, there has to be a middle ground.
Most feel the season is too long, but now they gripe the off season is too short.
Everyone seems to be getting screwed. The coaches don’t have enough time to evaluate players. The players get hurt. The fans get charged high ticket prices.
And Jerry Jones, Bob Kraft and Dean Spanos all make more money.