Skip to content

A.J. Hawk hears player-organized workouts are a “disaster”

Super Bowl XLV Getty Images

We’ve been writing a lot about the player-organized workouts going on across the league, from the big get together in New Orleans to smaller affairs elsewhere.

Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk has heard about them too, and wonders how much good they are doing.

“I’ve heard that different guys’ workouts from different teams have just been a disaster. They’re working out at bad high school fields and equipment and all that kind of stuff,” Hawk told Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Hawk, who says he will be fully recovered from wrist surgery in time for training camp, doesn’t see a great value to the practices for defensive players.

“The most the defense can do when we get together is seven-on-seven.  I can understand quarterbacks throwing to receivers and stuff like that. I think it’s more of a camaraderie thing. . . . We’re all ready to come back. We never got out of shape.   The player gatherings are a good thing to get together and be with your teammates – that’s the most I would take from it.”

Hawk’s point is well taken; this isn’t the 1970’s.  Most players are going to stay in condition and you can’t simulate the installation of schemes without coaches.

Some flowery stories will probably be written after the fact about how lockout practices forged special bonds and led to victories.

Talent and continuity will matter a lot more to teams when the lockout ends.  The Packers have plenty of both.

Permalink 48 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Green Bay Packers, Rumor Mill, Sprint Football Live - Rumors, Top Stories
48 Responses to “A.J. Hawk hears player-organized workouts are a “disaster””
  1. iamtalkingsolistenandlearn says: May 9, 2011 11:36 AM

    “player-organized workouts are a “disaster””

    ************************************

    Thats because most of them should more accurately be called “bong parties”

  2. ivedoneyourwife says: May 9, 2011 11:36 AM

    Rocky Dennis is just looking for a reason not to go to work.

  3. rpiotr01 says: May 9, 2011 11:36 AM

    The point is well taken. Practices are useful when they’re structured and have someone running them.

    It’s good that guys are getting together and working out etc. but it probably doesn’t give them an advantage.

  4. jw731 says: May 9, 2011 11:39 AM

    you mean Brees, Brady and Manning haven’t given their union bretheren the best possible facilities to work out in, after all their name is on the lawsuit?…Then againAJ probably works out with his HGH doctor, somewhere in the far reaches of central america, i’m sorry i didn’t piss of any Stillers fans with this comment, i’m waiting for Rashard to embarass the city….

  5. tundey says: May 9, 2011 11:40 AM

    Duh!

  6. chc4 says: May 9, 2011 11:40 AM

    “Some flowery stories will probably be written after the fact about how lockout practices forged special bonds and led to victories.”
    _________________________________

    You mean like the puff story already written on this site about how the Saints will be ahead of all other teams b/c of their “team” workouts? It was a goofy premise then and even moreso now.

  7. touchdownroddywhite says: May 9, 2011 11:46 AM

    I bet you this does have an effect when it’s all said and done. It just wont be board wide. Some players will know that not much is changing in the way they operate.

    Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, etc can all probably run effective workouts/player practices because they control a lot of the play calling themselves.

    Joe Flacco… Not so much.

  8. scoops1 says: May 9, 2011 11:48 AM

    AJ Hawk does resemble Evan Stone

  9. CKL says: May 9, 2011 11:48 AM

    They discussed this a bit on NFL Live recently and I think it was Schlereth who made a similar point that it’s pretty much a good thing for camaraderie but won’t do much else.

  10. arzcardinals says: May 9, 2011 11:51 AM

    Get real! Practicing with your teamates IS a good thing. Larry Fitzgerald is holding a camp RIGHT NOW that McNabb, Todd Heap, and many more have shown up to.
    They have a personal trainer, they run a full practice, they work out together, they are staying in shape….and Mr. Hawk doesn’t think it’s a good idea.
    Shut your pie hole! One Super Bowl and you are now the authority on practice too…get real!

  11. goawayeverybody says: May 9, 2011 12:00 PM

    I think the equipment at a high school gym would be sufficient to get a good workout, depending on the high school.

  12. bilpac7 says: May 9, 2011 12:05 PM

    wow, chalk up the Cardinals as the Super Bowl XLVI champs, done deal

  13. qj1984 says: May 9, 2011 12:07 PM

    I am still waiting for the first report of injury to come out of one of these things. Its going to happen. The more these guys get together the more the risk of it increases.

    @touchdownroddywhite

    Flacco is not a good example. He has been in the same system for 3 years. He probably doesn’t have it mastered the way a 10+ year vet would but that doesn’t mean he can’t organize a workout similar to the ones that he’s been running for the last 3 years. As a Ravens fan, I’d be much more concerned if there was a rookie QB like say Sam Bradford or Colt McCoy responsible for it, or a QB going through an offensive coordinator change, like Chad Henne trying to run organize a practice .

  14. cletusvandam says: May 9, 2011 12:12 PM

    From what I’ve been reading for the last couple months, everything the players do is a disaster.

  15. touchdownroddywhite says: May 9, 2011 12:14 PM

    @qj1984 –

    Considering Flacco doesn’t call the plays – like hardly ever – I would think it’s a fair assumption that the most good he can do is having his teammates work with him on the staples of their offense. Counter to that is Peyton Manning who calls the biggest portion of the plays himself and can prepare his team mates much better for the way they will be operating throughout the season.

  16. arzcardinals says: May 9, 2011 12:15 PM

    Hey bilpac7 –

    Try reading next time buddy….it states that many players are there….these guys are LEADERS on their teams and they think it’s important.

    Todd Heap
    Larry Fitzgerald
    McNabb (you can debate his role with Wash)
    Suggs
    and more are all attending.

  17. sj39 says: May 9, 2011 12:18 PM

    touchdownroddywhite
    Tom Brady calls plays? Sure whatever.

  18. cornellsteelers says: May 9, 2011 12:25 PM

    I’m more interested to know why to players’ practices are drawing so little media attention. Were it not for a tweet from Emmanuel Sanders, no one would know that the Steelers have been holding practices recently.

  19. lacharger2112 says: May 9, 2011 12:27 PM

    AJ Hawk and the Packers, not to mention the Steelers and the other teams that don’t suck as much as the Cardinals, were practicing through January.
    You bet the Cards need these get togethers!
    Didn’t they stop practicing sometime around Thanksgiving?

  20. TurdSandwich says: May 9, 2011 12:33 PM

    Dang, people post some mean, hateful responses. I feel bad for people who must be so miserable with thier own lives that they have to use annonymous commentary to get their jollies nabbing at others.

  21. supashug says: May 9, 2011 12:34 PM

    Some flowery stories will probably be written after the fact about how lockout practices forged special bonds and led to victories.

    —–

    maybe it won’t be removed by the moderator if I don’t make fun of PFT

    so doesn’t this basically state that the story about the NO Saints.

    a Flowery story WAS WRITTEN, and it was a bad one at that

  22. pacificamjr says: May 9, 2011 12:43 PM

    his haircut is a disaster. AJ, the 80’s called and asked for their hair back

  23. espnfeedback says: May 9, 2011 12:48 PM

    AJ HAWK: Leading from the BACK!
    Selling out his brethren by telling a cynical media exactly what they want to hear! AJ Hawk is the primary example why the NFLPA is the weakest union often all. Dudes like AJ Hawk who just stepped into the league and will subsequently be out of the league in a few clicks have mininal knowledge of the history of how they achieved the meagher gains that they currently have. The sheer beast nature of the game dictates to the uninformed player that they need to get what they can during that short period of opportunity. This mentality can lead to players openly criticizing other players mostly to bring attention to themselves and become some kind of media go-to-guy which could lead to media opportunities when that short career in that game of attrition is done.

    @ESPNFeedback

  24. ilovefoolsball says: May 9, 2011 12:49 PM

    He really is one ugly mofo.

  25. minormillikin says: May 9, 2011 12:50 PM

    Hold on a second there, A.J….

    I find it hard to believe that players can’t organize some really great, effective workouts. Considering how well they’re working to reorganize the entire league, they must be able to handle a few small team practices.

    After all, NFL players are all very intelligent problem-solvers/businessmen. Most of them went to college, and certainly devoted a lot of time to their schoolwork.

  26. xxxfixxxerxxx says: May 9, 2011 12:53 PM

    I bet every workout stops inmediately when the scent of the BBQ hits the field in full stride. (not that there’s anything wrong with it)

  27. nyjalleffingday says: May 9, 2011 1:18 PM

    Mark Sanchez invited all the Jets playmakers (LT, Dustin Keller, Braylon Edwards, ect.) and draftees to “Jets West,” a camp him and his brothers set up last year. Sanchez knows the playbook, is showing film, and from what I hear, it’s been a great success, so I don’t think A.J. Hawk knows it exists.

  28. stairwayto7 says: May 9, 2011 1:25 PM

    So cancer survivor hater Rodgers can not conduct a practice?

  29. robinyount19 says: May 9, 2011 1:29 PM

    arzcardinals says:
    May 9, 2011 11:51 AM
    Get real! Practicing with your teamates IS a good thing. Larry Fitzgerald is holding a camp RIGHT NOW that McNabb, Todd Heap, and many more have shown up to.

    ————————————————–

    Fitzgerald, McNabb, and Heap are not, and have never been teamates.

  30. Topher says: May 9, 2011 1:33 PM

    I rode GR hard for about a year but I have to tell you… you have quietly become the best writer at PFT. I’ve been turned from a critic to a fan.

  31. voiceofrealism says: May 9, 2011 1:40 PM

    TurdSandwich says:
    May 9, 2011 12:33 PM
    Dang, people post some mean, hateful responses. I feel bad for people who must be so miserable with thier own lives that they have to use annonymous commentary to get their jollies nabbing at others.

    I agree with you. But then again I feel sorry for people who feel the need to call themselves a
    “TurdSandwich” too.

  32. Land Snark says: May 9, 2011 1:51 PM

    It’s probably too early to gauge the effectiveness of player held practice seeing as players have yet to play a single game.

    Hawk’s comments are also a blanket statement that’s general enough to miss the pockets of practices that will be effective for teams that are doing it right.

    As for someone who noted Schlerith’s comments…let’s be real. He’s a wannabe analyst who always falls back on his laurels as a former player on Super Bowl teams.

    He may have been a good player, but he constantly churns out fluff on ESPN.

  33. packerbacker12 says: May 9, 2011 2:01 PM

    “his haircut is a disaster. AJ, the 80′s called and
    asked for their hair back”

    He grew his hair in honor of Pat Tillman so no need to be an a$$.

  34. whatswiththehate says: May 9, 2011 2:24 PM

    Something tells me this A.J. Hawke guy went to the top of the list in the “who we will protect and fo favor for” sport media.

  35. goombar2 says: May 9, 2011 2:32 PM

    These player run practices just sound dumb and I’m happy the Packers are staying away at the moment. If franchises didn’t see the usefulness in coaches, then they wouldn’t have coaches.

  36. theodorethompson says: May 9, 2011 2:38 PM

    Like Hawk said, defenses getting together for workouts do not make as much sense. I would like to see some leaders of the team (Hawk, Woodson, Rodgers, Driver, etc.) contacting the new draftees and get them on board. I would really like to see Aaron Rodgers working out with Randall Cobb or DJ Williams to initially develop rapport with them. It could be in the works and not reported to the media. Who knows what will happen…..

  37. jlb10 says: May 9, 2011 2:40 PM

    i wouldn’t doubt this at all. actually no big surprise.
    btw has anyone seen the pics on twitter of jason campbell and the raiders wrs working out? looks like they are on a dirt lot behind a farmhouse in iowa.

  38. mike106 says: May 9, 2011 2:48 PM

    Who’s AJ Hawk ?…………………….Thats right he’s married to Brady Quinn’s fine a$$ sister…..

  39. rjblitz02 says: May 9, 2011 2:59 PM

    ”We’re never out of shape..”

    -Albert Haynesworth is laughing somewhere.

  40. thefiesty1 says: May 9, 2011 3:03 PM

    Of course they are. They players shouldn’t be left to their own devises. Unorganized workouts are just that. They would be just as well off going to their local gym and lifting weights on their own.

  41. schemefactory says: May 9, 2011 3:06 PM

    he’s just saying the workouts are probably as lame as running plays in a pickup basket ball game…

  42. qj1984 says: May 9, 2011 3:18 PM

    @touchdownroddywhite

    Peyton Manning is like the only QB in the NFL that calls the majority of his own plays. Not even Drew Brees calls his own plays. How much they call plays is beside the point. How long they have been in their respective system is much more relevant because it speaks directly to how much knowledge of the system they have. And thats all they need when it comes to helping their new teammates etc. learn the playbook. They dont need to be expert playcallers to teach someone else the system. They just need to have knowledge of the system. Having 3 years in the system, Flacco has more than enough of that. So, no its not a good example. A better example would be a guy with 1 year in the system or a guy who is just learning it himself.

  43. schmitty2 says: May 9, 2011 3:41 PM

    Land Snark says:
    May 9, 2011 1:51 PM
    It’s probably too early to gauge the effectiveness of player held practice seeing as players have yet to play a single game.

    Hawk’s comments are also a blanket statement that’s general enough to miss the pockets of practices that will be effective for teams that are doing it right.

    As for someone who noted Schlerith’s comments…let’s be real. He’s a wannabe analyst who always falls back on his laurels as a former player on Super Bowl teams.

    He may have been a good player, but he constantly churns out fluff on ESPN

    I’m right there with you Land. The only 2 words Schlereth knows is “Continuity and Comradirie”

  44. vikescry1 says: May 9, 2011 4:09 PM

    ok i have now wasted about 5min of life listening to a lot of griping? some have valid points others should stop blogging.

  45. stavreafavre says: May 9, 2011 4:09 PM

    Whether it’s on a high school field or not, it would be reassuring to know that guys are doing some running and other work and not just trundling to the kitchen and closest fast food palace. Especially the big guys.

  46. welzy says: May 9, 2011 8:25 PM

    Hawk is not saying don’t do team workouts, he is simply saying that coached workouts are superior. I don’t see how his words can be disputed. Per the article:

    “There is a value to these players-only practices, he said, but it is limited. It’s not clear how productive these practices are compared to a structured off-season practice run by coaching staffs of 20 or more.”

    In my humble opinion, discussing the playbook and watching film with your teammates can only be constructive in nature. The only real question is “Can you get enough RELEVANT teammates together at the same time to make it productive?”. Having the punter, QB, and LB discuss game plans doesn’t even help camraderie…

  47. gregjennings85 says: May 10, 2011 10:52 AM

    stairwayto7:

    Way to jinx your team with that name, slappy.

    If you want to see the Vince Lombardi Trophy, it will be on display at Lambeau Field, in Green Bay Wisconsin in the near future.

    -That’s the home of the 13-time World Champion, Green Bay Packers.

    You should know us, we just crushed your squad in front of the largest audience in the history of American television back in February.

    Scoreboard.

    Enjoy the rest of your day.

  48. stellarperformance says: May 10, 2011 12:46 PM

    Hawk is right and he says it like working out with teammates is actually a consideration for most players. The truth is 90% of the players could care less and would rather lay around watching old Andy Griffith re-runs (see Reggie Bush.)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!