The Problems With Passing Up on Practice

If you’re a professional football player not getting your way, you’re in luck. There’s a new way of getting what you want in the NFL, and it’s called sitting out of practice.

NFL players have been skipping non-mandatory practices for years if they are trying to re-sign with a team for more money or if they want to make more money in their contract. As a whole, the act of sitting out of practice usually revolves around money. I get it; it’s like a form of protest or strike, right? Players feel they are undervalued on their dollar amount, so they sit out to show they feel they are worth more. Personally I wouldn’t do it, but then again I’m not an ultra-talented athlete playing at an NFL level. At the end of the day, it’s a protest method that works and is understandable.

Here’s where things aren’t so understandable: the act of sitting out because of role reduction.

About a month back, there was a pretty lame football story I somehow failed to write about (I tried, but my goodness was I bored to death covering it… Sorry Devin and Jack) which I like to call the Philadelphia Eagles QB Shakedown. After a couple solid months of storylines being built, it became clear to last years’ starting QB for the Eagles, Sam Bradford, that he wasn’t going to be the Eagles starting QB for longer than 2 years. So, doing what any sensible person does, he decided to sit out and skip practices.

Fast forward to this week, and we learn that Rams starting QB from last year Nick Foles (who ironically was traded from the Eagles for Sam Bradford last offseason) is sitting out of practice because he is no longer the projected starting quarterback.

The irony is through the roof here; both teams traded for the other quarterback mentioned, and both teams spent a king’s ransom on getting the top 2 picks in the draft so they could both grab overvalued “franchise quarterbacks of the future.”

But that’s not really what I want to focus on here. My issue is that these guys think this method of skipping out practice so they can be granted more responsibility is actually going to work.

As a reader, it doesn’t matter what your job is, but I hope you can agree with me. There’s absolutely no way this would work in any other profession, the actual idea of it is insane.

What if I called my boss and said “Hey man, listen I’m bummed I didn’t get that promotion, so I’m just not going to work until I get it.”

Who in the world would do that?

Isn’t the whole reasoning behind rewards because of hard work? You don’t reward someone who quits and refuses to fight for the starting spot.

Further, if I was on the team with this guy, what leadership does this show? A quarterback is supposed to lead the team through games, but what if they’re afraid to beat out a rookie in summer practices?

This is a pretty immature way of trying to get what you want. Show you should be the starting quarterback because of the work you put on the field, and earn the role you want. Isn’t that kind of what our entire country’s work ethic is based on?

Maybe grandpa was right, maybe our generation is a bunch of babies. At the very least, these two quarterbacks certainly are.


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