Old Man Yells at Cloud

It’s the slow part of the year for 94 WIP, so fake outrage must be manufactured, and one of the things Angelo has been bloviating about is the lack of Eagles summer practices. There were few sessions and no mandatory minicamp in the spring. The workouts themselves are also shorter and less rigorous.

Cataldi on the morning of 6-17-22:

Oh my God who gives a shit?

First off, Brian Mitchell was a kick and punt returner and secondary ball carrier who caught ~30 passes a year in his prime. How many times did he touch the ball during a game? How many snaps did he play? Mitchell is one of the worst names you can use to make a point about this.

Second, I think it goes without saying that we’ll trust the doctors, coaches, and sports science staff on this one instead of a big mouth radio phony.

Third, preseason football just isn’t a big deal anymore. The philosophy has changed, whether people like it or not. Coaches are typically happy with the reps that are taken during joint practice and camp sessions. Luckily for WIP, they have a reporter who watches every minute and logs all of the stats for us.

Beyond that, these guys are professional athletes. They are working out all the time. They have strict regimens and routines throughout the offseason. When they are not at NovaCare, people think they’re sitting on their ass eating ice cream, but that’s not true in 2022. These guys work hard on their craft year round and keep themselves in top shape.

The other thing that people don’t seem to understand is that there’s a reciprocity to all of this. It’s a two-way street now. The coaches and doctors will involve players in decisions and take their thoughts into account, but it needs to be returned on the back end, right? They’ll agree to shorten these filler summer sessions for buy-in come August and September, and this is a basic manager/employee trust kind of exercise. If you give a shit about them, they will give a shit about you, i.e. “we’ll go light this summer, but you better be ready to play in Week 1.” Pro sports in 2022 is less about hardass coaches barking out orders. There’s more nuance and consideration and logic and critical thinking applied, which old school “rub some dirt on it” types don’t get.

Jeff McLane gets the last word here:

“the Eagles were able to decrease the number of lower-body, soft-tissue injuries that had plagued the team during the 2018-20 seasons. They had just six players miss a total of 11 games in the 2021 season, even with the additional game, compared with 19 players who missed 49 games the previous season.”

The Eagles had 76 adjusted games lost to injury, according to Football Outsiders’ annual analysis of weekly injury reports, an improvement of 52.1 games over the previous season. They finished only 12th in the NFL, but considering they ranked 30th, 21st, and 32nd from 2018-20 and only the 49ers and New York Jets lost more games to injury over that span, it was a welcome development.

There’s a lot of luck when it comes to avoiding injury, but this process seemed to work last year, the data looks good, and the team made the playoffs in year one under a rookie head coach. Carry on with this process and let’s worry about the stuff that really truly matters.

old man yells at cloud
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