Bruce Arians: I'd blow up the CBA; we need to have more practice contact

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Wednesday July 12, 2017


NFL training camps open in a few weeks, but Bruce Arians wants to actually practice more in the offseason.

Arians joined The Rich Eisen Show to promote his new book, and when asked what one thing he would change, he pointed to the collective bargaining agreement that was signed in 2011 and lasts 10 years, limiting offseason work for players.

I’d blow up the CBA and start all over,” Arians said. “I’d like to see us go back to practicing more. We have such great athletes, they’re saving the quality of the game. And I’d like to see the players make more money.”

He doesn’t mean going back to the days of pounding players into the ground, and the physicality isn’t even needed for every position, but he says there now isn’t enough before the season, and that it leads to poor quality of play and possibly more injuries.

I go back to last year, I think our offensive and defensive linemen were in pads for 11 days, before we played a preseason game. It’s just not enough,” he said. “People worry about injuries, but if you can’t teach them how to play football — we’re not playing soccer — it’s OK for wide receivers and DB’s to run around in shorts, but the linebackers, running backs, tight ends, line, they’ve got to have some contact.

“It doesn’t have to be head-on contact. Everyone’s worried about head injuries. It just has to be blocking and tackling the proper way more often.”

But all indications are that player contact is going the other way. NCAA divisions just banned two-a-days in preseason practice, citing data that said tackle practices lead to more head injuries, especially in preseason camp. Arians says it comes down to proper form.

“People always worry about more concussions if you practice longer,” he said. “If you’re doing things properly, they’re avoided.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.