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TQ - Does Lee's Injury Change View Of Spring?
Penn State LB Sean Lee
Penn State LB Sean Lee
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 14, 2008


After what happened to All-America LB Sean Lee (who blew out his knee in a Penn State practice), does your view of spring ball change at all?

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Pete Fiutak     

Q: After what happened to All-America LB Sean Lee (who blew out his knee in a Penn State practice), does your view of spring ball change at all?

A
: No. There's no need to play the stars in the spring games, but spring practices are vital to a team's success and is a necessary evil for some.

Now that NFL training camps have become so glamorized and scrutinized, everyone assumes that college football teams are prepared the same way. Not so. There's a limited amount of playing and practice time that everyone gets, and spring ball is important to set the tone for the off-season to the coaching staff knows what needs working on and to get everyone in place for the fall. The key to spring ball is the timing; the players can beat on each other and still have five months to heal up. Yeah, Sean Lee's injury is tragic considering he's probably out for the year, but that
happened in a practice and not a spring game. There's a difference.

There's no excuse for a star player to see any time in a spring game. Remember what happened to Wisconsin's Lee Evans a few years ago blowing out his knee in the meaningless scrimmage? That sent shockwaves throughout the coaching community and now you'll hardly ever see a top player get meaningful time, or get hit, in a spring game. However, you have to play everyone in practices so they can get used to working with the new guys and, again, so they can get their limited practice time in.

Richard Cirminiello      

Q: After what happened to All-America LB Sean Lee (who blew out his knee in a Penn State practice), does your view of spring ball change at all?

A
: Not at all.  For the player and the university, it’s obviously a horrible situation, but that doesn’t mean it should be an indictment of spring football.  This was, by all accounts, a non-contact injury that happened during practice, with the operative word being “practice”.  Yeah, I might be rethinking the practicality of spring ball if Lee took a helmet to the knee during some meaningless play in a meaningless Blue-White scrimmage, but that wasn’t the case.  He was practicing, just like he does every spring and every summer leading up to the start of a new season.  There was no unnecessary risk or unusual circumstances that put Lee’s livelihood and 2008 season in jeopardy.  It was an unfortunate break that could have just as easily happened in August or even in February in one of the school’s weight rooms.  Even Sean Lee, an All-America candidate, needs to practice, to get back into game shape, and to coalesce with the rest of his defensive mates.  Any knee-jerk suggestions that teams should now alter the way they prepare for a season or reconsider the importance of March and April are both short-sighted and misguided. 
     

John Harris

Q: After what happened to All-America LB Sean Lee (who blew out his knee in a Penn State practice), does your view of spring ball change at all?

A:
As a former coach, I used to fear spring practice.  Okay, so maybe ‘fear’ is a little strong, but I just wanted to see all of my guys stay healthy the entire spring; that was it.  Well, we needed to improve and get better, blah, blah blah.  But, once we had installed our offensive and defensive schemes, practice effectiveness was secondary to keeping everyone healthy.  Just survive, sort of like the NCAA Tournament – survive and advance. 

That being said, my thoughts on spring ball have not changed, and subsequently, will never change.  Ever.  I’ve always held my breath through every practice, coaching or not, and it’ll never change.  As much as I love to hear the pads pop, receivers make one hand grabs and new stars emerge, spring practice has always been a ‘catch 22’ for me.  However, it’s football and must continue to be, injuries be damned…even if I’m left still holding my breath.

Matthew Zemek

Q: After what happened to All-America LB Sean Lee (who blew out his knee in a Penn State practice), does your view of spring ball change at all?

A
: No, but my view of spring ball was negative to begin with. Moreover, the hollow nature of the enterprise makes me disinclined to say much more about the matter.

 

 

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