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Belichick blames increased injuries on practice limits


Bill Belichick is notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to discussing injuries on his own team. However, he does have an opinion about the number of injuries occurring league-wide in recent seasons.

Belichick blames the new rules restricting practices and contact adopted under the new CBA as contributing to players not being fully prepared for the rigors of games and the season as a whole.

“I’m in favor of total preparation for the players for the season,” Belichick said during a conference call with Buffalo reporters, via John Wawrow of the Associated Press. “And I think that’s been changed significantly and, I would say, not necessarily for the better when you look at the injury numbers.”

Belichick said he was citing specific numbers indicating injuries have increased in recent seasons. An NFL spokesman disputed Belichick’s assertions saying the league monitors injury rates and there “is no evidence” that the rule changes have affected the number of injuries.

Among the changes to practice rules are no more two-a-day practices in training camp, limits on full-pads practices and a reduction in the number of offseason practices.

The Patriots have lost six starters to injured reserve this season. Belichick says the numbers back up his claim that injuries have increased and he doesn’t think it’s a coincidence as to why.

“When you see the number as high as they are, then I don’t think that’s a randomness that’s been two years in a row,” Belichick said. “I’ve got to think there’s some correlation there.”

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49 Responses to “Belichick blames increased injuries on practice limits”
  1. riverhorsey says: Dec 26, 2013 12:13 AM

    Belichick should be the commissioner when he retires from coaching.

  2. Stiller43 says: Dec 26, 2013 12:18 AM

    If nothing else its having an effect on quality of play – mainly tackling. Tackling is at an all time low.

  3. johnnyb216 says: Dec 26, 2013 12:30 AM

    I actually agree with him.

  4. bechillin says: Dec 26, 2013 12:30 AM


  5. chinahand11 says: Dec 26, 2013 12:32 AM

    I believe Belichick; he wouldn’t say it if he didn’t have the numbers to back it up. That being said, I seriously doubt that practices will go back to the old ways. Players union would not approve, I believe.

  6. Awol.West says: Dec 26, 2013 12:35 AM

    My vote for Coach of the Year is BB and he’s right. The thing is, there are too many regulations on and off the field, and most are hurting football. In short, allow coaches to monitor their players in the offseason and to challenge anything called by officials.

  7. remok9 says: Dec 26, 2013 12:46 AM

    As much as I despise Sir William he’s spot on regarding this issue. The NFLPA shot themselves in the foot on this one.

  8. kruciald says: Dec 26, 2013 12:48 AM

    He’s 100% right!!!!

  9. thesteelskirt says: Dec 26, 2013 12:48 AM

    I completely agree

  10. gohawks89 says: Dec 26, 2013 12:50 AM

    he’s right

  11. nfl4days says: Dec 26, 2013 12:58 AM

    You know its gotten bad when the hoodie weighs in.

  12. Foghorn The IKonoclast says: Dec 26, 2013 1:07 AM

    Listen to that man. He is not a great coach because he is lucky and he is one of the best at recognizing talent and who can be coached.

    He being on the front lines, gets it. Rules are pretty useless if they are cosmetic. But preparation and good health (endurance) really matters.

    This is not a partisan thing because I am not a Pats fan. But I sure do respect the team, it’s coach and the system.

  13. raiderapologist says: Dec 26, 2013 1:08 AM

    Is Bill ever wrong, in general?

  14. soxroq says: Dec 26, 2013 6:02 AM

    Let’s look at total players listed on the weekly injury report. I know for some teams it might not show much, but maybe league wide there’s a trend. At least it would be another set of data points.

  15. imjinrat says: Dec 26, 2013 6:11 AM

    Well something sure is causing an increase in injuries. The packers have 15 on IR and several other that have missed multiple games. Since the 70s’ players have gotten bigger, stronger, and faster. The problem is bones, tendons, and ligaments have stayed about the same. I think the answer is for players to go back to the old ways of spending less time in the weight room and more time in the bars.

  16. harrisonhits2 says: Dec 26, 2013 6:30 AM

    The players want it easy in the offseason and they’re paying a big price in return. Those injuries don’t just hurt the teams they shorten their own careers by cutting the workouts and offseason conditioning.

  17. jimmyt says: Dec 26, 2013 6:47 AM

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  18. 2001asterisk2003asterisk2004asterisk says: Dec 26, 2013 6:49 AM

    Belichick blames increased super bowl losses on filming limits.

  19. strongmackn says: Dec 26, 2013 7:02 AM

    This man could be on to something

  20. tooz72 says: Dec 26, 2013 7:23 AM

    i wonder if he is secretly filming these limited practices?

  21. beachsidejames says: Dec 26, 2013 7:24 AM

    Best coach in the league who dosen’t talk just to hear his own voice. When he’s got something to say you should listen closely.

  22. 8drinkminimum says: Dec 26, 2013 7:36 AM

    Not a fan of the guy but I agree 100% with his point.

  23. thegronk87 says: Dec 26, 2013 7:59 AM

    belichick is right as usual, goodell is wrong.

  24. marcuswelby1 says: Dec 26, 2013 8:11 AM

    Spot on Bill !

  25. golfsox78 says: Dec 26, 2013 8:51 AM

    He is right. I don’t remember this many ACL or MCL injuries prior to last year. You can argue that field conditions play into that or if players are just not physically prepared. I want to see the actual number of non contact injuries for these last 2 years compared to before.

  26. cobraiv says: Dec 26, 2013 8:51 AM

    Coach Belichick is 100% right. The NFL is ruining the game of football.

  27. tvjules says: Dec 26, 2013 8:56 AM

    He’s right.

  28. popdawg99 says: Dec 26, 2013 8:57 AM

    Would more practice and more hitting during practice really have prevented that injury to Gronk? No.

  29. The Pittsburgh Steelers says: Dec 26, 2013 9:01 AM

    He’s right.

  30. clivus63 says: Dec 26, 2013 9:09 AM

    Players…you reap what you sow.

  31. rob471773 says: Dec 26, 2013 9:09 AM

    I think the biggest problem is this cowardly defensive backs who are targeting players knees/ankles because they can’t head hunt.

    How about throwing your shoulder into the mid-section and wrap tackling a player? No one knows how to tackle anymore.

    The ACL’s will keep popping until the league does something about the lack of correct form hitting/tackling.

  32. netrunner2k2 says: Dec 26, 2013 9:10 AM

    I don’t know about that, but I do think the crappy tackling in the NFL is a result of the limited practices.

  33. 17dayz says: Dec 26, 2013 9:15 AM

    This man has a point. Goodell and NFLPA have soften the league up. While some are just pure freak hits, it’s no coincidence of the rise in season ending injuries.

    Queue up all the Spygate hater comments.

  34. weatherdavec says: Dec 26, 2013 9:21 AM

    Like him or not, he is right on this. I’d like to know what other coaches feel about it.

  35. redrew says: Dec 26, 2013 9:47 AM

    Belichick understands what has happened in this league

  36. j0esixpack says: Dec 26, 2013 10:07 AM

    Belichick is saying what we’ve all been thinking. Players won’t independently address their own conditioning.

    The NFLPA did their members no favors by limiting mandatory conditioning. In fact they may have shortened some careers costing players millions.

  37. f1restarter says: Dec 26, 2013 10:17 AM

    Totally agree.

  38. troy43mvp says: Dec 26, 2013 10:19 AM

    Right is Right!

  39. neemdaddy13 says: Dec 26, 2013 10:42 AM

    He is absolutely correct. Great work De Smith..

  40. pastabelly101 says: Dec 26, 2013 11:00 AM

    You know Bill is right when the league says he is wrong.

  41. ajgreenhof says: Dec 26, 2013 12:02 PM

    I know the Bengals have had way more injuries this year then I’ve ever seen in the past.

  42. folkcrusader says: Dec 26, 2013 12:18 PM

    And injuries didn’t go up during the lock out because?

  43. damcmp says: Dec 26, 2013 1:07 PM

    Not only is BB right about the injury rate but the over all play in games is significantly worse overall……

  44. saywhatwhy says: Dec 26, 2013 1:37 PM

    I totally agree with this! When a mega$ QB only plays one series and out during the preseason, how can he be ready for the regular season? How can any athlete? I realize these guys are “investments” but don’t they go into realizing it is a physical game? They should get in ‘game ready’ shape when coming into camp – personal responsibility!! – and then stay in shape!! Plan on getting hit! (IMHO)

  45. fatguystrangler says: Dec 26, 2013 2:05 PM

    I agree wholeheartedly with him! And that may never happen again.

  46. photoguy13 says: Dec 26, 2013 2:26 PM

    So Belichick is saying that more hits (thus wear and tear on an athletes body) in training camp will result in fewer injuries. The law of averages seems to suggest that the higher the number of violent collisions the higher the likelihood for injury, but I guess that until the actual numbers come out we are only speculating.

  47. conormacleod says: Dec 26, 2013 2:42 PM

    Not only do I disagree, but there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that LESS hitting results in MORE injuries. That’s exactly the opposite of what I think.

    A couple people have already posted the real reason. Bigger, stronger, faster, and harder hitting players. And, better, safer, and more cautious diagnoses by the Doctors. Take a look around. Tons of guys sitting out due to concussions. That simply didn’t keep players out of games before.

    Also, and this may sound crazy…but the NFL is on 24/7 nowadays. The media blitzkrieg now lets us know about every nick and ding that a player has, on every team.

  48. sanitytrek says: Dec 26, 2013 2:55 PM

    Belichick is a lier and a cheater and crybaby!

  49. sanitytrek says: Dec 26, 2013 2:56 PM

    Belichick is a liar a cheater anda crybaby!

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