Recently, there has been talk about how much players in the NFL currently weigh and how that contributes to the dangers of concussions for current and recent players. Only one team in the NFL had an offensive line with an average weight of under 300 pounds last year. But things may be changing.
It turns out that the defensive line is having to drop weight, and they are doing it quickly. NFL defensive linesmen are losing a lot of weight to keep up with the new passing game. Will this mean fewer injuries and concussions?
Ray Lewis, linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens,has lost more than 20 pounds for this season, as has his Ravens teammate, linebacker Jameel McClain. Washington Redskins linebacker Lorenzo Alexander as lost 30, New Orleans Saints linebacker Curtis Lofton has gone on a no fast-food diet, and Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Dan Williams has lost 30. Why this sudden shedding of pound?
Weight, it seems, is no longer the advantage it once was. Thanks to new training techniques and a new focus on the passing game, speed is becoming more important and sheer bulk is becoming less important. The NFL has also been pushing for a safer, healthier game in light of the concussion lawsuits.
Holliday says that when he started in the game you had to be over 300 pounds to play on the defensive line, and he himself weight 320 when he started his career. Now, he only weighs 270. Williams says that the way they currently train means you can be just as strong without the increase in size. Considering the massive increase in size from 40 years ago, the lighter bodies could mean a return to a game with fewer head injuries.
Passing is up by 60 yards per game in the last decade and players say this could be good for smaller players. It can be nothing but good news for everyone’s health.