"But a longer official offseason is not the path to success. A major difference between now and 1987 is players predominately worked out individually, especially when it came to running and speed drills. They felt their solo workouts were more beneficial. They worked out because they wanted to, not because they had to...I'd still take 1987. The offseason evolution has gone a few steps too far."Yep, the "good ol' days." You know, those days when the players actually had time off in the OFFseason. Or so claims Señor Rod Woodson...
- Rod Woodson
Now, as I'm a relatively young buck myself, I can't really vouch for whether things have changed so drastically since 1987. My biggest concern in '87 was whether to pack my lunch in my Thundercats lunch box or my Smurfs lunchbox (Thundercats always won). And I'm not so sure 1987 is really so long ago that it can be classified as "the good ol' days." But since Rod Woodson said it, I'll roll with it.
Either way, Rod sure remembers those days. AND the supposed "free time" that came with them.
In doing so he raises an interesting question - is the current offseason training schedule too much? Is it really necessary to have Mini-Camp/OTAs, Training Camp, and at least four preseason games (five if you're "special")? Is this too restrictive on the players personal lives? Is this too much of a strain on their finely tuned athletic
Well I don't have definitive answers to all these questions. I just write a blog. But I can speak from the perspective of someone who has no time of his own.
And frankly, it sucks.
I'll spare you the mundane details of my 9AM-9PM, 7-day-a-week life, but in the players' case, they are physically exerting themselves basically non stop from April to January (sometimes February if they're real lucky). So is it just a coincidence that we're hearing more and more about injuries as the years pass? I'll leave that one open for you.
On the other hand, in my experience, maintaining a higher level of efficiency is much easier when I've been doing it for a significant period of time. I've gotten used to my schedule, much as I imagine the players have gotten used to theirs. And look, these guys aren't exactly getting minimum wage for their "suffering." Make no mistake, we know how well paid they are. So is it really too much?
I'm not really convinced one way or another. Persuade me, friends. Do you think the current offseason schedule pushes the envelope?
Oh yeah, and obviously Rod wasn't fully aware of the Steelers OTA activities when he made the following statement -
"There's a misconception out there that OTAs are a picnic; that we're out there playing around with coloring books."Well no, Rod. Not coloring books. Bowling balls, though.
Definition of "Offseason" Has Changed Quite A Bit [NFL.com]