We've been seeing reports around the league of various teams conducting player-only workouts during the lockout. It seems like a good idea so that players can stay sharp and build some team camaraderie as the NFL lockout rolls on.
But does it really help?
One NFL GM who spoke to Don Banks of SI.com isn't so sure it will do much good.
"I just think the potential downside outweighs the benefit. I know that's probably not conventional thinking, considering the Redskins won two championships off this kind of thing. But the athletes today, with the conditioning they have, it's not like it used to be when players had to come to training camp to get into shape. So to sit here and think it's going to give someone an edge, I don't know. Let someone lose their quarterback for eight months because he slipped and hurt something, be it a Drew Brees, a Tom Brady or a Peyton Manning, then we'll see how fast these camps continue.''
The Redskins teams he references are the 1982 and 1987 Redskins who, in the midst of a work stoppage, conducted player-only workouts and went on to win the Super Bowl.
Times are obviously a little different these days. As the GM says, players don't go to training camp to get into shape. They're already in shape having worked out year-round. Most players take a few weeks, or maybe a month off, after the season.
The concern I have, as the GM alluded to, is any injuries. If a player is seriously injured during one of these workouts, the team can potentially cut him without any repercussions. Someone like Drew Brees or Peyton Manning obviously wouldn't be cut but the third-year safety whose fourth on the depth chart may face that problem.
I like the idea of these player-only workouts but I'm not sure what real value there is these days.