Tanier: How To Reduce Preseason ACL Injuries

Mike Tanier has a great article about how NFL teams can reduce preseason ACL injuries without having to eliminate the games.

One point he brings up is that the CBA requirements about offseason training may have done more harm than good.

The 2011 collective bargaining agreement added a dizzying array of restrictions on offseason training. The nine-week OTA period is broken into three phases. Strength and conditioning, with no on-field work, is limited to the first three-week phase. After that, coaches can schedule 90-minute on-field practices, while players are only required to be at the team facility for four hours; factor in everything from meetings to suiting up, and conditioning gets the short shrift.

The CBA rules were designed to severely limit full-contact practices and keep coaches from requiring 60-hour work weeks in May, both worthy goals from a player-safety standpoint. But the rules squeezed out much of the offseason conditioning work. That’s a problem, because the exercises and drills that can prevent ACL tears and soft-tissue injuries take additional time and must be reinforced over a series of weeks.

There’s more discussed about what NFL teams should do, based on medical research.

While there are legitimate arguments to make about changing the preseason, we do need to ask ourselves if the changes are really going to help reduce injury risks as much as they think they will.

These Aren’t The 49ers You Once Knew…

Things just keep getting grimmer in the Bay:

The 49ers announced Wednesday that outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks is being sent back to California and will not participate in Saturday’s exhibition game against the Denver Broncos after a grand jury charged him with misdemeanor sexual battery.

Unfortunately, this has been a recurring theme the entire offseason, but it has to be asked again: have the 49ers suffered the worst offseason ever?  You can be reminded of the devastation of the 2014 starting lineup beyond the fold.

Continue reading These Aren’t The 49ers You Once Knew…

Midweek Musings: Those In Danger Of Being Sept. 1 Cuts

Evan Mathis is officially a Bronco and Connor Barth is gone, but these roster moves won’t be the only ones the Broncos will have to make in the coming days.

That is because on Tuesday, Sept. 1, all NFL teams must reduce their rosters to 75 players, meaning each team will have to make a decision about 15 players.

The players who make up the first wave of cuts usually fall into three categories:
Continue reading Midweek Musings: Those In Danger Of Being Sept. 1 Cuts

Gut Reaction: Broncos Sign Evan Mathis

It was just a few weeks ago that some of you were wondering if the Broncos might bring in another veteran lineman. Well, look no further as the Broncos have signed former Philadelphia Eagles guard Evan Mathis to a one-year deal.

Mathis was very good last season, ranked by Pro Football Focus as one of the top guards in the NFL. He’s 33 years old, though, so one has to wonder how much he has left in the tank.

So why would the Broncos bring him on board? Does it mean they might look at more veterans? Let’s consider a few possibilities.
Continue reading Gut Reaction: Broncos Sign Evan Mathis

The Broncos’ 2016 Salary Cap & Contract Needs, Pre-2015 Season Edition

Unless some major contractual development happens until the 2015 season ends for the Broncos, this will likely be my last rather lengthy take on what lies ahead for the team in this regard. Things could change a lot as we learn about the state of the Broncos after 2015 is in the books, but I think it’s good to lay out what challenges are ahead so that we can be aware of them as this year progresses.

UPDATE (4:17 PM MT): Well, just my luck that a major contractual development takes place mere hours after I finished this.  The Broncos signed Evan Mathis to a one-year deal worth up to $4 million.  This takes their combined 2015/2016 cap space down to potentially $13 million.  The post has been updated with this news, and may be updated further as we learn more about Mathis’s deal.

Continue reading The Broncos’ 2016 Salary Cap & Contract Needs, Pre-2015 Season Edition

Former Broncos Center Chris Myers Retires at 33

10 year NFL vet Chris Myers announced his retirement from the league this morning, thanking his fans on twitter:

Myers was a 6th round pick in 2005, and followed his offensive coordinator, Gary Kubiak to Houston a few seasons later. Many, including myself and others at In-Thin Air has speculated that Myers may follow Kubiak back to Denver. This may have been a situation where Mile High insiders knew Myers was contemplating retirement, and that’s why he was not signed. We will never know if Myers retired due to lack of interest, or if there was lack of interest because he was planning to retire. Either way, he was a class act on and off the field and we at In-Thin Air wish him luck in the next chapter of his life.