Preseason practice: How hard is too hard?

 

It is one of the oldest questions in college football: Coaches know that at this time of year it is important to push their teams, mentally and physically, in order to get them ready for the season. At the same time, the coach also wants to get to the first game with a reasonably healthy team.

Push them too hard and the injuries start to mount up. Here are just a few injuries that have already impacted the upcoming season:

**–Darren Evans, RB, Virginia Tech: Evans, who set the school record for rushing by a freshman in 2008, tore an ACL and is out for the season. Virginia Tech opens against Alabama in the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff on Sept. 5 at the Georgia Dome.

**–Isaac Madison, CB, Arkansas: Was projected to be a starter on a defense that desperately needs improvement. Torn ACL. Out for the season.

**–Jaybo Shaw, QB, Georgia Tech: The backup to starter Josh Nesbitt broke a collarbone and will be out for six weeks. He may decide to redshirt.

**–Aaron Corp, QB, Southern Cal: Corp won the job of replacing Mark Sanchez in the spring but cracked a bone in his leg last week. If he doesn’t return to practice soon, it is likely that the Trojans will start a true freshman, Matt Barkley, in their opener against San Jose State on Sept. 5 and their big trip to Ohio State on Sept. 12.

**–Oklahoma State opens with Georgia on Sept. 5 but quarterback Zac Robinson has missed a bunch of practice with a bad hamstring. Robinson is expected to be ready for Georgia but how sharp will he be?

But if coaches don’t push their players hard enough, they don’t have the physical edge necessary to play at the highest level of college football. Georgia’s Mark Richt admitted that he started to back off a little last season when the injuries started to pile up. There is no question that it impacted the team, especially on defense.

“The head coach has to make that call and it is not always an easy one,” said former Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer. “Your staff wants to get after it pretty good because they want to see their guys get better. The head coach has to look at how injuries are affecting the entire team and tell his coaches what to do.”

For most of Vince Dooley’s 25 years at Georgia (1964-88) he believed in tough, physical practices in the preseason to set the tone for what was to come. Once the season started, however, Georgia would hit on Tuesdays and then have no contact the rest of the week. Later in his career Dooley would limit contact in practice, especially in the second half of the season.

“The natural reaction when you start getting injuries is to back off,” said Dooley, who won 201 games and six SEC championships at Georgia. “But injuries are part of the game and you can’t back off too much or your team won’t be ready to play. At the same time, you’ve got to get your best players on the field on Saturday. If you don’t, you’re not giving your team the best chance to win.”

So what’s the answer? If you’re a fan, do you have to live with a certain number of injuries, knowing that it is necessary to get your team ready to play? Or should coaches be less demanding in order to limit injuries, especially to key players?

The floor is yours.

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197 comments Add your comment

m

August 18th, 2009
12:27 pm

wow…would that be like the way the your fluff dawgs got their azzes handed to them by Tech in their own Sanford and son stadium?!?!?!

45-42…..STILL laughing at you fluff dawgs.

BIGBOY

August 18th, 2009
12:32 pm

On a similar vein if you look at the roster we are more talented by a wide margin this year as a team then we were in 08.Stafford and Moreno are the ONLY players that left positions where the returning talent is not Better than the guys who left.Most of you guys are smoking something if you think 2nd or 3rd stringers are supposed to just step it up and the team continues on like nothing happened.There is a frigging reason they were not the starter to begin with!!

Dale Gribble

August 18th, 2009
12:38 pm

Who won the Ga vs. Ga Tech game last year?
Oh, and what was the score?

m

August 18th, 2009
12:40 pm

The problem with you fluff dawgs…and with most sec fans in general…..you talk the talk….but you can’t walk the walk. You like to give it…but you can’t take it. Tsk Tsk.

45-42….glad it hurts so bad.

BIGBOY

August 18th, 2009
12:41 pm

M a 3 point win is not a beatdown by any stretch of the imagination!!38-3 is getting your ass handed to u buddy..can u explain why the hell GT can’t beat VA?1-5 in the last 6?VA?are you frigging serious?VA?GT won a 3 pt game and now they are a serious threat?Ask UNC,LSU,VT,VA and GW how scary that triple option really is…you guys had two games where you scored points UGA and MIA the rest of the games were average at best on the offensive side of the ball…get real GT will be lucky to go 8-4.

WOW!!!

August 18th, 2009
12:41 pm

No M, that was a 3 point win you barely pulled off. Getting your Azz handed to you is what the Dawgs have done to Tech the last 7 years or what LSU did to Tech. That’s a beat down. The only beat down Tech gives is to Garder Webb or Duke….. UGA OWNS TECH!!

Not Disappointed

August 18th, 2009
12:43 pm

Football is all most here Gents! Ramblin Wreck!

m

August 18th, 2009
12:45 pm

wow…i never realized that 45-42 would hurt so bad for so long!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will never stop laughing at you whiney, crybaby, fluff dawgs.

45-42….only the beginning.

AltamahaDawg

August 18th, 2009
12:51 pm

UF had as many or more season ending injuries to key players last year? Uh, no they didnt, not even close. Now 2007 might be a better comparison.

Paddy

August 18th, 2009
12:53 pm

M…. I will give you an ‘A’ for effort. Would like to see some new material from you. Fish and house guest, you know….

59bulldawg

August 18th, 2009
12:56 pm

All of you North Avenue trade schoolers are good about sticking to us Dawgs until you get the crap thrown back your way. Then you want to get mad and cry “grow up” ! There’s way too much stupid talk on these blogs. It’s easy to run your mouth anonymously where accountability is nowhere to be found. And yes I know some Dawg fans do the same thing. I’m just waiting for the day somebody figures out a way to trace these posts to their source and we hear a news story about an assault on some obnoxious blogger. I tell you now . . . it’s going to happen one day . . . and some loud mouth is either going to have to put or shut up and run. To be honest the AJC should look into some sort of registration system and block all loud mouth offenders. Yes I know they’d just register again, login and post under a fake name, but really something needs to be done about these juvenile posts taking over the blog. Courtesy and respect towards an opponent shouldn’t be such a rare commodity. Folks if you want to talk football, have at it! Just respect the thoughts and allegiances of others. If not please find some other amusement.

WOW!!!

August 18th, 2009
12:57 pm

m,

You’re a waste of my time. Tech isn’t even in the same conversation as UGA. Tech is a joke!! We own you! 8 out of 9 after this year. Nothing else to discuss. You’re a wannabee. Total loser!

GT4LIFE

August 18th, 2009
1:01 pm

Uga will not beat tech this year sorry…. It’s not going to happen

Meaningless drivel

August 18th, 2009
1:01 pm

m,

Are you trying to compete with me? You’re worse than me.

Gatorzone

August 18th, 2009
1:01 pm

59Bulldawg, Well Said my man!
We got the BEST Football in the country in the South and do not need to delve into the juvenile insults in order to have a debate.

GT4LIFE

August 18th, 2009
1:02 pm

Uga will be lucky to win 8 games with there schedule. Automatic wins are Florida, LSU, GT, and Oklahoma State.

GT4LIFE

August 18th, 2009
1:04 pm

I guarantee Mark Richt won’t be the UGA head coach in two years. Teams are improving with new coaches while UGA doesn’t get any better.. I guess there is a reason why Uga only has two national Championships lol.

Gatorzone

August 18th, 2009
1:04 pm

GT4LIFE, there is no such thing as an automatic win

BILLY JACK

August 18th, 2009
1:10 pm

M knows that this is the only format he could do any talking to a Georgia man.He hides behind his computer like a coward and would never confront anyone to thier face.I bet you will not see M-Ramble-On or any other tech geeks saying anything at this years Ga-Ga Tech game.The beating they take on the field will be nothing compared to the one in the parking lot.1 win in 8 yrs-how pathetic-12 wins since 1974-now that is embarrasing.

Gen Neyland

August 18th, 2009
1:11 pm

Tide Rising : I gotta assume the post office lady is use to taking a licking, but the UPS guy should be a bit more of a bundle to bring down. Now, the Fed-Ex guys can really air it out so beware them going long…

Silent Majority

August 18th, 2009
1:13 pm

The issue with Georgia’s injuries last year were that they were almost wiped in two key positions, O line and linebacker. Florida did lose some key players, but they were spread out by positions. Richt has made mistakes, however he learns from them. In the long run, the program will be better for this. I hope Tech is competetive each year because it makes Ga’s strength of schedule better and when bowl selection comes around, this will be in the Dogs favor. I tend to ignore the juvenile rantings of these college boys that get their jollies by trying to get a rise out of the other side. And they need to lay off calling Chan Gailey names and disrespecting him. He was not a great head coach, but is an outstanding Christian man and is a fine assistant coach in his own right. I don’t know if Tech appreciates a good coach when they have him. (See Bud Carson) We will see how long PJ hangs around.

dawgfan

August 18th, 2009
1:14 pm

Jimmy McGinty – HILARITY!! I thought I was the only one who had seen that movie! HA

Hey, Gen Neyland...

August 18th, 2009
1:22 pm

…we had a coach after I left that did the “tape up the broken leg and go back in” thing, too – wonder if it is the same guy. Did you go to HS in Dekalb County, a loooonnnggg time ago?

m

August 18th, 2009
1:24 pm

Everyone knows, except for you stupid fluff dawgies, that Florida, Lsu, Oklahomo St, and Tech are all going to stomp a mudhole in you dawgies. But the funny thing is going to be when lil kiffy at tennersee whoops you dawgies…now that is going to be funny.

45-42….I will never stop laughing at you whiney crybaby dawgies.

Who is gt??

August 18th, 2009
1:25 pm

m…..the thing is , is that 45 to 42 doesnt hurt that bad.. like you keep making it out to be…yeah it sucked that day but uga had so much expectations that were destroyed earlier that I was like …WHATEVER WHEN WE LOST TO TECH… seriously…it hasnt hurt since that day to tell the truth and last but not least….GT IS IRRLEVANT!!!

m

August 18th, 2009
1:26 pm

Why is it that most dawg fans have names like billy jack or ricky bobby?

Everyone knows, except for you stupid fluff dawgies, that Florida, Lsu, Oklahomo St, and Tech are all going to stomp a mudhole in you dawgies. But the funny thing is going to be when lil kiffy at tennersee whoops you dawgies…now that is going to be funny.

45-42….I will never stop laughing at you whiney crybaby dawgies.

GT

August 18th, 2009
1:28 pm

Great coaches know how to coach around injuries. One of the things I like about that Tech offense is it runs a lot of guys through it, even a couple see action at quarterback. Everybody on the team is ready if called on, the players on the field are ready and usually take or give a hit every play. In the pro set offenses the second string comes in with a clean jersey usually cold, Tech comes in dirty, looking to hit somebody.

to girl in lex

August 18th, 2009
1:40 pm

If you dogies from georgiana did not want to hear an “insult”, you should have played the third quarter last fall.
If you dogs get lucky this year, you just know that you will be barking all year…you even do it now while still suffering from azz burn and have to resort to lsu as big brother to try to insult Tech.
If Tech wins again as expected, you can bet the insults will continue.

ps…VD did not play a 14 (12+1+1)game schedule every year.

Jethro Boudine

August 18th, 2009
1:41 pm

M, I am rich so I can play on the computer all day. You must be unemployed because been on your computer spewing at Dawg fans all morning. You didn’t even stop for lunch. Collecting that unemployment check?

I know it feels good not to be sucking hind teet for 364 days so keep spewing while you can. Watch out for Jax State now. I know you tech guys are not fluffy so that should be no contest. On the other hand that trip to Miami is gonna bring the insect world back to reality. You know you probably look like a bug. Some kind of smelly little dung beetle or something.

JaxDawg

August 18th, 2009
1:42 pm

I had a little league coach once say very simply:

“You will only play the game as good as you practice, and if you don’t give a 100% in practice, there’s no ‘magic button’ that will all of sudden cause you to play any better on game day.”

That being said I do understand the delimma CMR was in last season. It was a no win situation, because if he had continued to have them practice hard and the team suffered more injuries then everyone would have said “why didn’t he dial it down in practice?”

I think we have enough depth and experience that it shouldn’t be a factor this year.

Jethro Boudine

August 18th, 2009
1:49 pm

GT4Life…. You must be about 10 or 12 years old. Does your mommy know you are on the computer? How come you are so worried about the Dawgs and who they will beat or lose to? Why don’t you go on the Tech blog to discuss the beatdowns teck is going to get. I promise, before this season is half over you won’t be on any blog and if you are you will have changed your name.

AMG

August 18th, 2009
1:55 pm

Tech will win big this year. The next 5 years are looking very strong for GT. I would say Georgia is stacking up well, but not this year. Look for UGA to lose 5 games this tima around and call it a rebuilding year. I do think UGA will be back and strong next year though. Alabama has the best defense in the country, just no offense. If they can score 20 points a game they wiill be great. Florida is awesome and on paper should roll to 13-0 and another national championship, but here is some news, I am betting they lose 2 games including the SEC championship game. Thats what I think, any thoughts . . .

shankit

August 18th, 2009
1:58 pm

Bamafan
You are right about practices being softer today than they were back in the earlier years.
Having grown up in a town with a succesful high school football program, Valdosta, our
old coach, Wright Bazemore put our players through such a rigorous practice all week, the
players looked forward to the game to be able to take their frustration out on someone else.
I know several of Bazemore’s players went to Tech back in the 60’s and they couldn’t believe
the easy practices they had at the college level.
Bazemore would practice for hours inside the twenty yard line before he moved to other parts of the field. Our stadium, Cleveland Field, and also our practice field, would literally be barren of grass by
the first game due to the tough practice sessions. And as I recall, there were fewer injuries on our team but quite a few on the opposing team. He made his players smart and mean.

Tide Rising

August 18th, 2009
1:58 pm

General,

They’re all getting tougher. The mail lady now carries mace and a club, the ups guy must be getting pumped up for football season also as he was tough to tackle. The fedex guy I clothes lined him. He tried to whistle me for personal foul. As a true Bama fan I told him my motto “If ya aint cheatin ya aint trying” and that he couldn’t call a personal foul. Just like that broken leg that you’re coach told you to shake off I told him to suck it up and shake off being paralyzed from the neck down. That aint no excuse for not maning up for some football.

polskidawg

August 18th, 2009
2:00 pm

Practice the way you want to play.

GT4LIFE

August 18th, 2009
2:12 pm

I know for a fact gt will have more wins then Uga.

how2fish

August 18th, 2009
2:24 pm

GT4life….you KNOW GT will have more wins than UGA this year??WTF you nerds invent a better crystal ball…cause DUDE I don’t see it. Of course your the gang that think a great year is 9-4..I don’t think you can top that this year…but see ya in Nov..you can run but you can’t hide..Hell’s coming and its wearing RED and Black.

G2Rhett (Colorado Springs)

August 18th, 2009
2:25 pm

All fans, coaches, and athletes know that injuries are a part of the game of football. After all, it’s a violent full contact sport played at full speed. The only thing a coaching staff can do is to properly prepare their team both mentally and physically for all the rigorous aspects that the sport entails. To limit injuries, coaches teach their players sound blocking and tackling techniques on the practice fields. They have their guys hit the weight room to build the proper strength levels they’ll need for their particular position and to build the type of muscle they’ll need to support their ligaments and joints. Before any type of competition, coaches ensure their players complete a short warm-up followed by a stretching routine to increase flexibility and range of motion in the hopes of preventing unnecessary injuries such as quad or hamstring pulls. And even with all that, injuries are going to occur. It’s just the nature of the sport.

In my opinion, there really is no right answer for dealing with a team’s injury situation. Vince Dooley, former coach and former Athletic Director of the University of Georgia, said it best; “Injuries are part of the game and you can’t back off too much or your team won’t be ready to play. At the same time, you’ve got to get your best players on the field on Saturday. If you don’t, you’re not giving your team the best chance to win.”

shankit

August 18th, 2009
2:31 pm

Presason practice – How hard is too hard?
When you walk out on that field your first game, and you look across at your opponent, and there is no doubt in your mind that you are going to kick his arse, because you know you are tougher and meaner. And in the fourth quarter, you look over at his tired soul and you know you have kicked his arse, and he would like to figure out some way to get off this field as soon as he can, and you oblige him.

AltamahaDawg

August 18th, 2009
2:32 pm

GT, I dont know if we really can to put Coach Richt in the ranks of all the “great” coaches in the history of the game yet, but he certainly did coach around those injuries as well as any I have ever seen. Nice of you to acknowledge him for that.

Gen Neyland

August 18th, 2009
2:45 pm

Hey, Gen Neyland : Go Warhawks…

m

August 18th, 2009
2:47 pm

A story for y’all:

Not long ago, I got assigned as Roddy Jones’ Spanish tutor, as he was apparently struggling with the translation for “carne asada”.

He entered my room, and immediately turned the lights off. I looked at him quizzically, to which he responded “there’s a new sheriff in town”.

He then unzipped his pants. As I stood there with my mouth agape, he smiled and said “only the beginning”.

It’s a little hazy from there, but I do remember his hot breath on my ear, as he grunted “glad it hurts so bad!”.

Just thought y’all might want some perspective on why I keep posting the same drivel over and over again. My court-appointed psychiatrist said something about “post-traumatic stress disorder”. Hopefully he will figure out a cure before my mom cuts off my allowance, I can’t afford the sessions much longer.

DawginLex

August 18th, 2009
2:50 pm

I’m glad I could get “m”‘ s blood pressure to rise today and get under his skin. Hey, m. It is only going to get worse. Tech will lose 3 or 4 games and not win the ACC and not go to a BCS bowl game again.

What mode of transportation will you choose to send this coach on?
Also, if he does have a little success, which school will he go to next? He won’t stay at Tech and coach football in a basketball league. Maybe this time when your coach goes to ND, he won’t mess up his resume.

GT football=Irrelevant since 1952

Jethro Boudine

August 18th, 2009
2:51 pm

GT4Life.. Know I know you are either stupid or you are the football nostradamas. I’ll go with stupid. You know for a fact Ga Teck will win how many games? And what games would those be? You don’t your azz from a hole in the ground. But that is a pretty common trait amongst teck fans.

1eyedJack

August 18th, 2009
3:04 pm

shankit

I played against you guys from ‘74-76 (the old region 1-AAA) just after Bazemore. I think Nick Hyder was the coach then (Belue was QB)and you are right there was hardly any grass inside the twenties. I know because you guys ran like 180 players out on the field and that was all the room we had to warm up in.

m

What are you guys going to do when God….I mean Paul Johnson fails to win 9 games this year? Going to run him out of town on a greyhound bus too?

For you imbeciles gauranteeing victories this year.. just shows how little you actually know about the game of football (the ball is not round and it bounces kinda funny). And just because you were fortunate to win last year does not mean you will win this year.

Tide Rising

August 18th, 2009
3:10 pm

Whoever posted as m describing m’s encounter with Roddy Jones. Man that was just cold. Still pretty funny though and quite possibly even true.

shane#1

August 18th, 2009
3:12 pm

Most coaches want to get the hardest hitting out of the way during fall camp, a twelve game season is punishing enough on player’s bodies without adding insult to injury in practice. A lot depends on how much experence a team has at various posistions. A team loaded with jrs and srs does not need as much contact as a young team. Bear Bryant once heard pads really popping on his practice field and discovered one of his coaches pitting the #1 D against the #1 O in a full contact scrimmage the week before opening day. Bear handed the offending coach a copy of Bama’s schedule and said,”Son, show me on here where we play the University of Alabama!”. My theory is that you work the hell out of them in fall camp, then use practice during the season to work on technique and timing and your game plan for the up coming opponent. However, if your team doesn’t put forth the effort you want, or starts to lose focus, put the pads on’em and work the hell out of them again!

m - What a joke!

August 18th, 2009
3:19 pm

“m” sounds like an Auburn fan on a Bama forum….all mouth but no facts.

m

August 18th, 2009
3:22 pm

You dawgies might as well be imposters on here…because you damne sure are imposters on the football field.

45-42….it never gets old; and I will not ever quit laughing at your #1 rated dawgs getting their sorry arses kicked in their very own sanford and son cesspool/stadium.

And it is only the beginning.

m

August 18th, 2009
3:25 pm

I think you dawg imposters have it wrong….it was ugag that Roddy Jones that molested you dawgs at rate of 14.7 yards a carry against that vaunted sec defense.

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL