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a 3rd next year and a 5th this year? are you joking?

One of many experimental iterations ...

fansince62

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I don't think so Al - because while I think we'll continue to see athletes improve (both physically and with advances in the science of the sport), I think there is a ceiling we are approaching. I also don't think you'll see the game change as dramatically going forward as it did during the first 100 years of football.
Good points. My only departure is that the game could change a lot based on long-term health issues real and imagined.
 

Elephant

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I think today’s athletes are approaching if not at the physical limits without severe chemical interaction... which also contributes to joint and ligament damage. Steroids and HGH can weaken joints and ligaments, which gets people in a vicious cycle because they’re also used to grow physical muscle. Naturally, we’re getting to the point that we’re already seeing athletes on the field whose own bodies cant support the amount of muscle they’re attempting to grow. Joints and ligaments are popping at a rate I don’t think i remember seeing, not to mention muscle tears and pulls.
While I don't disagree, I would add that players in the past would play through injury, many not even known.

So...yes, I believe they are stretching the limits of the human form, I am just not sure the numbers are quite as drastic because of the injuries players played through.
 

Boone

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There may be a *little* of that El, but I think you're underestimating how much more violent the sport is now. Not only (as Ryman or someone else referenced) are players size and musculature outpacing the ability of their joints and tendons to support them, but the speed, violence, and sheer mass involved in collisions is exponentially greater than anything players in the 70's and prior every experienced. The NFL is close to creating athletes who's size, strength, and speed put the game itself at risk due to safety concerns. I've beaten this drum before, but without major changes to the sport, on-the-field deaths are probably inevitable. A bad hit is just as potentially dangerous as a motor vehicle accident. No surprise we are seeing more horrific injuries and if the league doesn't figure out ways to better protect players, they put the sport at risk as players and fans start to ask if it is worth the potential cost.
 

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Coaches like Walsh and Belichick rate higher to me because they had a significant tile in bringing in the personnel.

Notice that once Beathard and his scouts left Miami Shula never won another Super Bowl and only enjoyed one appearance with Dan Marino.

The Dolphins never were able to again build a defense and complete team.
 

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There may be a *little* of that El, but I think you're underestimating how much more violent the sport is now. Not only (as Ryman or someone else referenced) are players size and musculature outpacing the ability of their joints and tendons to support them, but the speed, violence, and sheer mass involved in collisions is exponentially greater than anything players in the 70's and prior every experienced. The NFL is close to creating athletes who's size, strength, and speed put the game itself at risk due to safety concerns. I've beaten this drum before, but without major changes to the sport, on-the-field deaths are probably inevitable. A bad hit is just as potentially dangerous as a motor vehicle accident. No surprise we are seeing more horrific injuries and if the league doesn't figure out ways to better protect players, they put the sport at risk as players and fans start to ask if it is worth the potential cost.
Yep the embodiment of that is Morgan Moses whose 335 pound frame has taken its toll on his knees and ankles. If he played at 300 or 305 he would have a longer career without as many injuries.
 

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its funny I as just talking about this with a buddy I played university ball with, most guys who get on the sauce do so after their natural growth spurts are over, their bodies are simply not built to carry the extreme weight that most linemen carry. I was 6-3 and 285 pounds in high school, when I graduated I was 6-4 and 300. My body had grown steadily, my joints and ligaments and tendons had grown along with the muscle. I had small ankles and used to get turned ankle injuries a lot but other than that I had no injuries until the last 10 years I played when the injuries piled up all at once. basically my body was built for the weight, at my "lightest" with actual abs and low body fat I still weighed 279 pounds. now im old and fat and weigh 345, all the weight dropped from my arms and chest to my gut and my ass and legs are small hahaha.

anyway, We played with a guy who was 6-4 but only 225 when he graduated high school and ended up 6-6 and 300 when he went pro after university. he had a couple years of really solid play, and then the wheels fell off when he tried to add 20 more pounds. he ended up having several injuries, and washed out of the NFL. his body was simply not able to handle over 290 as soon as he went over 290, it was like a different person. he tore a bunch of tendons and ligaments and quietly retired. even now he dropped weight, but struggles to even walk without pain.
 

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Are you going to blame Mike Shanahan for the Haynesworth contract and performance issues?

No, because he was put in the position of inheriting a crap situation and could do no more than try and make the best of it.

Trent Williams’ value went out the door in terms of high compensation when Allen refused to move him at the trade deadline.

Other teams knew that the Redskins in 2020 were looking to move him and his public outcry and that of his agent all but guaranteed the return would be limited.

Look at the meager return of a #5 pick the Rams got from the Ravens for Marcus Peters, who had a whale of a season in Baltimore in 2020.

Teams knew the Rams were desperate for cap space and needed to move some players off the roster.

The lesson to be learned here is not to take things personally as Bruce Allen did and handle business professionally.

Belichick gets guys like Williams off the roster when the word ‘contract’ or ‘hold out’ starts to be leaked to the media.

When Trent held out he should have been traded last July and at the latest October.

As for Ron Rivera?

No doubt privately he thought Williams and Allen were a pair of douches whose issues he had to try and get out of the way so the team could move forward.
Exactly!! I was for trading his prissy behind before the trade deadline but we had an idiot in charge that didn't learn from the 2 years of kurt Cousins. Who knows maybe the Lsu kid is a diamond in the rough
 

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I think it's possible over the next 20 years we could see a trend back towards lighter, more athletic players for this very reason Ryman. Seems counter-intuitive but the rampant seasonal injuries a lot of teams are seeing are not figments of the imagination. We should know, as 'Gruden sucks as a coach' aside, we had 3 straight seasons essentially ended due to mass injuries. Somethings gotta give on that front. The NFL, at least, has recognized the need to expand roster sizes, although they have not gone far enough on that front yet, and ultimately, it's just a bandaid to a bigger problem that needs solving.
 

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I agree. The trend toward 300 plus pounders started in the 1980’s during the era of power football.

With the accent on the passing game now and spreading the field with speed, one would suspect that there will be a reversal towards more athletic and mobile linemen.

Already the heyday of the Jerry Ball type DL has seemed to pass as guys with the traditional run stuffer profile are drafted later and don’t garner as much interest in free agency.

If you don’t have any pass rush ability you are looked at as nothing more than a part time player.

Look at Danny Shelton. Great run defender, helped the Patriots win the SB two years ago.

But as a free agent coming off his rookie deal Belichick didn’t even offer him a contract.

The assumption was that the team could find other early down linemen in the draft or later veteran free agency post-draft.
 

MikefromOH

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If the Hogs were used today as an OL they would be outweighed by at least 30lbs.

"The Washington Redskins' fabled “Hogs” offensive line from 1982 weighed an average of 280.2 pounds "
 

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If the Hogs were used today as an OL they would be outweighed by at least 30lbs.

"The Washington Redskins' fabled “Hogs” offensive line from 1982 weighed an average of 280.2 pounds "
Those hogs would be fattened up with baked skinless chicken breasts, kale and soy milk just like todays linemen none of whom take "supplements." :)
 

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Those hogs would be fattened up with baked skinless chicken breasts, kale and soy milk just like todays linemen none of whom take "supplements." :)
Probably, but the size difference in decades is what I was referring to. They were easily the biggest and most dominant of their time. Now? They are the size of a DE.
 

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its interesting, I think that as long as guys are paid for having size/speed ratios you will see larger men. the simple truth is that good big beats good small almost every time and football coaches know this. but its like an arms race and we have reached the point where the size is often too much for the human body. the injuries now are crazy, hell I watched the combine, it used to be that men over 300 pounds ran the 40 in well over 5 seconds, now, if you dont run under 5 you are unlikely to be drafted. combine that with training and nutrition, and you see massive collisions that result in injuries far beyond what we saw 20 -30 years ago. but how would they get players to play lighter when so much money is at stake
 

fansince62

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its interesting, I think that as long as guys are paid for having size/speed ratios you will see larger men. the simple truth is that good big beats good small almost every time and football coaches know this. but its like an arms race and we have reached the point where the size is often too much for the human body. the injuries now are crazy, hell I watched the combine, it used to be that men over 300 pounds ran the 40 in well over 5 seconds, now, if you dont run under 5 you are unlikely to be drafted. combine that with training and nutrition, and you see massive collisions that result in injuries far beyond what we saw 20 -30 years ago. but how would they get players to play lighter when so much money is at stake
Ry...are the injuries more serious? The medical treatment/healing process is infinitely better these days....to the point it's hard to believe.

I agree with your thought on size/speed commanding a premium. That said, Injuries aside, my thought is that the real driver in all of this is going to be the continual rules changes (e.g., holding, passing game, QB hit zone, helmet to helmet, kickoffs, etc.).
 

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I also agree with Ryman, it's hard to see how you put the genie back in the bottle. I think Al has it right though. Rules changes that subtly make the more violent aspects of the game less rewarding,heavily penalize big hits, reduce exposure to defenseless players, emphasize speed over size, etc... may over time reduce the incentive to build teams with huge players who deliver those kinds of hits. Mass injuries (and probably more importantly, the glorification of the more violent aspects of the game) are hurting interest in the NFL, especially with younger fans imho.
 

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