It seems like to me that the past 2 years we were plagued with injury after injury. Was this due to the coaching style by Herman? It would be interesting to know how many players had concussions in the Herman era for 2 years compared to 2 years in our other coaches era’s. I don’t remember having so many injuries under Sumlin or Briles. Do you think Herman was too hard on the players during practices? Do you think that part of the culture needs to change to where we have less injuries or was it just bad luck or coincidence?
I am aware that the old coach constantly talked about how physical our practices were. I think in regards to your question, any coach has to find balance. Even our old coach mentioned at a press conference that he would have to look into whether or not they needed to back off of the physically at practice during certain periods of the season. You have to tackle some at practice. It is also a must that there has to be moments in practice of being physical. Every coach and every philosophy is different. I heard of one coach at an Ivy League school whose team doesn’t tackle live at practice. They use tackling dummies and he and his staff actually invented a moving tackling dummy. Not sure what it is called. That team does well in their conference. According to the old coach the majority of our injuries were from games and not practice. However, not sure how much of anything he says I believe anymore. I do know one thing, physicality and aggressiveness can be taught and implemented without having to tackle every day. The answer to your question will be up to the new staff. Every staff has a different idea of how physical they need to be at practice. For example, some teams cut block at practice. I’m not sure I like that idea, but some coaches feel it is necessary. I think the short term benefit of the physicality was good, but I definitely think the old staff needed to and did back off some after the Navy game. Injuries started to take their toll and I would imagine practice did have something to do with it. The bottom line is the physicality of our team under the new staff will be contingent upon the new staff and their ultimate plan. I probably didn’t answer that all.
Most of our injuries happened during games; it’s just that we had some big injuries during camp. Stevenson and Samples were huge.
I think they even mentioned that we actually had a lower amount of concussions than most teams. Samples was the big one, but I think there were only 2 others–I want to say Mark and one of the defensive guys.
I think most teams have their fair share of injuries over a season; we just have a hard time with depth while a team like Alabama has a backup that may be just as good or better than the guy that went down.
Concussions are hard to avoid, especially during games. I brought up the following question a long time ago, but it seems relevant again. If Yancy McKnight is such a great strength and conditioning coach, why did we have so many injuries during the games or otherwise? Either he’s not as great of a strength coach as we were told, or the practices were WAY too physical and no amount of strength and conditioning would have helped. I don’t know what the answer is. I can’t say I follow injury reports of any other teams, so I don’t know how we stack up. It just seems we suffer a lot of injuries.
I think the time for super aggressive physicality in practice is during 2-a-days and camps, not during the season. Once you know what you have in terms of physicality with players, those skills can be sharpened during the season without all the injury-producing physicality (i.e., drills focused on form). During the season, I would focus more on conditioning than physicality. Just my non-strength-and-conditioning-coach opinion. Take it for what it’s worth.
I think it’s something to think about and our ex-coach even mentioned reevaluating at the end of the season whether or not his plan was a good one with how tired and beat up our guys were before the bye week.
I’d be interested to see who our next S&C coach will be. I know a few COOG S&C guys: Matt Nicholson up in Montana and Patrick Edwards at Kansas. Maybe we could bring them back in the fold somehow.