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Players can thank Jeff Saturday for easier training camps

NFLPA Executive Committee Meet In Washington DC To Vote On New Labor Agreement Getty Images

The new Collective Bargaining Agreement makes training camp easier on the players, with a ban on the full-contact two-a-day practices that were once a staple of August in the NFL. If veteran players want to thank one of their colleagues for that, they can thank Colts center Jeff Saturday.

That’s according to Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who said that on the players’ side in the negotiations to end the lockout, no one did more than Saturday.

“NFL players and owners are lucky that there was a guy like Jeff Saturday in the league,” Kraft said. “He represented the interests of the players – the reason was don’t have double practices – which some of us might agree or disagree with – but he put so much time and effort.”

Jets linebacker Bart Scott doesn’t like it, but the majority of players are glad to have a lighter offseason workload, and Saturday is the player who took the lead in advocating for that.

Kraft also discussed his warm personal feelings for Saturday, who made a point of mentioning Kraft’s late wife Myra on the day the players and owners reached an agreement.

“It’s hard to like the center for Peyton Manning,” Kraft said. “But he is really intelligent and good. It was hard to like him, but I like him a lot.”

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34 Responses to “Players can thank Jeff Saturday for easier training camps”
  1. arrogantathlete says: Aug 11, 2011 10:18 AM

    And the injuries….morons

  2. kom2k10 says: Aug 11, 2011 10:20 AM

    I dont think there is a better rivalry in sports than Colts vs Pats. Its must see tv and its rare to see two sides so competitive with each other and respect each other at the same time…

    Not a lot of trash talking… Just some all time great and memorable football games…

  3. cardmagnet says: Aug 11, 2011 10:20 AM

    He fought to eliminate the “tough practice” that really prepared you for the hard knocks of the season. All of the players who get injured because they’re not fully prepared for the beating should thank him as they’re being assisted off the field.

    For such “tough guys” making six to eight figures a season, they are quite like whiny children. “I don’t wanna put on pads…it’s haaaard. It’s too hot.” Grow up and earn the paycheck real hard workers like coal miners would kill for.

  4. descendency says: Aug 11, 2011 10:22 AM

    @arrogantathlete

    Took the words right out of my mouth.

  5. hobartbaker says: Aug 11, 2011 10:27 AM

    Saturday’s good deeds are becoming so legendary they have spawned an effort to move the week’s Holy Day ahead by one.

  6. arrogantathlete says: Aug 11, 2011 10:29 AM

    It’s amazing to hear these players complain about practice for the money they get. “I have to practice twice a day”….waaaaaa. Child please!

  7. adogdc says: Aug 11, 2011 10:29 AM

    The players won alot of benefits…

    Less work and Health Insurance for life……

  8. rayvens says: Aug 11, 2011 10:32 AM

    What does that BrokeBack Mountain picture have to do with the story?

  9. conseannery says: Aug 11, 2011 10:34 AM

    kom2k10 says:
    Aug 11, 2011 10:20 AM
    I dont think there is a better rivalry in sports than Colts vs Pats.

    You obviously haven’t been watching Clippers-Pacers match-ups.

  10. p01ntman says: Aug 11, 2011 10:42 AM

    Hmm How else can we make things easier for Millionaires ?

  11. thephantomstranger says: Aug 11, 2011 10:45 AM

    Let’s crown him King Lazy.

  12. phillyisinvading says: Aug 11, 2011 10:46 AM

    great picture tho. looks like their snuggling.

  13. powderedme says: Aug 11, 2011 10:51 AM

    phillyisinvading says:
    Aug 11, 2011 10:46 AM
    great picture tho. looks like their snuggling.

    ———–

    Try invading an English classroom next time.

  14. hailvictory44 says: Aug 11, 2011 11:10 AM

    powderedme says:
    Aug 11, 2011 10:51 AM
    phillyisinvading says:
    Aug 11, 2011 10:46 AM
    great picture tho. looks like their snuggling.

    ———–

    Try invading an English classroom next time.

    —————————–

    At least he didn’t say…”looks like there snuggling”

  15. 0sakpo says: Aug 11, 2011 11:12 AM

    Man, what a pic they put up here! Totally showed the love…..

  16. larryfinfan says: Aug 11, 2011 11:15 AM

    Perhaps two-a-days are not needed by some veteran players, but there are many, many younger players who will a) not get the same chances to show themselves as they may have under the old rules and b) may not develop as quickly on the field due to fewer practices. I think we’ll see young guys taking longer to assimilate into the pro game from college. Some times, it’s that one or two plays that an UDFA or rookie makes that means the difference between a springboard to stardom and the UFL.

    Additionally, I think it will take away from the overall game talent. Fewer practice reps means fewer chances to get in games (since coaches didn’t see these guys do it in practice) and more chances for sloppier play, particularly in the early season. Sloppier play means more injuries as well.

    Even guys in the 3-4 yr range need more and better practice time.

    This is not a great change for the game. While some veteran players that may not need as much practice time will benefit, most will not benefit and the game overall certainly will not.

  17. dexterismyhero says: Aug 11, 2011 11:21 AM

    @cardmagnet says:
    Aug 11, 2011 10:20 AM
    He fought to eliminate the “tough practice” that really prepared you for the hard knocks of the season. All of the players who get injured because they’re not fully prepared for the beating should thank him as they’re being assisted off the field.
    ===================================
    Really? Maybe if the players that are not fully prepared, should have been working out on their own more during the offseason and lockout, then maybe there wouldn’t be as many injuries.

    Dufus………….

  18. bozosforall says: Aug 11, 2011 11:28 AM

    0sakpo says:
    Aug 11, 2011 11:12 AM
    Man, what a pic they put up here! Totally showed the love…..

    __
    Shows what was going on after the meetings too.

    RK: “Hey, Jeff…can you be my center?”
    JS: “Uh, Bob, that’s not the position that your hands are supposed to be in”
    RK: “Yes, Jeff, but by reversing my hands from the normal position, I can better fell your bulge”
    JS: “OK, but just this one time”
    RK: “Oh goody”

  19. 1historian says: Aug 11, 2011 11:28 AM

    Dexter – you really HAVE to work on your spelling.

    The word is spelled ‘doofus’, and the plural (from the latin as I’m sure you know) is – doofi.

    Just thought you’d like to know …..

  20. qdog112 says: Aug 11, 2011 11:30 AM

    Well that’s kinda absurd to credit Saturday for what any smart business owner would do anyway – under the circumstances. With the investments they have in the players, what owner would try to “kill” his players given the compressed camp situation? Jeff may not want to get too many compliments from the owners, considering that early in the talks, he was accused of being a spy for management.

  21. 1historian says: Aug 11, 2011 11:32 AM

    I never thought I would have something nice to say about a member of the colts, but I have to take my hat off to Jeff Saturday. That picture of him with his arm around Robert Kraft is about as good as it gets.

    For those (many) ignorami among us – the picture was taken just after the strike was settled, and Kraft had recently lost his wife of 47 years.

    Now you know the whole story.

  22. phileborn says: Aug 11, 2011 11:42 AM

    These guys are professionals, they shouldn’t need 2 practices a day anyway. If they don’t know how to play the game from 1 practice, they shouldn’t be in the league. This will also limit the amount of injuries we see.

  23. m2karateman says: Aug 11, 2011 11:51 AM

    @dexterismyhero says:
    Aug 11, 2011 11:21 AM
    cardmagnet says:
    Aug 11, 2011 10:20 AM
    He fought to eliminate the “tough practice” that really prepared you for the hard knocks of the season. All of the players who get injured because they’re not fully prepared for the beating should thank him as they’re being assisted off the field.
    ===================================
    Really? Maybe if the players that are not fully prepared, should have been working out on their own more during the offseason and lockout, then maybe there wouldn’t be as many injuries.

    Dufus………….
    ___________________________________

    So what off-season workout do you suggest is going to prepare them for the level of contact they see in full pad practices? Should they walk into traffic? Should they stand in front of a small wrecking ball?

    Working out in a weight room, or doing yoga, or whatever personal workouts they can do DO NOT prepare you for the contact that occurs in practice with full pads.

    Come to terms with reality.

  24. godofwine330 says: Aug 11, 2011 11:53 AM

    Saturday is a good dude. I knew a little bit about him before, but when he was on NFL Network earlier this year for 3 days straight talking with Rich Eisen I really got to know the guy and see how intelligent he truly is. He is highly respected and I am very curious to see where his career goes when he is no longer the “center” of attraction in front of Peyton Manning. Possibly NFL Labor head…

    I wonder who earned more respect during their playing careers, Jeff Saturday or Troy Vincent?

  25. dissapointmentprone says: Aug 11, 2011 11:53 AM

    Less contact = worse tackling…. Thanks

  26. southcakpanther says: Aug 11, 2011 12:28 PM

    Hmmmm. Less work in the off season and less work in training camp means a huge spike in more serious injuries, I’m willing to bet.

    The players might end up hating this “benefit”.

  27. dexterismyhero says: Aug 11, 2011 12:54 PM

    @1historian says:
    Aug 11, 2011 11:28 AM
    Dexter – you really HAVE to work on your spelling.

    The word is spelled ‘doofus’, and the plural (from the latin as I’m sure you know) is – doofi
    ==================================
    Thanks man, but it does come in many varieties.
    Next time I’ll use assdweeb I guess.

    thesaurus for dufus:
    idiot doofus moron dork stupid fool assdweeb 1.

    dufus

    dummy, fool, idiot

    That boy ain’t right. Buy him books but he’s still a dufus.

    dufus

    from the urban dictionary

    dummy, fool, idiot

    That boy ain’t right. Buy him books but he’s still a dufus.

  28. dexterismyhero says: Aug 11, 2011 12:57 PM

    @m2karateman says:
    Aug 11, 2011 11:51 AM
    ===================================
    So full contact is causing these Achilles tears?

    I believe they already know how to tackle and block.

    Injuries will happen, but not because they are not doing 2 a days.

  29. dikshuttle says: Aug 11, 2011 1:02 PM

    So when your players start dogging it at the end of the season – you now know who to blame.

    fatass.

  30. mackie66 says: Aug 11, 2011 1:16 PM

    You play like u practice. If you dont practice, you play real crappy. Thanks Saturday for being a whimpy, whiney, over paid, under-practiced typical NFL player. I cant wait NOT to watch this yr.

  31. groess says: Aug 11, 2011 1:17 PM

    kom2k10 says:
    Aug 11, 2011 10:20 AM
    I dont think there is a better rivalry in sports than Colts vs Pats. Its must see tv and its rare to see two sides so competitive with each other and respect each other at the same time…

    Not a lot of trash talking… Just some all time great and memorable football games…

    ______________________________

    Guess you haven’t caught any of the Steelers-Ravens games the last few years eh?

    This rivalry goes beyond just a couple of divisional rivals. Real hatred and the hardest hitting games you will ever see.

  32. Deb says: Aug 11, 2011 1:54 PM

    Two schools of thought: Less contact in the off season means more injuries during the season. Or less contact in the off season means fewer injuries during the season, less wear and tear on the body, and a longer playing career. I don’t know which is accurate … and neither do most of the people slamming Saturday for negotiating easier August workouts. We’re all about to find out. But if fewer two-a-days in the summer heat means we won’t have another Korey Stringer, I’d say that’s a good thing.

    Great photo.

  33. philsimmsisadouche says: Aug 11, 2011 2:40 PM

    I used to really think a lot of Jeff Saturday.

    A couple of observations for those of us arguing that you can avoid injuries by training hard on your own in the off season: 1.) Nothing can simulate football movements or activities or prepare you for the season like practices with live hitting. There will be a rise in muscle pulls and tears that will more than compensate for the minimization of contact injuries like concussions and knee/ankle injuries. A torn tendon or muscle also takes a whole year to recover from. Young players will take longer to fully assimilate pro schemes because…
    2.) Most coaches pull their established vets from contact in the secondary practice anyway, giving way to young players getting more reps in camp and early in the season, and a chance to learn their new scheme at full speed because they are going to have to perform at that level in game situations. Long term this will lead to a watered down product on the field which is why coaches hate the idea.

    I don’t think that the limit on padded practices in season is that big a deal. Again, most coaches limit the number of in season padded practices anyway, especially late in the season.

  34. CKL says: Aug 11, 2011 5:01 PM

    @phil,
    Agree smart coaches do vary on padded practices and will limit them if need be but it should be based on performance, team makeup and how banged up their guys are, not low league limits on top of a limited TC.
    It’s taking a tool to improve stamina/ performance away from a coach for no reason IMO. I agree with limiting offseason requirements but not this stuff.

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