- Aug 13, 2003
- Reaction score
- 120 mi west of Costa Rica
Count former Dolphins fullback Rob Konrad among the players who believe NFL off-season programs are too long and intense and are contributing to the increase in injuries around the league.
"Guys are completely worn down," said Konrad, who was a player representative for the Dolphins. "Our program in Miami was too much. ... A huge issue for us is injuries. The human body can only take so much."
Although the Dolphins won't play a regular-season game until September, a "voluntary" 14-week conditioning program already has begun.
"It will be a hell of an off-season," said Konrad, who was released by Miami this year and is expected to sign with Oakland. "All this does is shorten careers. Another issue is that coaches like (Dave) Wannstedt will never run an easy camp because they're afraid they'll be blamed if they lose. No coach wants to be perceived as soft."
"This has turned into a year-round job," Dolphins cornerback Patrick Surtain said. "That may have an effect on why injuries are up."
The good news for Surtain Ã¢â‚¬â€ if he's not traded Ã¢â‚¬â€ and other Dolphins players is that Saban was known to look out for his players' health while coaching at LSU. He had no back-to-back, multiple-practice sessions, and his practices were shorter, with limited contact. The Tigers experienced few serious injuries.
In Maui, Saban said Miami will skip its scrimmage this year because of the five exhibition games, and the team will have a "balanced" off-season of preparation.
"The season is a long season," Saban said. "You want to develop strength, but you want to peak the conditioning toward the end of the program. We want physical development, but we don't want to overwork anybody."