Rich Tandler at csnmidatlantic.com reports that the Redskins canceled practice ahead of the Bears game on Sunday:
“‘We’re a little banged up here, obviously, and I thought it was important for our staff to get a good plan together and the players to get an extra day of rest, come back tomorrow with a plan in place and get a good day of practice,’ said [head coach Jay] Gruden.”
On the surface, this sounds like a good idea. But I wonder if it really is.
Most coaches, certainly the recent Bears coaches like Lovie Smith, have preached that injuries are not an excuse for failure. Every team has injuries. The Bears are as banged up as anyone besides the Chargers and yet you hardly ever hear the players even mention it. I have to attribute that in part to Bears head coach John Fox, who undoubtedly let’s it be known that the injuries are irrelevant.
I would argue that Gruden is subconsciously allowing the players to use injuries as an excuse not to succeed in practice. That’s only a very small step from being an excuse not to perform in the games, themselves. I have to wonder if it’s not best for head coaches to ignore the injuries as they would have the players do. Indeed, I wonder if it isn’t hypocritical not to.
I’m sure that Gruden is like every other coach and I’m sure he preaches that injuries are no excuse for losing. But action speak louder that words.