POD: Does NU Practice Too Hard?

Cicero Kid, a regular on the Purple Board raises the question of how hard Northwestern practices. This year we saw an awful lot of Orange shirts on the sidelines, and there are 3 players who were expected to contribute who are going to miss much of the 2005 season, anyway, Cicero raises a few questions about NU's Practice Regimen...

Last year, many of us, including me, thought NU had avoided hard contact in fall practice, and wasn't ready for TCU.

So the remedy was Harder practice

Maybe this year, practices were harder. There certainly have been many players in orange shirts, at least 18 players, not including players not even there who were injured.

So this week, we learn that Jeske is out for the year, with a bulging disk in his back, to be operated upon soon. And Belding has a knee injury ? That's not clear, is it ?

At the August scrimmage in 2004, Cole was knocked out for the year, caught in a group of pursuers and blockers at the line of scrimmage on a sweep. Kadela was healthy at the start of the scrimmage, out during it. Neither looked like fierce contact. A witness to a 2005 practice told me that he saw two players pull muscles or hamstrings in the same practice session, with no contact, just running.

We are seeing people (including pros) pushing themselves to the limit of muscles, tendons, etc, then pulling or snapping something. My wife, the former ER worker, told me about these types of injuries 20 years ago.

Any substances that increased strength or energy only worsened the risks and injuries. Let's hope for a good sense, and a good end to all of this, for the sake of all players and sports people.

Coach Roy's Comment: FWIW - I''ve also noticed that NU seems to have an awfui lot of injuries compared to other Division I teams.

I'm not sure its not because NU seems to have many kids who are "over acheivers" on the team, kids who might be trying too hard before they're fully ready.

It may be anecdotal, but it seems that with a few exceptions, our younger backup linemen are always hurt, until they reach their redshirt junior year, then they develop into the Div I players we expected.

I don't think its any "substances" that contribute to this injury situtation, and maybe injuries seem bigger because we're overly concious of the player. In any case, NU's teams seem to play harder and longer than any other team -- see our record when winning in the 4th quarter.


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