Above: Former Pasadena Poly standout Blake Edwards, who will play football at Princeton this fall.
While downloading a video interview for the blog I was watching College Football Live on ESPN when the subject of scaling back contact was brought up. The Ivy League will sharply reduce the number of allowable full contact practices teams can hold in an effort to minimize head injuries among its football players.
Princeton head football coach Bob Surace, who is in his second season at the helm, was receptive to the change, in fact he welcomed the concept. Here’s what he had to say when asked what the immediate reaction was to the Ivy League’s decision to limit contact in practice:
“We talked about this as a group of coaches in March at our league meetings, and I’m coming from an NFL environment — last year was my first year here — where I worked eight years under Marvin Lewis, I found in Cincinnati you can run a high tempo, high energy great practice under the structures.”
As for the cricts who say football needs contact and everyday hitting:
“I think we’re not playing touch or flag football, there’s plenty of contact. There was a time in the NFL when they had eight weeks of training camp and three-a-days and things like that. As you progress and as you do things differently player safety is the foremost and most important thing.”
Will the rest of college football catch up to this concept?
“We’ll kind of set the tone and set an example for this. i found this kind of practice tempo to be the best one, and it’s not for everybody. But I am glad the Ivy League opted this. We’re all going to have the same structure because i do think this is the best way to run practice.”
Some have already said that adopting this concept will make players pansys and result in poor tackling, which could lead to injuries.
With two-a-days coming up in the next couple weeks, will high school teams in the area also go that route? Does limiting contact in practice diminish the sport itself and make for poor play? Is football still football with limited contact?