Tuesday, September 16, 2014

We Are Clueless When It Comes to Understanding NFL Players Fitness

We may think we have some idea of what it might take to play football in the NFL, but the truth is:

We don't have a clue.

Briggs Takes Good Care of Himself

I was watching Lance Briggs last week deal with questions on the Bears' defensive play in the Buffalo game and he mentioned that he thought that the Bears defense was going to be fine.  Since Briggs had also taken criticism on his personal play and how it might relate to his age, he responded that he was working hard to take care of himself and going through all kinds of rigorous efforts even after practice and beyond.  He outlined a little bit of what he goes through on a daily basis, but in so doing, he was really letting us know that we really didn't know anything. 

We see the films of the NFL player who soaks in a tub of ice, but we don't know the kind of endless effort and pain that the player experiences before he goes into the tub.  

Peanut Tillman 

We saw Peanut Tillman respond to an injury on Sunday night against the 49ers.  He was devastated.  He had actually worked himself into an excellent condition for this year, but now an injury was going to cut all that short.  The sportscasters calmly talked about the fact that it might be the end of Tillaman's career, but no one outside an NFL locker room knows what Tillman has gone through to become the player he has been for a decade.  No one knows how he drove himself to get better and become the best.  And no one knows what it took to stay at the top for so long. We think we know, but we don't have a clue.

Jordan Lynch is a graduate of my high school, Mount Carmel and an NIU star.  And I got an opportunity to meet him a few months and followed his efforts to make the Bears.  But in the end, he was cut, and he has been gracious in his conversations about his Bears' experience.  But one thing that I thought was telling is that he suggested that he really had no idea of the fitness level required to be an NFL player.  Lynch's college and high school coaches mentioned that no one would outwork Jordon Lynch, but after a few months in the NFL, Lynch was shaking his head saying that he had no idea what kind of fitness the players had.  

You might remember years ago people talking about the high standard that Walter Payton set of himself and the rigorous workouts that he put himself through when he trained alone before the preseason.  Sports writers today talk about the incredible fitness of Matt Forte and the unimaginable efforts he makes to be the best that he can be. 

As fans, we look at a few clips, watch some game film, and somehow think that we have an understanding of what the NFL athletes go through.  But...........

We don't have a clue. 

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