When I was a player, I never thought about anything but winning. I would put injuries aside if tolerable and focus on what was going on in the game. Itâ€™s almost like having a separate memory bank for every injury endured during game week.
Broken fingers? Check! Torn rotator cuff? Check! Bum knee? Check! Concussion? Triple check! I often ponder about the Eaglesâ€™ players. What happens when the players know for sure theyâ€™re no longer in playoff contentions?
Every teamâ€™s, every coachâ€™s and every playerâ€™s intention is making it to the big game, the Superbowl. Thatâ€™s it! In order to get to the NFL, you have to work extremely hard at one of the most-physical sports in the world. Before stepping into the arena, you have to review your opponentâ€™s strength and weakness as well as mentally and physically prepare for the game.
Every day, the week leading to a game, you have to detach yourself from any outside distractions and only focus on the game. Every practice, every scrimmage, every walk through, play after play, being a professional is all you can do when playing in the NFL.
Do players play to win or do they play for a better draft pick? Itâ€™s still to be determined. Even though Iâ€™ve never heard it from a coachâ€™s mouth not to win or play hard, I often wonder if thereâ€™s subliminal message that coaches send out to their players during a losing season in order to get a better draft pick. When you see teams making a run for the playoffs with their top draft picks and the impact theyâ€™re making, it makes you wonder why more teams donâ€™t opt to continue losing in order to move higher in the draft.
Is it in a playerâ€™s DNA to continue to play to win, or is it just a mental thing when they are having a losing season? The continued decline and the poor play makes you wonder if the players have bought into the subliminal message to play for a better draft pick. Or could it be the other way around, where most players begin to think that there is an â€œIâ€ in â€œteamâ€ and start playing for new contracts or a spot on next yearâ€™s roster?