Posted: 6:07 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, 2013
By Josh Kirkendall
Fans love it. They fill the bleachers or patiently wait, held up at the gates because practice is filled at capacity. It's the Oklahoma Drill and even as the players aren't that into before the drills starts, there's no greater celebration during training camp when a defensive player clearly wins a battle. Or when someone like Jermaine Gresham, with a slight head-start, beats an all-world defensive tackle -- though that's completely debateable. Talk about the confidence boost that is.
However, not everyone likes it.
In fact, David Steele with the Sporting News writes on Cincinnati's use of the drill with a headline using words like archaic and dangerous. Citing Chris Nowinksi, "co-founder of Boston University's Center for Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy", questions it because it "means more times for a player to absorb a hit, and more chances for the brain to endure impact and suffer trauma." He promotes its elimination but then called it a "reasonable drill."
"Part of the question," he tells the Sporting News, "is how much repetition of it there is."
At most, players participated in three sessions on Sunday and it was over. But we can see the point of view being used here, especially from someone studying something that could have the biggest impact on the sport's future. On the other hand, in most cases, proper technique was used which actually didn't turn into a barbarian-like crown-crushing epic that ends with drooling vikings slapping the behinds of wenches and drinking steins of meed.
Although, as fans of the greatest sport in the world played by freed men that make adult choices currently aware of those risks, we wouldn't mind seeing the wenches and steins of meed. Any bets on how the league abandoning all contact drills during practice by 2020 when the new CBA expires?