Goodell supports offseason changes aimed at enhancing safety

When the NFLPA responded to the league’s proposal to add two  games to the regular season, we sensed that the two sides were in the same ballpark.  We came to that conclusion in part because the union wants to see reduced offseason workouts, and Commissioner Roger Goodell previously has indicated that he would support such a move as well.

Goodell has reiterated his belief that the offseason program could shrink, as soon as 2011.

Being in by next season? I would hope so,” Goodell told reporters at a conference on helmet technology and safety in New York, according to Mark Maske of the Washington Post.  “I know we’ve had a lot of discussions about them both internally and with the Players Association.  I think there are some very positive things that can be done in that area.”

Currently, teams adhere to an extensive stretch of “voluntary” workouts and a smaller slate of mandatory minicamps from March through June.  Over the years, the “voluntary” sessions have become, as a practical matter, not.

“What we’re trying to do is improve the quality of what we’re doing, but make it safer for our players,” Goodell said. “And I think by looking at changes we’re talking about in the offseason, in training camp and possibly during the season, particularly with the focus on rules, and taking those techniques that we think are dangerous out of the game, it can make the game safer for everyone who plays it.”

Though offseason practices entail only helmets, jerseys, and shorts, we’ve heard multiple complaints over the years regarding the amount of contact that inevitably occurs when men full of testosterone and/or other substances are placed into battle without their armor.

In our view, offseason workouts should entail no helmets at all during any 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 sessions.  When players wear helmets, they’re less likely to protect the thing that resides inside them.

If there’s supposed to be no contact during offseason workouts, then there’s no need for a helmet.  Maybe without helmets, there truly would be no contact.

Anyway, it’s encouraging — not only to hear that the league is committed to making the change but also to hear from Goodell and not from one of his lieutenants on important matters like this.

16 responses to “Goodell supports offseason changes aimed at enhancing safety

  1. no contact is extremely dumb…..

    so u want to practice for a contact sport with no contact????

    what is this baseball now?

  2. The only thing they need to change is this commissioner. Time to go… are ruining this great game.

  3. Anyone else have a problem with a non-football person telling teams how to conduct offseason practices?

    What basis does Goodell have to tell teams how they can and cannot run their football programs.

    Read between the lines here. Goodell is merely trying to pacify the players by cutting their non gameday work loads to entice them to bite on playing 2 more games so the league can rake in more TV cash.

    No worries about the decline in the quality of football due to fewer practices, shorter training camps, and more injuries… It’s all about the almighty dollar here!

  4. .
    soon to be flag football where u r not allowed to touch the person while grabbing for the flag or face min $25,000 penalty

  5. Comish Gotohell … FYI… Big Ben is a QB… 2 weeks in a row he gets his leg bent back after a play, and a broken nose… no flags… If it were Brady there would have been ejections. You are ruining the game… All NFL fans that I talk to, do not like you anymore and want you gone. If you are going to put up rules, make sure it applies to the whole league. Get a clue Comish… As much as I want my team to get a great draft pick next year.. I rather see you gone… You are pathetic. You penalize the same subject you advertise to make money.

  6. I love how you included a picture of the commissioner and a microphone with the Steelers logo on it. Trying to say something Florio?

    You forgot to mention in your article that the commissioner went to a “concussion meeting” on Wednesday to hear from helmet makers, researchers, the military and NASCAR about how to improve helmets to cut down on concussions.

    I hope he makes new safety helmets manditory. If he’s so worried about player’s brains, then he should make sure what they wear to protect them is the best money can buy.

    Although I do have a question–I would think training camp and practicing would help guys stay more healthy. I know they should be working out in the off-season, but wouldn’t training camp get guys more prepared to play the game. Maybe not.

  7. He’ll add flags to the uniforms next. Friggin’ Goodell. Ruining a game that has been popular for decades. No Fun League it is. What next, linemen must wear those big padded sumo outfits so they don’t hurt anyone? Just look at that call and fine on Suh for Detroit this last weekend. QB out of the pocket running, Suh pushes him in the back with both hands to knock him down. $15k. Ridiculous, just like the commish.

  8. krow101 says:
    Dec 9, 2010 1:50 PM
    The QBs should wear dresses… or at least skirts. All of them. Not just Brady.


    Sounds like you are projecting.
    It’s okay that you wear dresses; but we’re not ALL from the hills Cletus …….

  9. It’s impossible to have a football practice without some kind of contact occurring, even if it’s incidental. The solution is to have less team activity on the field during the off season.

  10. “In our view, offseason workouts should entail no helmets at all during any 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 sessions. When players wear helmets, they’re less likely to protect the thing that resides inside them.”

    – Once again the lawyer thinks the players are drooling idiots and only the lawyer knows what is best for them, and so the lawyer must protect the player from themselves..The arrogance is absolutely disgusting.

    If a football player ever started to tell you how to run your law practice, and what they felt you should do, I am sure you would feel they didn’t possess the knowledge to make such criticisms but yet you fail to see that in yourself. Shameful.

  11. Ever see Disney’s animated version of The Jungle Book with Florio Jr.? Remember the snake singing “Trust in Me” to mesmerize Mowgli so he could devour him?

    There you go.

    Concussion is a medical diagnosis. You test the consistency of spaghetti by throwing it at the wall. You determine the appropriate way to prevent disease or injury by doing quantitative research. None of you–not Goodell, the NFLPA, nor the players–knows whether cutting back on mandatory workout or eliminating contact drills will decrease the number of concussions. Here’s what we do know:

    * Post-concussion syndrome has been an issue for at least two decades, but only now has the league given any real lip service to addressing it.

    * Goodell is prepared to appease the players, not necessarily to do what’s best for them. His priority is expanding to 18 games without increasing player-personnel costs.

    * The fines Goodell is imposing do not appear to have decreased the number of concussions–a conclusion that should be easy to verify.

    *”[T]aking those techniques that we think are dangerous out of the game” … really? But I thought the commissioner said they weren’t changing any rules. So is he enforcing the rules as they exist or taking current techniques out of the game? Again … would it be possible for the league to hire a commissioner who can deliver a consistent message?

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