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What Can NFL Teams Do to Help Players Avoid Injury?

The 33rd Team asked some of its contributors the best way for NFL players to avoid injury during training camp, preseason and the regular season. Among the responses in the video above:

  • Wade Phillips believes strongly in holding out players in the preseason, especially for those who have strong practice habits.
  • Marvin Lewis shares a story about a change he made to his practice week in Cincinnati after doing research on what was keeping Aaron Rodgers so fresh in Green Bay.
  • Eddie George discusses the unique offseason training regimen he kept while playing in Tennessee.
  • Bill Polian is a strong advocate of mandatory conditioning work before training camp starts. “Bill Parcells used to say, ‘Six weeks of strength and conditioning before they even pick up a football.”

Best to Name Starting QB Early in Training Camp

In this video, former NFL head coaches Marvin Lewis and Chuck Pagano discuss the importance of naming a clear starting quarterback in training camp. It’s important for the players to know will be under center in Week 1 so they can coalesce around just one player.

“I always wanted the football team to know who the leader was,” Lewis said about his 16 years as head coach in Cincinnati.

Lewis and Pagano discuss the battles going on in Pittsburgh and Seattle, and what each team will have to decide. Lewis believes the Steelers need to get back to running the football no matter who is under center. Pagano reminisces on some of the younger quarterbacks he worked with while coaching, and how Joe Flacco and Andrew Luck seized the competition early in camp. He also touches on the quarterback battle he oversaw between Jacoby Brissett and Scott Tolzien following Luck’s retirement.


Training Camp Confidential: Lewis Catching a Player During Bed Checks

Some guys just think they can get one over on a coach…

My favorite training camp memory truly encapsulates how fun an NFL training camp story can be—at least, when you’re looking back at it in hindsight.

Back when I was a (much younger) assistant coach for the Baltimore Ravens, I was doing bed checks because our head coach at the time, Ted Marchibroda was an old school football coach like that. I got to a room and almost immediately noticed something was off. One bed clearly had someone in it, the other clearly didn’t. What it did have though was the old-school pillow trick that still wasn’t fooling anyone…not that night.

Needless to say, that player’s position coach and Coach Marchibroda weren’t entirely happy about the situation.

The person responsible for that attempt at fooling me is a pretty notable name to boot. This, of course, only adds to the humor in looking back on this hilarious attempt at pulling the wool over my eyes. 

Thankfully, this story also ends with a young player learning a lesson in accountability and turning out to have a pretty great career.

Training Camp Confidential

The 33rd Team has unprecedented access to executives, coaches and players and wants to provide an in-depth, never-before-seen look into the best stories and memories from NFL Training Camps. Stay tuned to our Training Camp Page for more great stories like this one. 

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