***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby Bootz2004 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:42 pm

Gruden has a point. Practice time and availability of players became extremely limited under the 2011 CBA.
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby Deja Entendu » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:03 pm

Maybe he will be able to showcase his new throwing motion in the AAF.
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby Nano » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:51 pm

Mike Pereira said this morning on PFT Live that if the new rules don't reduce concussions this year, the kickoff is probably gone from the game entirely. Pereira believes that if the NFL scraps kickoffs, the most likely replacement would be the “Greg Schiano rule,” in which teams would face a fourth-and-15 from their own 35-yard line and could either punt the ball as the new equivalent of a kickoff, or go for it as the new equivalent of an onside kick.
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby Cheb » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:55 pm

Nano wrote:Mike Pereira said this morning on PFT Live that if the new rules don't reduce concussions this year, the kickoff is probably gone from the game entirely. Pereira believes that if the NFL scraps kickoffs, the most likely replacement would be the “Greg Schiano rule,” in which teams would face a fourth-and-15 from their own 35-yard line and could either punt the ball as the new equivalent of a kickoff, or go for it as the new equivalent of an onside kick.


I know it's cool to be a purist, but that change would be fine by me. Ever since I heard Schiano explain it, it's an idea I've always liked.
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby acmillis » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:57 pm

Nano wrote:Mike Pereira said this morning on PFT Live that if the new rules don't reduce concussions this year, the kickoff is probably gone from the game entirely. Pereira believes that if the NFL scraps kickoffs, the most likely replacement would be the “Greg Schiano rule,” in which teams would face a fourth-and-15 from their own 35-yard line and could either punt the ball as the new equivalent of a kickoff, or go for it as the new equivalent of an onside kick.


That is the dumbest rule suggestion ever. Potentially, a team would never get the ball in a game, not once. I'd also love to see percentage of onside kick recoveries vs. 4th and 15 conversions. My guess is that the actual play has a much higher conversion rate than an onside kick, giving the team possessing the ball a ridiculous advantage, especially if they are down late.

If you're going to take away kickoffs, just give each team the ball at the 20 or 25 after each score.

That other rule is so gimmicky and ill conceived.
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby Cheb » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:00 pm

acmillis wrote:
Nano wrote:Mike Pereira said this morning on PFT Live that if the new rules don't reduce concussions this year, the kickoff is probably gone from the game entirely. Pereira believes that if the NFL scraps kickoffs, the most likely replacement would be the “Greg Schiano rule,” in which teams would face a fourth-and-15 from their own 35-yard line and could either punt the ball as the new equivalent of a kickoff, or go for it as the new equivalent of an onside kick.


That is the dumbest rule suggestion ever. Potentially, a team would never get the ball in a game, not once.

If you're going to take away kickoffs, just give each team the ball at the 20 or 25 after each score.

That other rule is so gimmicky and ill conceived.


That has always been the case with onside kicks. There was a game in my conference (high school ball but still) where a team didn't get possession for an entire quarter due to three successful onside kicks.

And if a team is not only ballsy enough to go for it every time on 4th-and-15 on their own 35 yard line, but is good enough to convert every time, then they deserve to win the game.
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby Deuce » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:02 pm

I actually like that rule, too. It would definitely make comebacks easier.

I'd like to see the percentage of 4th and 15 conversions and how often teams go for it when faced with 4th and 15 from their own territory.
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby Deuce » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:03 pm

Cheb wrote:
acmillis wrote:
That is the dumbest rule suggestion ever. Potentially, a team would never get the ball in a game, not once.

If you're going to take away kickoffs, just give each team the ball at the 20 or 25 after each score.

That other rule is so gimmicky and ill conceived.


That has always been the case with onside kicks. There was a game in my conference (high school ball but still) where a team didn't get possession for an entire quarter due to three successful onside kicks.

And if a team is not only ballsy enough to go for it every time on 4th-and-15 on their own 35 yard line, but is good enough to convert every time, then they deserve to win the game.


Right? If you don't convert, you're handing the other team the ball at your 35. That's basically a free three points (unless you're the Bucs).
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby Buc2 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:38 pm

I'd be okay with that Schiano Rule. For the most part, kickoffs are boring anyway. Nothing more than a glorified beer/bathroom break for most fans. Sure, every now and then, an exciting run back would happen. Certainly not often enough to worry about taking the play away entirely, imo. There is more of a chance for some excitement with the Schiano Rule. Even a failed 4th & 15 attempt would be more exciting to watch than the vast majority of kickoffs. Quite honestly, I don't think we'd see many teams try the 4th & 15 from their own 35 yard line unless the game was on the line, and that would just add to the excitement of the game.
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:54 pm

The flip side is a team has a great shot at a comeback if they're down 2 scores inside the 2 minute warning.

Probably have much closer scores with that rule.
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby beardmcdoug » Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:26 pm

I like the Schiano rule, for the reasons ya'll just stated, would definitely make comebacks more exciting

For those interested:

http://www.advancedfootballanalytics.com/index.php/home/research/game-strategy/120-4th-down-study
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So with 15 yds to go, and 20+ yds out from endzone, which would be the case for the Schiano rule, about a 19% chance to convert


http://blog.minitab.com/blog/the-statistics-game/calculating-the-probability-of-converting-on-4th-down
College had more data, shows about 15-20% chance to convert (hard to tell with pic resolution)
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---------------------------------Onside Kicks---------------------------------------------------

http://archive.advancedfootballanalytics.com/2009/09/onside-kicks.html
"When teams are expecting it, when WP is about 0.15 and below, the success rate is about 20%. But when teams aren’t expecting it, the success rate averages 60%."



https://www.pro-football-reference.com/play-index/tiny.fcgi?id=TGRTK
From 2015, 10/67 or 15% of onside kicks worked
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby acmillis » Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:56 pm

I guess I'm ridin' solo on this one.
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby PrimeMinister » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:43 pm

Thanks for the statistics, BMD. Those stats only strengthen the argument to get rid of kickoffs.

How would this change impact NFL rosters? I believe it would decrease the players who make the roster mostly because of their special teams play. Punt team would be the only remaining special team. How would the Special Teams coaching position be impacted by this change?
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby BUCCABEER » Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:33 pm

Cowboys David Irving got suspended again.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nfl/co ... li=BBnba9I
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby mdb1958 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:59 pm

BUCCABEER wrote:Cowboys David Irving got suspended again.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nfl/co ... li=BBnba9I



Cowboys DT David Irving suspended four games. Jerry's secret weapon.
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby Doctor » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:00 pm

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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby Doctor » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:09 pm

MJW wrote:Boxing has a problem right now with Mexican beef. Apparently something about what the cows eat, or the steroids they're given, has caused a lot of Mexican fighters to fail drugs tests when they consume it. The sanctioning bodies have acknowledged that this is happening, too, but they can't find a test to work around it. The thing is, most fighters eat a lot of meat, and there are a ton of Mexican fighters who can't afford to have it imported.

The point (besides that it's interesting) is that it isn't always as simple as a 1980s steroid PSA when a guy fails a test.

It's Clenbuterol, which is found in asthma inhalers and abused by trophy wives used to cut fat. Some farmers use it to not have overly fatty meat. The issue is that in Mexico (and actually pretty much anywhere) you can have the most high end, reputable butcher but it just takes one person in that supply line to cut a corner and the meat gets tainted.

As for the NFL, "unknown substance" is stupid. If you don't know what it is how is he suppose to know what it was? It could have been something in a fruit roll up for all we know. Could have been wood sawdust from a McD burger. If players are going to be expected to cross check everything in the ingredients of everything they will ever put in their mouth we're fucked.
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby Doctor » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:22 pm

PrimeMinister wrote:Thanks for the statistics, BMD. Those stats only strengthen the argument to get rid of kickoffs.

How would this change impact NFL rosters? I believe it would decrease the players who make the roster mostly because of their special teams play. Punt team would be the only remaining special team. How would the Special Teams coaching position be impacted by this change?


I don't think it changes much in field position. At the end of the day the median punt is around 45 yards (41 net). That puts the ball around kick off return range. But the changes overall will be huge. Special Teams would take on a whole new form. Kick off coverage is very different from punt coverage and a lot of players who once used to make the roster because of one will likely no longer do so. That would open up a few roster spots to be allocated differently. Maybe the return of the 3rd string QB, lol. Also, since the frequency of long punts would be higher I wonder if teams may start carrying two punters, one for coffin corners and the other for distance and switching out when appropriate. Touchbacks may just become the objective.
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby PrimeMinister » Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:50 pm

Doctor wrote:
PrimeMinister wrote:Thanks for the statistics, BMD. Those stats only strengthen the argument to get rid of kickoffs.

How would this change impact NFL rosters? I believe it would decrease the players who make the roster mostly because of their special teams play. Punt team would be the only remaining special team. How would the Special Teams coaching position be impacted by this change?


I don't think it changes much in field position. At the end of the day the median punt is around 45 yards (41 net). That puts the ball around kick off return range. But the changes overall will be huge. Special Teams would take on a whole new form. Kick off coverage is very different from punt coverage and a lot of players who once used to make the roster because of one will likely no longer do so. That would open up a few roster spots to be allocated differently. Maybe the return of the 3rd string QB, lol. Also, since the frequency of long punts would be higher I wonder if teams may start carrying two punters, one for coffin corners and the other for distance and switching out when appropriate. Touchbacks may just become the objective.


These kind of changes are what I was wondering about the other day. This rule change will change how rosters are constructed. The more I think about it the more I like Schiano’s idea. Fewer injuries, more true football and fewer breaks? Yes sign me up. Watching an attempt to convert 4th & 15 is more exciting than a kickoff.

This would have an impact on how coaches approach practicing 4th & long since it would be more common. There would be some team that converts at a higher percentage than the rest of the league. If an offensive minded coach were able to increase his team’s 4th & long conversion percentage he could hide defensive deficiencies behind an offensive onslaught.
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby MJW » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:36 pm

PrimeMinister wrote:
Doctor wrote:
I don't think it changes much in field position. At the end of the day the median punt is around 45 yards (41 net). That puts the ball around kick off return range. But the changes overall will be huge. Special Teams would take on a whole new form. Kick off coverage is very different from punt coverage and a lot of players who once used to make the roster because of one will likely no longer do so. That would open up a few roster spots to be allocated differently. Maybe the return of the 3rd string QB, lol. Also, since the frequency of long punts would be higher I wonder if teams may start carrying two punters, one for coffin corners and the other for distance and switching out when appropriate. Touchbacks may just become the objective.


These kind of changes are what I was wondering about the other day. This rule change will change how rosters are constructed. The more I think about it the more I like Schiano’s idea. Fewer injuries, more true football and fewer breaks? Yes sign me up. Watching an attempt to convert 4th & 15 is more exciting than a kickoff.

This would have an impact on how coaches approach practicing 4th & long since it would be more common. There would be some team that converts at a higher percentage than the rest of the league. If an offensive minded coach were able to increase his team’s 4th & long conversion percentage he could hide defensive deficiencies behind an offensive onslaught.


I love the idea of a long-yardage down in place of an onside kick during a comeback. An onside kick is the least exciting "exciting" moment of a football game. As noted above, when a team is expecting the onside kick, the odds of the kicking team getting it back are negligible. But a 4th and 15? Maybe a team hits that play once every six or seven times. That's exciting.

Also, the return game can go now. Not only do we know about the disproportionate injuries, but because of rules tweaks and directional kicking, there are so few exciting returns a season anyway. I love the idea of those "special teams" roster spots being used to give OCs and DCs more diverse options from scrimmage.
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby beardmcdoug » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:51 pm

MJW wrote:
PrimeMinister wrote:
These kind of changes are what I was wondering about the other day. This rule change will change how rosters are constructed. The more I think about it the more I like Schiano’s idea. Fewer injuries, more true football and fewer breaks? Yes sign me up. Watching an attempt to convert 4th & 15 is more exciting than a kickoff.

This would have an impact on how coaches approach practicing 4th & long since it would be more common. There would be some team that converts at a higher percentage than the rest of the league. If an offensive minded coach were able to increase his team’s 4th & long conversion percentage he could hide defensive deficiencies behind an offensive onslaught.


I love the idea of a long-yardage down in place of an onside kick during a comeback. An onside kick is the least exciting "exciting" moment of a football game. As noted above, when a team is expecting the onside kick, the odds of the kicking team getting it back are negligible. But a 4th and 15? Maybe a team hits that play once every six or seven times. That's exciting.

Also, the return game can go now. Not only do we know about the disproportionate injuries, but because of rules tweaks and directional kicking, there are so few exciting returns a season anyway. I love the idea of those "special teams" roster spots being used to give OCs and DCs more diverse options from scrimmage.


Not to be a Richard, but the stats above showed that “when a team is expecting, the odds of the kicking team getting it back” — the chance you are referring to as “negligible” — are between 15-20%.

And “one out of six or seven times” equals between about 14-17%

:D
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby MJW » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:05 pm

beardmcdoug wrote:
MJW wrote:
I love the idea of a long-yardage down in place of an onside kick during a comeback. An onside kick is the least exciting "exciting" moment of a football game. As noted above, when a team is expecting the onside kick, the odds of the kicking team getting it back are negligible. But a 4th and 15? Maybe a team hits that play once every six or seven times. That's exciting.

Also, the return game can go now. Not only do we know about the disproportionate injuries, but because of rules tweaks and directional kicking, there are so few exciting returns a season anyway. I love the idea of those "special teams" roster spots being used to give OCs and DCs more diverse options from scrimmage.


Not to be a Richard, but the stats above showed that “when a team is expecting, the odds of the kicking team getting it back” — the chance you are referring to as “negligible” — are between 15-20%.

And “one out of six or seven times” equals between about 14-17%

:D


I misread that stat, and I almost can't believe it. Almost 1 out of 5 "expected" onside kicks are recovered by the kicking team? As somebody who probably watches 50-75 NFL games a season, I wouldn't have thought more than single-digits for that.
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby Doctor » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:36 pm

MJW wrote:
beardmcdoug wrote:
Not to be a Richard, but the stats above showed that “when a team is expecting, the odds of the kicking team getting it back” — the chance you are referring to as “negligible” — are between 15-20%.

And “one out of six or seven times” equals between about 14-17%

:D


I misread that stat, and I almost can't believe it. Almost 1 out of 5 "expected" onside kicks are recovered by the kicking team? As somebody who probably watches 50-75 NFL games a season, I wouldn't have thought more than single-digits for that.


Well that's not hard. If there was only say 10 onside kicks a year and the two happen to fall on two games you happen to not watch, you'd think no one ever recovered anything.
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby MJW » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:29 pm

Doctor wrote:
MJW wrote:
I misread that stat, and I almost can't believe it. Almost 1 out of 5 "expected" onside kicks are recovered by the kicking team? As somebody who probably watches 50-75 NFL games a season, I wouldn't have thought more than single-digits for that.


Well that's not hard. If there was only say 10 onside kicks a year and the two happen to fall on two games you happen to not watch, you'd think no one ever recovered anything.


Yep. Low sample bias.

Regardless...love the "Schiano" idea. Love it. I love it so much I doubt it'll happen. Likely the NFL will come up with some vanilla tweaks so they don't enrage the purists and they don't really fix the problem.
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby Rocker » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:32 am

I was at the bar last night and NFL Live was on. There was a segment about Julio Jones training with TO; and that was “extremely worrisome” to the Falcons. Couldn’t hear a single word of it, can anyone expound on this?
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby SIBucsFan » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:40 pm

Rocker wrote:I was at the bar last night and NFL Live was on. There was a segment about Julio Jones training with TO; and that was “extremely worrisome” to the Falcons. Couldn’t hear a single word of it, can anyone expound on this?


I believe the front office is worried that Jones has bucked the whole concept of "brotherhood" or something to that matter since he's holding out and now is hanging out with the ultimate diva WR in Terrell Owens and worried he will influence him and his personality. I think it's just an off-season fluff story to fill in the blank June headline spaces.

It would be one thing if Jones has shown bad attitudes before, but in the 12 years I've followed his football career (high school, college, pro) I've never heard anything negative regarding his character. Also, he's almost 30, and one would like to believe that a 30-year old man isn't as impressionable as a 21 or 22-year old. I don't think this is any trouble for them, and if it is then all of the fingers can point to Jones, not Owens.
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby Buc2 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:28 pm

The wife of former Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears quarterback Erik Kramer has told police she is “terrified” that he will kill her and her daughter after he was arrested for domestic violence. Kramer, a journeyman who played in the NFL and CFL for more than a decade, was arrested on suspicion of felony corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant at his home in Agoura Hills, California, last week.

The 53-year-old was released on $50,000 bond and was “cooperative” during the arrest, police told the Los Angeles Times. His wife, Cortney Baird, swiftly obtained an emergency restraining order and is now looking to extend it because she fears he is on a “manhunt” to end her life. She also immediately filed for divorce.

In her petition, seen by TMZ Sports, Baird claimed her altercation with her husband stemmed from an argument the night before.

When she approached him to address the situation the following morning, she claims he lost his temper, swore at her, pushed her and threw household items at her, including a knife block, although he missed. He also allegedly started smashing other objects, including glasses and picture frames, on the ground.

She also pointed to an incident in 2015 when Kramer attempted suicide, only to survive a gunshot wound to the head, as proof he has access to firearms.

“I am terrified that he is out looking for me at this very moment and will kill me and my daughter,” she says.

Kramer, who also played for the Atlanta Falcons and San Diego Chargers and led the Lions to the NFC Championship in 1991, has suffered from severe depression but does not believe it is linked to his career.

“I’ve thought about that often, but nothing really stands out as connecting football to the sort of feeling I’ve had with depression,” he said in 2016. “It very well may be linked. It doesn’t feel like it to me.”

His ex-wife Marshawn Kramer said at the time: “He is a very amazing man, a beautiful soul, but he has suffered depression since he was with the Bears. I can promise you he is not the same man I married.”

In 2011, his 18-year-old son, Griffen, was found dead at a friend’s home from a heroin overdose.
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby IchabodCrane84 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:20 pm

Gene Steratore retired too. No good refs (muscles) left in the NFL.
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby mdb1958 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:33 am

http://www.espn.com/blog/philadelphia-e ... s-prospect


Tim McManus
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Offensive line coach Paul Dunn couldn't figure out what in the world Jordan Mailata was doing by the Gatorade cooler.

It was their first day of on-field training at IMG Academy and Dunn had just finished putting the monstrous former rugby leaguer and another international player through a basic agility drill. Normally the exercise would have taken two minutes, but because of the students' lack of football experience, it dragged on for a half-hour under the Florida sun.

When the drill mercifully ended, the players -- dressed in helmets and full pads for the first time -- went to the sideline for what was supposed to be a quick drink break. Instead, they lingered by the hydration station, acting perplexed.


"They got their paper cup and they poured their Gatorade into the cup, and they both stood there for a good minute. I'm about a hundred yards away from them and I'm like, 'What are these guys doing?' After about a minute of standing there looking at one another, they both tried to drink the Gatorade through their helmet, and literally splashed it all over themselves," Dunn said with a laugh.

"A coach comes running over and he says, 'Mates! Mates! That's not what you do. You've got to take your helmet off!' Well, I'll tell you what, they didn't know how to put a helmet on, let alone take a helmet off."

That was Jan. 15 of this year. Just three and a half months later, on April 28, the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles traded up to select Mailata in the seventh round of the NFL draft to play offensive tackle. To bridge the divide, the time in between was dedicated to an intense crash course aimed at getting a 21-year-old who admittedly knew "as little as peanuts" about football NFL-ready in 15 weeks.

'One of the largest human beings I've ever seen'
A quick look at Mailata's rugby highlights with the South Sydney Rabbitohs Under-20s is enough to understand why Mailata piqued the NFL's interest. He stands 6-foot-8 and weighs 346 pounds. He's lean and powerful and moves with an agility and athleticism rarely seen in men his size. The rugby league mortals tasked with cutting down the nimble giant stood no chance, bouncing off his tree-trunk legs before hitting the turf with a splat.

"That was impressive," said Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas. "That definitely was an eye-opener, watching the YouTube [videos]."

Mailata's IMG Training Schedule
6:30-8 a.m. -- Breakfast/nutrition coaching

8-9 a.m. -- NFL team meeting/athletic training/ corrective exercises

9-9:30 a.m. -- Pre-Gen program to activate body

9:30-10:30 a.m. -- Movement training (combine prep)

11-noon -- Weight training

Noon-1 p.m. -- Lunch

1:1:45 p.m. -- Film/classroom work with coaches.

2-3:30 p.m. -- Field work

4-5 p.m. -- Recovery

5-6 p.m. -- Mental/media/vision training/yoga

6-6:30 p.m. Dinner/nutrition

It caught the attention of someone in the NFL's International Player Pathway program as well. Following a workout in Los Angeles, Mailata was picked to train at IMG Academy along with a select group of overseas players with the goal of securing one of the four NFL practice-squad spots designated for international prospects. The notion of getting drafted seemed to be a pipe dream.

But two things were immediately clear upon arrival at the facility in Bradenton, Florida. The first was that Mailata was a physical freak.

"Well, let's see, the guy is probably one of the largest human beings I've ever seen in my life," said IMG's strength and conditioning coach, Jay Butler, when asked about his first impression of the Aussie. Butler was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers strength coach for two years. He said Bucs players in Mailata's weight range tended to have around 30 percent body fat; Mailata's was around 17 percent by the end of training.

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"In my years of coaching, I probably haven't had anybody who looks like that, top to bottom," he said.

The players were given Beach Cruiser bikes to get from one side of campus to the other. The staff got a kick out of the lighthearted Mailata -- known to break into song or dance at any moment during the course of the grueling days -- toying around on what he made seem like a kid's bike.

"He just looked kind of silly on this beach bike because he's so massive, riding around like the Wicked Witch of the West in 'The Wizard of Oz,'" Butler joked, "so we'd have fun with him."

The second thing that jumped off the page was his lack of football knowledge. According to Dunn, Mailata didn't know a first down from a touchdown when he arrived on campus.

"I remember the first day Jordan came in and we were doing their intros, and I was like, ‘What's your favorite team?' and he just kind of didn't know anything. It was literally shocking," said Taryn Morgan, the assistant director of athletic and personal development at IMG. "He probably couldn't have even told us a team [in the NFL] at that point, or who his favorite player was. He had no idea. It was so endearing."

But there was a lot of work to do. Mailata had to learn a new sport while simultaneously preparing his body for combine-like testing for his upcoming pro day, which then was just over two months away. To meet those rather insane demands, he was immersed in a jam-packed holistic development program that went from sunup to sundown and included movement and strength training, on-field and classroom work, nutrition, mental and vision training, and leadership and media instruction.

From Rugby To The NFL

The Patriots' Nate Ebner has been the most successful athlete to jump from rugby to the NFL, but he's not the only one who tried. Here are a few others and how they fared, according to ESPN Stats & Info:

Jarryd Hayne, RB, San Francisco 49ers, 2015 He was signed as an undrafted free agent after playing for the Fijian and Australian national rugby league teams. After rushing for 175 yards on 15 carries in the preseason, he rushed 17 times for 52 yards and caught six passes for 27 yards during the regular season. He also played for Fiji's Sevens rugby team after leaving the NFL.

Hayden Smith, TE, New York Jets, 2012 He was signed as an undrafted free agent after playing for the United States national rugby team. He had one catch for 16 yards. He also played for the Saracens club in England.

Some other notable rugby players who played in the NFL, but also played college football:

David Dixon, OL, Minnesota Vikings, 1994-2004 He played rugby and football at Arizona State and started 134 games for the Vikings, mostly at right guard.

Colin Scotts, DT, St. Louis Cardinals, 1987 He was offered a football scholarship by Hawaii while playing for an Australian Schoolboys team on a tour. He had two sacks in seven games.

Paul Lasike, FB, Chicago Bears, 2016 He played football and rugby at BYU after growing up in Australia. He rushed three times for eight yards in 10 games, including three starts for the Bears. He played primarily on special teams.

Ebner, DB, New England Patriots, 2012-present He was a second-team All-Pro in 2016. He played rugby and football at Ohio State and was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round in 2012. He represented the U.S. at the 2016 Rio Games.

The work spilled into nights and weekends. Mailata shuffled (or cruised) from one station to the next. One minute he'd be working on his 40-time get-off, the next he was in the classroom learning about zone schemes, defensive fronts and trap pulls. He'd go from on-field training -- Mailata practiced with high school seniors at the academy as he learned to function in his new ecosystem -- to the "mind gym," where he'd pop on 3D glasses for some cognitive training to enhance things like reaction time.

"The last three or four months have not been easy," Mailata said on the night he was drafted, "mentally challenging as well as physically."

He quickly began to see results, however. Even though strength gain was not a major focus in the lead-up to his pro day, his bench press went from around 16 reps of 225 pounds to 25 reps, according to Butler, while his squat numbers shot up from around 400 pounds to 500 pounds. And his body-fat percentage shrunk from 22 percent to 17 percent.

"The physical shock was awesome. The first four weeks he was dying, just dying every day. And it was like, 'Nope, nope, that was the warm-up,'" said Steffen Visk, assistant head of physical conditioning.

"[The body change] was drastic. You could tell that he's never been in an intensive environment where your full-time job is to work out. You're training 30 to 35 hours per week, and when you're not training, you're doing things to help you recover so that you can train more. ... You could see the fat melt, the muscle start to build up, you see the core strength. It was very, very awesome."

Significant strides were made in the football realm as well. Mailata recently joked that he knows as much as "two peanuts" now, signaling just how much learning he still has in front of him despite his advancements. According to Dunn, Mailata now has an understanding of football language and how to apply it.

"He's just grown leaps and bounds," Dunn said.

His development caught some evaluators off guard during his private pro-day workout at IMG in April, which was run by Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland.

"I don't know if Jeff thought, ‘Why are they sending me on this mission for this guy that has never played football before?' But I've been in this a long time and have conducted myself many, many pro individual workouts, and if there was one that was better, I can't remember," Dunn said. "And I worked a lot of All-Pro offensive linemen out and none of them held a stick to this guy. He was just incredible. I think that opened some eyes."

From Rugby to the NFL

How difficult is it to convert from rugby to football? Read how two NFL prospects, including the Eagles' Jordan Mailata, are trying it and how another one succeeded.

• Mailata: From star to Eagles project »
• Scotland-Williamson: Steelers quest»
• Patriots' Ebner knows how it's done »

Mailata ran a 5.12-second 40-yard dash, which would have ranked eighth among offensive linemen at the combine. His strong performance at his pro day led to a higher level of interest. Seven teams brought him in for a visit: the Eagles, Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets. Philly was the one that grabbed him, moving up 17 spots in the seventh round to do so.
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Re: ***2018 Official NFL Off-Season Thread***

Postby Buc2 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:26 am

That video of Mailata running in those rugby highlights was pretty awesome. Massive indeed.
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