Category Archives: The NFL Is Your Friend.

“There’s risk in life. There’s risk in sitting on the couch.”

Too bad the NCAA can’t afford Roger Goodell.

Then again, if he ever fell off a couch and suffered CTE as a result, he wouldn’t be much good to anybody.

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Filed under The Body Is A Temple, The NFL Is Your Friend.

“If you can keep your kids away from them, you’re the coach of the year.”

And so, despite the best intentions of the NFL and wiser heads like Nick Saban, a record number of college juniors have announced their intention to leave school early for the NFL draft.  This, we are told by Dennis Dodd, who presumably earns a paycheck for spouting his opinions, is a bad thing.

Approximately 100 college players will leave school early, declaring for the draft as of Monday’s deadline, according to a list assembled by NFL.com. While the official number won’t be released by the NFL until Friday, that’s at least close to the record 98 underclassmen that entered two years ago.

That’s also close to disaster for some of those prospects — many three years out of high school — who are turning pro with collegiate eligibility remaining.

If they didn’t come out after their junior seasons, they’d shoot for the draft the next year, so it’s hard to see how from the players’ standpoint the marketplace gets any less crowded with the delay.

But we all know this isn’t about the players.  It’s about their college coaches and their future employment venue.  And those folks ain’t happy.

“Actually, the good teams kind of get hurt because the good players leave for the draft so often,” said former NFL and college coach Charlie Weis.

That has simply become the cost of doing business at the highest level of college football. Former USC coach Steve Sarkisian once told CBS Sports he recruits to a standard that his top players will stay only three years. LSU has lost 29 underclassmen since the 2006 season, including a combined 18 in 2013-2014.

Among those hardest hit this season are Ohio State (nine underclassmen leaving) and Clemson (six).

“What other profession do you have to wait three years and get paid millions of dollars?” Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez asked. “These guys ain’t got it that bad.”

That is, if you hit the draft just right. In its head coach’s guide to the advisory committee, the league goes out of its way urging prospects to stay in school.

“It will change your future forever,” wrote Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president of football operations, in a form letter.

Both Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and Alabama coach Nick Saban called for the declaration deadline to move back.

“I wish they’d make a rule that says you can’t even give a player what his draft status is from the NFL … committee until they’ve finished their competition as a college player, so that you don’t put them and their family in this situation where there’s a big timing issue relative to competition,” Saban said.

Yes, don’t hurt the poor players and their families.  Withhold information about their futures; that’ll make things better.

You really want to keep superstars on campus for four years, Coach?  Maybe you should listen to Uncle Nate.

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Filed under The NFL Is Your Friend.

Processing the process

I see the “Nick Saban to the NFL?” annual drumbeat has commenced.

Read this piece and tell me why he’d want to go.

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Filed under Nick Saban Rules, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Maybe things are closer than we think.

A one-paragraph summary of what every college program aspires to:

Alabama has become the model by which all programs strive to emulate. Unfortunately for the rest of the country, they lack the resources that Nick Saban has at his disposal. Couple that with the ideal recruiting footprint, and you get back-to-back trips to the College Football Playoff. The pro personnel model, including an emphasis on four key areas (QB, OL, DL, secondary), has created a finely tuned machine for evaluation, player development and ultimately production.

That might explain why Alabama leads all schools in the number of former players named to this year’s NFL Pro Bowl, with five.  The funny thing is that Georgia, non-Process Georgia, is second on the list, with four.

Imagine the possibilities if Smart is successful in transferring what he’s learned in Tuscaloosa to Athens.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules, The NFL Is Your Friend.

“We treat ‘em good.”

Really, if you’re a high school football player who believes you’re good enough to play on Sundays one day, how could you not be impressed with the way Nick Saban relates to NFL scouts?

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When you need some go-to stupidity…

Shorter Verbatim Matt Hayes“As much as it pains me to admit this perfectly imperfect sport must move closer to the look and feel of the cold, antiseptic NFL, it’s the only way to save it from itself.”

In other words, we have to destroy college football to save it.

There are times when I wonder if we deserve being able to enjoy things.

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Filed under General Idiocy, Media Punditry/Foibles, The NFL Is Your Friend.

“The boys I’ve seen, they’re growing up with soccer.”

This can’t be good.

And if this is the best he’s got, Roger Goodell is an idiot.

N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell, speaking at a conference in New Orleans this month, said the sport was “safer than ever” because of awareness about injuries.

“I had a concussion playing baseball, and they didn’t do anything about it,” Goodell added. “We’re smarter about how long we practice.”

The reality is that the problem starts long before the pros get players.

Youth leagues and high schools have followed the N.F.L.’s lead and reduced contact in practice, but most serious injuries occur in games. Safety standards also vary widely. Many schools, for instance, still do not require trainers and emergency workers to be present at games. Coaches are sometimes unable to recognize the symptoms of concussions and unwilling to take players out.

Long term, that doesn’t bode well for the colleges or Goodell’s league.  Ignore it at your peril, fellas.

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UPDATE:  More thoughts from Charlie Pierce.

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