That’s how important these changes were to the players, who just wanted their safety and futures to be valued more by the league.
A big part of the new collective bargaining agreement was no more two-a-days in preseason camp, a staple of the NFL for generations.
Most players are happy with the change. They face only one intense practice a day and then participate in a walk-through without pads or watch film to prepare for the upcoming season. Most NFL coaches wish they could still coach the way they’ve been coaching for years — the way they were coached when they were going through the ranks.
It doesn’t help their opinion on the matter when high school coaches can still run two-a-days.
You likely won’t see high school coaches in Nevada giving up two-a-days anytime soon. Teams spend six weeks of the summer holding no-contact workouts. But they only have nine days of double-days and a scrimmage before the first game and then the next week school starts.
That leaves them precious little time and makes two-a-days virtually a necessity. Coaches need those two practices a day in order to get their players in game shape and get them used to hitting again.
Reed coach Ernie Howren runs double-days based on his team each year. He will run two practices in a day, but one is longer than the other.
The Reed boosters and parents also provide dinner in between sessions for all three levels of the program as a bonding experience for players and coaches.
“I think as a coach it’s our job. We just have to monitor our team on a practice to practice basis and get a feel for how they‘re doing and what they need and what they don‘t need,” Howren said. “It all depends. We’ve had teams who are just lights out and knocking each other around, so then we have to back them off for a couple practices. We’ve also had some practices where it takes a little longer for them to get in the hitting mood.”
Spanish Springs football coach Scott Hare believes if practices started last Monday and there was a three and a half hour practice limit per day, you could see two-a-days disappear. Hare likes breaking up the practices in order to focus on different aspects of the game. The morning practices tend to be more intense than the night sessions.
While prep coaches still run two-a-days, they are a far cry from when old school coaches would run players into the ground in the morning and at night.
“My double-day practices in the morning and evening are actually shorter than what you would say a normal after-school practice would be,” Hare said. “It’s more crisp, get in and get out, go home and get some rest, come back and get in get out. We don’t grind for two and a half hours and then come back and grind for two and half hours. Those days are long gone. I don’t think teams really do that anymore.”