Not Getting PhysicalMay 21st, 2013
If anything, Greg Schiano loves physical football. Just his lineage suggests so.
But in OTA practices, teams can’t get physical. It’s a difficult balance. You have guys in helmets, practice jerseys and shorts going at it. They are not programmed to play powder puff football, much as NFL
warden commissioner Roger Goodell wishes that were so.
Guys are playing for their positions, their jobs, their careers, their livelihoods. This does not add up to practicing half-arsed.
So when Akeem Spence and Jeremy Zuttah went all WWE on Spence’s first snap of OTA practice, Schiano had to put a stop to that right away.
In other words, be physical, be smart, but don’t be too physical. Got it?
“It is critical that we hold each other up and move side by side so we can execute plays,” Schiano said. “But stay off the ground; keep our headgear and our shoulders out of it. Just use the hands and kind of work with each other so we can execute plays. I thought the guys did an excellent job of that. That is something that we have to do all spring to stay healthy and allow us to keep getting reps.
“It is very tough. Not only do we want to do it for safety, it’s mandated by the rules. You can lose OTA, you can get fined, there’s all sorts of stuff. We are very, very clear with it, we show examples. We try to get guys to understand.
“Now, when you put 22 guys going against each other, if it happens it gets corrected. [The Spence-Zuttah dustup] was a rookie mistake and it got adjusted and there was no issue.”
As for Spence, Schiano didn’t seem to upset. If anything, Schiano likes what Spence brings to the table.
“He is physically very, very developed, maybe one of the strongest guys in this league as a rookie,” Schiano said. “Just a strong guy.