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Do the Patriots practice too hard?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by apple strudel, Sep 7, 2010.

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  1. apple strudel

    apple strudel Banned

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    Honest question. I don't know too much about their practice sessions other than 1) they are very regimented, and 2) they are more physical than a lot of other teams' practices. At least this is my understanding. From what I've read, Belichick is on the opposite side of fence from the George Siefert theory that you tone things down in practice and save your team for game day. The Patriots practice as hard or harder than game situations so that they are prepared for the games and that the games seem easier than practice. In general it is a philosophy I agree with. You always train for a task that is more difficult than the real thing if you want to really succeed at it. But in this case there is a potential downside to that approach that may mitigate or even erase its benefits.

    What is this potential downside? Injuries. This team always has a lot of injuries and this year it appears to be catching up with us (we'll know more as the season plays out, of course). So where do all the injuries come from compared to other NFL teams? I don't know, but I suspect one possibility is the practice philosophy. Players seem to get hurt mysteriously a lot, so I suspect (cannot prove) that practice is the source of a fair amount of these injuries.

    My question is really two-fold. 1) Does our practice philosophy, as I understand it, lead to more injuries? 2) Is there some other way to get the benefits of physical practice sessions while mitigating the injuries? For kicks I'll throw out option 3: the Patriots don't really suffer more injuries than the rest of the league. I'd be surprised if that is true, though.
     
  2. WhiZa

    WhiZa Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    This has been an easy TC compared to last year, and we still had more injuries this year so...
     
  3. apple strudel

    apple strudel Banned

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    We had more two-a-days than just about every other team in the league, save maybe the Falcons. It was one of the toughest camps in the NFL.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2010
  4. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    How do we know that? What constitutes "easier"?
     
  5. KontradictioN

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    My personal philosophy is that you can NEVER practice too hard. And I think Rodney Harrison would agree with me on that. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2010
  6. Calciumee

    Calciumee PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree with that aswell. Harder you practise the harder you will play.

    If you were to have an easy practise, the step up in a game would be very big.
     
  7. borg

    borg In the Starting Line-Up

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    The Patriots should also skip playoff games to stay fresher:)
     
  8. letekro

    letekro In the Starting Line-Up

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    I'm sure if you followed a different team you would complain that they suffered too many injuries as well. It's just the nature of the NFL these days. Over the long term the injuries should even out.
     
  9. apple strudel

    apple strudel Banned

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    I'm pretty clear that I agree with the "practice hard to play better" approach. I think what I'm getting at is 1) how do you mitigate the risk of injury while maintaining the benefits of tough practices? 2) are the hard practices in fact contributing to more injuries? 3) If we accept that they do then maybe we should accept the injuries this team has every season as part of that cost.

    Interesting counterpoint: Siefert won 2 super bowls the other way around. But this was before the salary cap era.
     
  10. WhiZa

    WhiZa Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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  11. Oswlek

    Oswlek In the Starting Line-Up

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    It has been pretty well documented that NE had a less intense camp from 07-09 and they still had their share of injuries. The two-a-days were there, but veterans were typically given one practice a day off.

    If I had to guess, I'd say the defense being so young has a lot to do with the change this year, as well as BB's message that the past no longer matters.

    FWIW, Warren and Kaczur both went out in the first couple days and Bodden missed two entire weeks. None of those injures had anything to do with excessive practice.
     
  12. apple strudel

    apple strudel Banned

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    I don't necessarily mean that it's a cumulative wear and tear issue - injuries can also be acute, resulting from a single physical practice session.
     
  13. Oswlek

    Oswlek In the Starting Line-Up

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    Then I'm not quite getting you. How do you get better if you don't practice hard?
     
  14. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'd guess no.
     
  15. PatsWickedPissah

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    Listening to Steve DeOssie on the radio the other day he mentioned that in the 'old days' summer camp was much tougher. The grind was used to weed out guys who weren't 'tough enough' for the NFL. He said that the downside was that many talented players who simply weren't boot camp tough didn't make the NFL.
     
  16. apple strudel

    apple strudel Banned

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    That's one of the questions I am asking. I don't know if you can. Siefert did with his teams, but they were also loaded with talent.

    One answer might be shorten the length of practices with pads, increased walk-throughs, and increased film study. Another approach might be to play at 90% speed when practicing in pads, but practice for the same period of time.

    We all want tough, physical players. But if practicing hard leads to more injuries (this is more of a hypothesis than anything), then how to you get tough physical players while mitigating the ostensibly practice related injuries?
     
  17. fxkane

    fxkane Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    The longer the season, the lighter the practice should be--as in the NBA and MLB, which have way-too-long seasons. If the NFL goes to 18 games, then lay off the practice. As of right now, I think practice sessions should be hard but short, preceded by the mental stuff
     
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