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Rival Report 7/11: "Ending two-a-days changed game" says Journeyman lineman Geoff Schwartz

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It is always interesting to see the perspective of current players when they give their honest opinions instead of the cookie cutter, coach speech type responses. This is the case with Detroit Lions offensive linemen Geoff Schwartz who has given his opinion to several topics in a player written article with the Monday Morning Quarterback.

The most interesting tidbit to come out of their conversation is Schwartz opinion on what has caused the biggest difference to the game. He doesn't think it's the rules of the game so much as the CBA restrictions on practices that have been put in place. He has a point too, because the removal of two-a-day practices has definitely affected the amount of repetitions that the players are going through which are vital to remembering and installing the fundamentals needed for proper technique.

"If you want to find a factor that changed the game the most, look at two-a-day practices going away," says Schwartz. "Two-a-days is a phrase that makes all footballers cringe. The current CBA, under the premise of player safety, did away with two practices a day. But that decision dramatically changed the game. Blocking and tackling will never be the same without two-a-days. Those are skills that need constant repetitions. I used to blame collegiate spread offenses for the general decline of o-line play but the loss of reps is mostly at fault."

That isn't the only thing that he takes issue with, he also hates the phrase "injury prone" because he believes it makes players look soft where that is often not the case. He has plenty of reason to believe this as he was labeled as an injury prone journeyman throughout his 9 year career and he believes that isn't a fair assessment.

"Challenging the toughness of a football player is the worst insult we can receive. This game is tough, physically and mentally. The tag "injury-prone" has a connotation of softness, even if it's not meant that way when said or written. I hate this label. Injuries are not created equal. There's no way to prepare your body for guys falling on your legs. Or your big toe dislocating while trying to anchor a bull rush. S--- happens. I feel awful about not being reliable. I pride myself on showing up prepared to work everyday. If I could have done something different to prevent these injuries, you can bet I would have. But there was nothing to be done."

His take on that is kind of funny because the bias about it is clear, he is talking from experience from the label so his perspective is forever changed to it. Some people certainly look at players missing time as soft, but most people realize that players that are out are legitimately unable to play from their injury. That's not so much as soft as it is more likely to be injured for the way I look at it.

Geoff Schwartz says game “will never be the same” without two-a-days | ProFootballTalk
To get the new labor deal done five years ago, owners who wanted certain financial terms gladly yielded on various non-financial terms like dramatically reduced practice time in the offseason and training camp.

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