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DomCasual
02-05-2009, 11:51 AM
I'm pretty sure the NFL comes down pretty hard on stuff like this, don't they - like, draft picks, big fines, etc?

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/otl/news/story?id=3885900&campaign=rss&source=ESPNHeadlines

Texans' minicamp drills questioned

HOUSTON -- When the Houston Texans' coaching staff announced to the linemen that they would be running one-on-one blocking drills during minicamp last May, the rumbling started immediately, players say.

The NFL's rules about minicamp are spelled out in the collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association: no contact, no pads.

"There's a reason why these drills are prohibited in the offseason," offensive guard Dan Stevenson said. "Football is dangerous enough as it is."

But several sources told ESPN that even after the team's player representatives complained to head coach Gary Kubiak, the drills continued; and by the end of minicamp, three players had suffered season-ending injuries.

According to four players and a member of the team's front office who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Kubiak and his coaching staff conducted the drills despite the fact that players were not wearing pads. Their only protection, they said, was helmets.

Illegal Contact?

"Outside the Lines" takes an in-depth look at accusations that the Houston Texans' coaching staff required players to participate in contact blocking drills last May in violation of NFL rules. See T.J. Quinn's report Sunday at 9 a.m. ET.
"It was a live blocking drill. There were people getting pancaked. Everyone's going as hard as he can," Stevenson said.

Stevenson suffered a labrum tear in his right shoulder that he believes might end his career.

"I was the third offensive lineman who was done for the season, just from that drill," offensive tackle Jordan Black said. "If nobody's going to stand up, it's just going to continue."

Black had surgery to repair a torn labrum, was released by the team in June and has since signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Chukky Okobi suffered a triceps injury, and has not signed with a new club.

"I felt like, for my career, my occupation, my dreams, for all this to be taken away from me, to be jeopardized not for just one season but for my entire football career for something that wasn't supposed to be done -- I was upset," Stevenson said.

Okobi couldn't be reached for comment. Black and Stevenson said that although they accept football's injury risks, they are distressed that their seasons ended in a drill they say should not have taken place.

Stevenson and Black have labor grievances pending against the team, and Stevenson plans to sue the Texans.

Asked about the players' charges, team counsel Suzie Thomas wrote in an e-mail: "I am unable to comment, other than to say that information set forth ... is inaccurate."

Kubiak did not return calls to his office at Reliant Stadium.

NFL and NFLPA officials said there is no specific punishment defined for a team that holds prohibited drills during a minicamp. An NFL spokesman said grievances have been filed in relation to the minicamp drills and the league will look into the players' allegations as part of that process.

Stevenson's current grievance is a "non-injury" complaint that relates to the minicamp drill. A previous injury grievance was denied by the NFL Management Council. In that rejection, the NFLMC cited numerous procedural problems with Stevenson's complaint.

One portion of the rejection letter, Stevenson said, read, "the Texans deny ... that 'players were required to participate in drills which are explicitly prohibited.'"

Once the team denied that the drill had taken place, Stevenson took a video camera into the Texans' meeting room and filmed the team's video of the workout. The video, which was provided to ESPN, shows what appear to be full-speed, full-contact drills.

Black and former Texans lineman Fred Weary also signed notarized affidavits supporting Stevenson's description of what took place during minicamp, from the complaints of the player representatives to Stevenson's shoulder injury.

The players said it is not uncommon for coaches on many teams to schedule such drills during minicamp, but it is unusual for coaches to proceed with the drills when players object.

Tom DePaso, associate general counsel for the NFLPA, said the union often hears complaints about offseason drills that violate the CBA.

"It's this classic thing in the offseason. Coaches really want to get started on the new season, and on the other hand, we need our guys to learn and they need to rest," DePaso said.

DePaso wouldn't specifically address the grievances against the Texans or the three players who suffered season-ending injuries.

"If that were the case," he said, "that would be extraordinary."

SouthStndJunkie
02-05-2009, 11:52 AM
He will get a slap on the wrist.

DomCasual
02-05-2009, 11:55 AM
He will get a slap on the wrist.

I'm not so sure. I mean, I don't think a coach loses his job over something like that. But three players getting hurt? And if you watch the video at the link, it appears to be pretty full contact. The NFL has a serious legal liability with it. And with the CBA war on the horizon, I would think the NFLMC would be pretty sensitive about stuff like this.

SportinOne
02-05-2009, 11:56 AM
what a bunch of prima donnas, it's f'ing FOOTBALL! What would Lombardi say about this? Christ...

Smiling Assassin27
02-05-2009, 12:04 PM
what a bunch of prima donnas, it's f'ing FOOTBALL! What would Lombardi say about this? Christ...

hank stram's reaction would almost certainly be funnier...

here's what vince would say:

http://www.entertonement.com/clips/37460/What-the-hell-is-going-on-out-here

peacepipe
02-05-2009, 12:06 PM
Rules are rules,both sides had to sign this contract & both sides have to abide by it.

Kaylore
02-05-2009, 12:11 PM
Here's a secret: Every team goes full contact during OTA's. It's one of the reasons the press is kicked out.

Jason in LA
02-05-2009, 12:12 PM
what a bunch of prima donnas, it's f'ing FOOTBALL! What would Lombardi say about this? Christ...

You can't do full contact drills without pads. Players are going to get hurt. The coaches were dead wrong for doing that to the players and the players have every right to sue.

hades
02-05-2009, 12:18 PM
Chukky Okobi suffered a triceps injury, and has not signed with a new club.


WTH, why are they not wearing tricep pad's? Shanny would not let that happen, ever. Kubes is going to be replaced, by his mentor!

Tombstone RJ
02-05-2009, 12:29 PM
Full contact with no protection except for helmets is pure and simple crap. If your gonna ask lineman to do full contact, at full speed, you at the very least better have shoulder pads on. Hell, these guys get injured all the time with a full set of pads on, what in the hell is a coach thinking if he removes all the protection except for the helmet?

Yah, assinine.

gyldenlove
02-05-2009, 12:31 PM
I am not sure how pads are supposed to help against triceps injuries and torn labrum injuries. Pads would help with broken bones and crushed skulls, but there is a reason people suffer tears in games as well as practice, the pads won't stop that.

The league has been soft on contact in minicamps and OTAs for for a long time, and I think they will be again. This could very well be another bargaining chip for them for the CBA, tougher sentences and stricter control with illegal drills in offseason practices.

Tombstone RJ
02-05-2009, 12:34 PM
I am not sure how pads are supposed to help against triceps injuries and torn labrum injuries. Pads would help with broken bones and crushed skulls, but there is a reason people suffer tears in games as well as practice, the pads won't stop that.

The league has been soft on contact in minicamps and OTAs for for a long time, and I think they will be again. This could very well be another bargaining chip for them for the CBA, tougher sentences and stricter control with illegal drills in offseason practices.

You ever blocked any one?

Yah, yah, I know, you played CB or some such crap. Hell, you don't even know how to tackle.

Jason in LA
02-05-2009, 12:43 PM
I am not sure how pads are supposed to help against triceps injuries and torn labrum injuries. Pads would help with broken bones and crushed skulls, but there is a reason people suffer tears in games as well as practice, the pads won't stop that.

The league has been soft on contact in minicamps and OTAs for for a long time, and I think they will be again. This could very well be another bargaining chip for them for the CBA, tougher sentences and stricter control with illegal drills in offseason practices.

I don't think very many of us are doctors, so this is just speculation. But the article said that there were pancake blocks, and I'm sure there was other forms of intense contact that caused players to fall to the ground. Shoulder pads absorbs the blow from hitting the ground, and having a large person fall on you. The pads might not protect against a tricep tear, but I'm sure they could protect again a torn labrum, which is a shoulder injury.

Hotrod
02-05-2009, 12:53 PM
I doubt much comes of it right or wrong.