It was not pretty. But week 1 rarely is. It just seems worse right now.
You have some players who look great from the first kickoff till the final second ticks off the clock. But the majority looked rusty! Dropped passes, errant throws, mixed up communication and play calling that looked like someone put the playbook on the wall and threw darts at it. Injuries are becoming more like a plague than they have ever been. The American public has learned more about ACL tears than they would normally know about most anything else. The knee rebuilding business is now a multimillion dollar industry. What is the reason that the league looks more amateurish than ever?
We can thank the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for a lot of this. Since the CBA was signed last year, players are only allowed a limited amount of practices in full pads. Team practices are actually limited in the number of plays. Does your tight end need more reps to gel with the QB? Too bad.
Many players were already getting winded in games, some before the end of the half. Drink more Gatorade, my friends, because you are going to have to go out there and put your life in danger… As players get fatigued, the mistakes happen, the injuries happen and the tempers flare.
Sure, you have some players who will go to the gym and simulate team practices and it seems to help them. But not everyone can benefit from solo workouts and practices. And if the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) even thinks that the activity is team sanctioned, the team will get hefty fines and penalties.
The CBA was created with player safety in mind, yet the safety is what is lacking in the equation. People are getting hurt. And they are getting hurt worse than before. Sure, players need to know that they have to moderate the amount of work they do, but they should also be allowed to work hard in the off season so that they are in a better condition and position for a safer game day.
That is my opinion… what is yours?