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Thread: Cam Heyward, Steelers captain and player rep, rails against in-person offseason plans

  1. #1
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    Cam Heyward tells rookies not to show for offseason workouts

    Cam Heyward, Steelers captain and player rep, rails against in-person offseason plans

    'Don't let them FEAR you in to showing up,' he tells rookies and newcomers as union pushes for virtual work again

    BRIAN BATKO
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    APR 9, 2021

    When Steelers captain Cam Heyward speaks ó or tweets ó people listen. That includes fans, teammates and, you would think, decision-makers from the league or his organization.

    Heyward, whoís also the teamís union representative for the NFL Playersí Association, railed against the idea of in-person workouts this offseason Friday night on Twitter. The players union is pushing for an all-virtual offseason much like in 2020 when the pandemic shut down team facilities until training camp.

    ďCan we all agree we love football?Ē Heyward started out. ďMore meetings go by but still no definite answers behind the @NFL stance to make players come in for off-season workouts. I get training which we all did last year virtually but why the rush to jump to in-person meetings and workouts when 1. Less injuries occurred across the league 2. No plan to mitigate or control while WE are still in a pandemic. Work should continue to work virtually & craft as we still do not have all answers. If ALL teams canít have the same safe guidelines why would you argue against it.

    ďTrust me everyone we will still get your games but why risk it??? Donít you want your star players ready for week 1? If he can throw in the backyard he will throw on sundays too. For the ROOKIES and FREE AGENTS find your vets tell them to get you up to speed. Trust me yíall ainít missing anything you will still get your chance to show your talent in camp when it really matters. Itís all VOLUNTARY but fellas donít let them FEAR you in to showing up.

    ďAll Iím saying is OUR SAFETY and HEALTH should be at the top of the line.Ē

    Heyward tagged the @NFL and @NFLPA accounts, as well. Itís reminiscent of last summer when many high-profile players flooded social media with #WeWantToPlay messages in response to a lack of answers from the league on COVID-19 protocols.

    Obviously, that issue eventually was settled ó enough to play an entire season and do it on time, at least. Browns center JC Tretter, the NFLPA president, published an essay last week saying the lack of in-person offseason activities last year proved to be good for the players and for the game.

    NFLPA President JC Tretter told players on a call today the union is pushing for an all-virtual offseason ó and would urge players to boycott if teams conduct in-person OTAs this spring, per sources.

    Said Tretter: ďWeíve been telling them, itís voluntary and weíre not gonna go.Ē

    ó Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 9, 2021

    ďTime and time again, when we as a union push for a safer work environment, members of the of NFL community will incorrectly warn that any change will negatively impact the product,Ē Tretter wrote. ďThe positive thing about [last] year was that we proved we can prioritize player health and safety while still putting out a top-notch product for our fans.Ē

    Tretter cited statistics that included a 23% decrease in time missed due to injuries; a 30% reduction in concussions; and a 45% decrease in heat-related illnesses. He also addressed critics of eliminating spring workouts, adding that scoring was up, penalties were down and missed tackles were down despite no mini-camps or OTAs.

    Much of that is also related to an acclimation ramp-up period prior to last seasonís training camp, but for Heyward, his specific issue seems to be with the offseason phases that begin shortly after the draft. From a Steelers standpoint, even with conducting orientations for new players and rookie camp via Zoom, top pick Chase Claypool had no problem hitting the ground running.

    Heyward is correct that OTAs are, technically, optional offseason programs, and veterans often do skip them, but there is one minicamp week that is considered mandatory for all players in June. Some contracts include bonuses tied to attending offseason workouts, but it would essentially amount to a wide-scale boycott if everyone from Pro Bowlers to undrafted free agents skip in-person activities.

    On an individual level, some Steelers do continue to use the South Side practice facility for conditioning and injury treatment. In February, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert was hopeful that the offseason calendar would get back to normal, and team president Art Rooney II has expressed optimism about moving training camp back to Saint Vincent College after one year at Heinz Field.

    The Steelers had no comment Friday night via a team spokesman.

    https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/...s/202104090159
    Last edited by hawaiiansteel; 04-10-2021 at 05:57 PM.
    Steel Maniac predicted no RBs would be chosen in the 1st round, so of course we selected:

    1(24) Najee Harris RB Alabama


  2. #2
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    I'd imagine every player, coach etc in college and NFL have had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated by now. I love Cam Heyward and agree that the health and safety of all involved is paramount...but dont agree with him on this one. Even without the vaccines, the players arent in a "High risk" group anyways.. in terms of serious illness, side effects from contracting the virus.
    Last edited by Ernie; 04-11-2021 at 05:10 AM.

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    And I’m sure all these players are sitting home wearing their masks, not going out to eat, shop, vacation, visit friends and relatives, party, gym, grocery store, bars, etc. etc. etc.
    Update:
    In the last decade, 25% of the league has won a super bowl(the Steelers aren't one of them) and now 50% have as many or more playoff wins as the Steelers.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    And Iím sure all these players are sitting home wearing their masks, not going out to eat, shop, vacation, visit friends and relatives, party, gym, grocery store, bars, etc. etc. etc.
    Exactly....

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    And I’m sure all these players are sitting home wearing their masks, not going out to eat, shop, vacation, visit friends and relatives, party, gym, grocery store, bars, etc. etc. etc.
    From the 2010-2020 season, (A 10 year period that the majority of Cowher's players & coaches had left) Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks.

    Dolphin fans in the 90ís who wanted to hold on to Don Shula for what he did in the playoffs in the 70ís...
    Are the same as Steeler fans (of 2020 ) holding on to Tomlin for what he did in 2008, with Cowher's players & coaches

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    Just admit you don’t want to work and quit using the Covid excuse.
    Smart people can see thru this.
    If he/ the players is/are really concerned about their health, they should sit out the season, without pay, until they feel safe.
    Update:
    In the last decade, 25% of the league has won a super bowl(the Steelers aren't one of them) and now 50% have as many or more playoff wins as the Steelers.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    Just admit you don’t want to work and quit using the Covid excuse.
    Smart people can see thru this.
    If he/ the players is/are really concerned about their health, they should sit out the season, without pay, until they feel safe.
    exactly.........
    From the 2010-2020 season, (A 10 year period that the majority of Cowher's players & coaches had left) Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks.

    Dolphin fans in the 90ís who wanted to hold on to Don Shula for what he did in the playoffs in the 70ís...
    Are the same as Steeler fans (of 2020 ) holding on to Tomlin for what he did in 2008, with Cowher's players & coaches

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    This is tricky. Folks say players donít want to play but I believe those who didnít want to play opted out.

    We lost Haden to covid protocol and had schedules pushed around last year due to covid cases.

    I believe its like other jobs now where some folks realized they can do their job at home and only come into work when necessary. Hell, thats what Iím doing right now.

    Other people at my gig had to work in the field or kept their normal routine and a lot of them caught covid.

    I think wanting less contact UNTIL the season starts isnít a sign of being lazy or not wanting to play. Its wanting to limit exposure until camp starts.

    Iím just happy my employer doesnít think I donít want to work because I prefer to work from home since we donít feel comfortable putting our young ones in class yet.
    Last edited by feltdizz; 04-11-2021 at 12:21 PM.
    Tomlinís coming back so what can you do?


  9. #9
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    Get the vaccine and shut up.

    Quit acting like you and your family are special and more at risk than the rest of the world
    Taking pride in the fact that I'm right so often and he is wrong so often, that Steel Maniac has to have me on "Ignore"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    Get the vaccine and shut up.

    Quit acting like you and your family are special and more at risk than the rest of the world
    but... they are “special”

    they do something that many don’t have a chance to do.

    They get tested weekly if not daily during the season.. and they play a freaking game for a living. They get better treatment than nurses who treat covid patients.

    so yes, they are special and that is why we spend all day talking about them on here.

    Its crazy how Americans are so “shut up and work the job” these days instead of pushing back against their employers when they feel they are at risk. Its pathetic IMO.
    Tomlinís coming back so what can you do?


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