Jets linebacker Bart Scott recently criticized the NFL for implementing new work rules that will, among other things, eliminate two-a-day practices in pads during training camp. But NFL Players Association President Kevin Mawae, who was instrumental in fighting for the reduction in contact in both the preseason and the regular season, said Scott's thinking is misguided.
And Mawae said there will come a day when he will appreciate the move.
"When he’s 50 years old and he’s taken off 65 hits a day from his head," Mawae said, "I think he’ll thank the players that made this decision."
Giants owner John Mara said owners were reluctant to see the kind of reduction in contact that the players were demanding, making it clear that it was the players who fought for the work rules that were agreed upon.
"The work rules, the safety rules, they were very firm about that," Mara said. "We spent a lot of time discussing those things. Ultimately, I think they got a lot out of it, let's put it that way."
Scott told the Star-Ledger last week that he thought eliminating two-a-days was bad for the game and would ultimately hurt players.
"I think it’s wimping out; making football more soft," Scott said. "I get concerned you're making football players weaker because you don’t push them past that threshold. ... I get concerned with the same thing with the quarterback stuff, that they turn it into flag football; they turn it into little pansy stuff."
"Two-a-days, it’s what football is all about," he said. "It’s about endurance, pain, will, putting yourself through something when your body is telling you it doesn’t want to go. Your mind controlling your body. That’s what camp is all about. With one-a-days, guys might not be in as good of shape as they would have been. Camp tears you down, and then a smart coach starts pulling back in enough time that allows players' bodies to build back up."