NFL teams are limited to the amount of hours they are allowed to have players working out at their facilities during the offseason. The rules are in place in hopes of limiting injuries and allowing players more freedom, but some coaches would prefer to have more work with their players.
One of those coaches is Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, who recently opened up about his thoughts on the workout rules.
“The [NFL] management council and the [NFLPA] have got to get together and help us as organizations and coaches help our young players develop as people and players,” Harbaugh said, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. “I mean, come on. You hold us responsible and want us to be a factor in their lives like the mentoring program and things like that. Give us a chance.”
Harbaugh continued by saying that since this is the NFL, players should be able to work out as much as they can to improve their professional career.
“This is not the NCAA,” Harbaugh said. “This is not recruiting. These are our guys. We want what’s best for our players. That’s what’s good for the league. That’s what good for these young men. And that’s what they want.
“They want to go see their position coach. They want to learn football. It’s their craft. And we’re saying, ‘No, you can’t do it?’ Why? Because of the Collective Bargaining Agreement that makes no sense? Because somebody wanted to get their little win here vs. their little win over there? Get together and do what’s best for these players, and it’s about time that somebody stepped to the plate and realized that and [took] the politics out of it.”
One way to avoid any problems would be for the league to allow teams to hold as many voluntary workouts as possible.
If you leave the decision up to the players to put in as much work as possible, then coaches would be able to see who wants to put in the extra work while evaluating players who may be on the roster bubble. It would also allow those players more opportunities to make an NFL roster. In the meantime, the CBA's rules will stand, and coaches will need to find a way to deal with their limited opportunities, while players must stay out of trouble without the structure of the team around them.