Training camp intensity going way down
Lions head coach Matt Patricia gained a lot of attention—and some criticism—for the way he ran his training camp with a lot of intensity. The new CBA, however, will severely limit the way he can approach Detroit’s training camp schedule.
> There will be a limit of 16 padded practices in camp, and no more than three in a row. (The previous limit was 28, and no restrictions on consecutive days except built-in days off.) There will be a five-day “acclimation period” at the start of camp with restrictions on the types of activities permitted. After the acclimation period, players can be on the field for no more than four hours per day between their two practices, and no practice can last longer than 2.5 hours. Players are not allowed to be at the team facility for more than 12 hours in any given day, and that number decreases in subsequent seasons
It will be interesting to see how this rule change impacts the level of play in the regular seasons. With fewer padded practices, will players be physically ready for full-intensity games? Will players actually be more healthy going into the regular season, having not worn their bodies down during August?
Physical offseason contact has been trending downwards for years, and that has frustrated NFL coaches in their ability to get players game-ready for the regular season. But it’s still unclear if that will result in any visible change in quality of play.
I have to think with these changes that the first month of the season will see more mistakes, blown coverages, and missed blocks and tackles. So, teams that have changed their Offense, Defense, or both could suffer through some early losses before they get their stuff together. Teams with more continuity and less player turnover might see an advantage.
One more point: these changes might add a little bit more value to keep your FAs cuz they know your system and would be less likely to screw up on game day. Unless maybe they are a screwup to begin with. But I would think the more new faces you have on your roster and on the field, the more likely it is they’ll make a mistake or react just a hair slower than somebody who played for you last year(s).