Dear NFL Players and Coaches:
This is a note to remind NFL owners that they don’t care what you think when it comes to their business interests, chief among which is making money.
Those good men (and some women) who breathlessly greet you in the locker room after a game after a win, and bankroll your paychecks, and remember your name and shake your hand on the field of play, don’t care. He doesn’t give a damn what you think when it comes to league affairs.
That should be apparent by now.
Because those owners listened to his pleas over the last three days and fully understood his positions on multiple league issues. They know that there was almost a consensus between players and coaches on these matters.
And knowing how rare it is to get the players and coaches of 32 teams to agree on anything, the owners voted against him. All of you.
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Instead, they voted for their interests.
Votes Flex and Kickoffs Send Message
The league voted Monday to relax certain late-season games from Sunday through Thursday of this season. And on Tuesday, the owners voted to change the kickoff rule to basically dilute the game by inserting clean catches behind the 25-yard line, both inside and outside the end zone, would put the ball on the 25-yard line.
The vast majority of players and coaches do not like both measures. They have argued against both measures. In some cases, they have told ownership of their disgust at the ideas on their faces.
And the owners voted them out anyway.
Start with flexible scheduling that now takes into account Thursday nights, which could move a December game from Sunday to Thursday, as long as everyone gets 28 days notice.
It is not popular mainly because Thursday night games are not popular with coaches and players.
Robert Kraft voted for flexible hours
«It’s a tough week for the coaches that would start to some extent on Friday morning the week before,» former Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia told Mass Live. «So you’re playing a game on Sunday and you’re working seriously on the next team on Friday, Saturday morning, Sunday morning before the game. So it just loads up.»
«I think the players accept it quite easily. But from a mental and work standpoint, it’s tough for the coaches. But the players are the ones who have to go out and play on Thursday night.»
Patriots owner Robert Kraft voted in favor of flextime Thursday. I’m sorry, Dante.
Players generally love the days off that come after a Thursday night game. And even though they’re practicing the following week, Thursday’s game gives them 10 days between game speed contact instead of the usual six days.
But players are generally not fans of how Thursday’s game gives them little time to recover from their previous game just four days earlier.
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Amazon trumps players and coaches
So understand what the owners are doing here: they are going against the will of the majority of the coaches, against the will of the majority of the players, against the will of the fans who bought tickets to the games. on Sunday and now they have to get to Thursday night. .
«We’re also trying to balance how we make sure, on the other hand, that we’re getting the right games in the right windows,» said Hans Schroeder, executive vice president and chief operating officer of NFL Media.
The owners are doing this because they want Amazon, their $11 billion streaming service partner, to be happy with their late-season matchups. So this was done on Monday.
Then, on Tuesday, the NFL changed its fair catch rules on kickoffs to include the fact that any player making a fair catch in the end zone or behind the 25-yard line would result in the ball being placed on kickoffs. the 25 yard.
NFL special teams coaches almost unanimously hate the rule because it has the potential to rob them of kickoff returns and take part of the football’s foot off.
Broncos owner votes against Sean Payton
Players, particularly basic special teams players, don’t like the rule because it can diminish their roles and eventually lead to unemployment.
It’s a potentially slippery slope for both coaches and players.
Head coaches, including Dan Campbell, John Harbaugh, Bill Belichick, and Sean Payton, also made it known that they did not want the kickoff rule changed.
Denver voted for the measure anyway. I’m sorry Sean.
The NFL says in its resolution that the reason for the one-year change is «player safety.»
That’s a joke, dear players and coaches. The same league, citing concern for player safety, voted in March to increase the number of games a team can play on Thursday night from one to two.
Players like Patrick Mahomes think it’s crazy.
Patrick Mahomes is not a fan of TNF
Then on Tuesday, the owners voted to potentially play five of those Thursday night games, with their body recovery gap in full effect, after originally scheduling the teams to play on a Sunday.
The owners, not your friends, changed a kickoff rule for the safety of the players because it doesn’t hurt them financially. In fact, the home rule change gives them a talking point against further legal action or collective bargaining tactics.
The flextime rule they changed also affects player safety, albeit in a potentially negative way. But it was worth changing that because, again, Amazon is paying roughly $11 billion for 11 seasons.
NFL owners will counter those statistics that show fewer injuries in Thursday night games. But because they’re not actually exposing their bodies, they don’t recognize that players often feel physically unprepared or not fully recovered for those games.
Roger Goodell to study more London games
Owners also noted that the number of kickoff injuries had increased in the past year. The coaches actually studied those statistics and concluded that only one of the 19 concussions sustained on those kickoffs in 2022 happened to the returner.
Therefore, the rule is not likely to have a large impact on the player who is most at risk.
Finally, Commissioner Roger Goodell conceded Tuesday that the league will study how the Jacksonville Jaguars handle back-to-back games in London this year.
Eventually, the league wants to increase that number and even have teams there full-time. And full-time is one thing, but I guess most US-based players and coaches won’t love the idea of two or three straight games in Europe, away from home or on multiple flights abroad. .
It doesn’t matter.
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«The approach is to try to do two,» Goodell said, «and see what the impact is there first.»
Sorry, coaches and players. You will lose again.