I recently read two football stories, one from the present and one from the past, that make me wonder. Do today's college players scrimmage too much?
The present story is one about a rash of injuries to PAC 12 football players as they get ready for the upcoming season. Many teams already have between four and eight players seriously injured. For once we have not had that problem. Knock on wood.
The one from the past is about our own Head Coach Red Sanders. I found an excellent review of his coaching philosophy, on the Vanderbilt University website, where he was a tremendously successful coach before surprising his friends and colleagues to matriculate to UCLA. Of course, what he did at UCLA is also the stuff of legend.
Surprisingly to me, he is quoted as saying that he stressed the "classroom" to coach his players and advocated no more than seven hours of "scrimmaging" a week. Having never played football I have no idea if this is much less than the normal time players have to scrimmage between games, but it certainly is much less than Spring and fall camps where these injury bugs seem to thrive.
I have seen this same debate from time to time in the pro ranks with some coaches deemphasizing hard, physical practices between games. I also seem to remember a highly successful Div. II or III coach that espoused little or no contact drills between games.
Of course, Sanders was in the era when players played both ways. One year he only had 37 players on his team. Amazing. So maybe they really had to be careful back then.
I'm curious what more knowledgeable, past football players have to say on this subject.
Do today's players practice too hard between the weekly games that are physically demanding enough on their own? What do you think?