The Best Rest for 17 Games?

luckiestman

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I'm going to state a strong opinion here about something Mike Lombardi said on his podcast and if you have evidence that I am wrong please push back.

This motherfucker Lombardi was ranting and raving on his pod, and I don't mind that, about rest during the 17 game season and said something I thought was extraordinarily dumb. Something that has a veneer of logic but does not stand up to scrutiny. He said in terms of rest/load management is does not matter how many games you play what matters is how many plays you play. Therefore teams could manage the number of snaps a player is in for to be equivalent to a 16 game season over 17 games.

Here is why I think this is incredibly dumb. I roll live grappling matches 3x per week for between an hour and 1.5 hours, It's roughly 12 matches (because of rest between rounds and odd number of guys). We go pretty hard because we are dumb old bros and some of these guys are tough. Lombardi's argument is that if I were to roll 10 matches instead of 12, after 5 sessions this would be like taking a day off to rest. This is absolute bullshit. Once you are warmed up and your body is hot, the marginal match isn't taking that much out of you and similarly, I cannot see how an additional 3-5 plays in an NFL game is the same as having a full week off sometime during the season. This seems like a total misunderstanding of how the human body recovers from a workload. Am I wrong?
 

CaptainLaddie

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I genuinely think the best answer to the 17 or 18 game season would be to have it so the roster was bigger (say, 60 players), but players can be on the active roster for only play 16 games. You'd basically stagger byes for your entire roster along with having an actual bye.
 

djbayko

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I'm going to state a strong opinion here about something Mike Lombardi said on his podcast and if you have evidence that I am wrong please push back.

This motherfucker Lombardi was ranting and raving on his pod, and I don't mind that, about rest during the 17 game season and said something I thought was extraordinarily dumb. Something that has a veneer of logic but does not stand up to scrutiny. He said in terms of rest/load management is does not matter how many games you play what matters is how many plays you play. Therefore teams could manage the number of snaps a player is in for to be equivalent to a 16 game season over 17 games.

Here is why I think this is incredibly dumb. I roll live grappling matches 3x per week for between an hour and 1.5 hours, It's roughly 12 matches (because of rest between rounds and odd number of guys). We go pretty hard because we are dumb old bros and some of these guys are tough. Lombardi's argument is that if I were to roll 10 matches instead of 12, after 5 sessions this would be like taking a day off to rest. This is absolute bullshit. Once you are warmed up and your body is hot, the marginal match isn't taking that much out of you and similarly, I cannot see how an additional 3-5 plays in an NFL game is the same as having a full week off sometime during the season. This seems like a total misunderstanding of how the human body recovers from a workload. Am I wrong?
I agree it’s silly. Also, how would this work in practice? Who’s counting the plays and telling Coach Belichick - or any football coach - that he can’t put in Player X for an important 4th down because we have to worry about future games? I can’t imagine that ever happening
 

Over Guapo Grande

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Not sure if this answers the question or not- but I was a fairly competitive high jumper in high school and college. Never threatened anything on the national level, but placed in state/confererence meets. One of the things that was drilled into me, and which I tried to pass on as a coach, is that you only have X good jumps a week. Why waste them in practice? Work on your approach, your footwork. Do 3 step drills at a low height to tune up your form.... but don't do a personal best in practice. So if you have 16 games worth of good plays in you, maybe it is better to portion that out ovr 17 games. I feel like I didn't really explain this well, so I will gladly expand/reiterate if desired.
 

luckiestman

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I genuinely think the best answer to the 17 or 18 game season would be to have it so the roster was bigger (say, 60 players), but players can be on the active roster for only play 16 games. You'd basically stagger byes for your entire roster along with having an actual bye.
I agree but it is tricky for QB and Oline.
 

luckiestman

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Not sure if this answers the question or not- but I was a fairly competitive high jumper in high school and college. Never threatened anything on the national level, but placed in state/confererence meets. One of the things that was drilled into me, and which I tried to pass on as a coach, is that you only have X good jumps a week. Why waste them in practice? Work on your approach, your footwork. Do 3 step drills at a low height to tune up your form.... but don't do a personal best in practice. So if you have 16 games worth of good plays in you, maybe it is better to portion that out ovr 17 games. I feel like I didn't really explain this well, so I will gladly expand/reiterate if desired.

I have heard about this (I read about sprinters). Let's make it equivalent to what Lombardi is saying though. We are not talking about practice. He is saying if you went to a meet and were doing competitive jumps you would equally stress your body over 5 weeks in the following way:

4 jumps 5 weeks in a row

5 jumps x2, a week off, 5 jumps x2

I think the week off is a lot more recuperative.

And also, this is competing against other players, not a clock or apparatus. So I may be tired at the end of a football game but so are my opponents. This is different than track and field events.

I will think about this more.
 

Mystic Merlin

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I’m not sure, but neither is Lombardi and he should say so.

I think the whole thing is academic because what team is gonna preemptively draw down 10 percent or whatever on their key players’ snaps because there is one additional game on the calendar? Not gonna happen. I don’t see a reason to think teams are at all calibrating snap counts to a 16 game schedule as it is, especially with the drastically fewer padded practices that have been the norm for a decade plus or so. Coaches do what they always do, they sit guys who are laboring or hurt if they can, and may sit key players late in blowouts. Otherwise they’re gonna treat every drive, quarter, etc as a zero sum game battle for everyone’s professional lives, which means dudes are gonna play.
 

djbayko

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Not sure if this answers the question or not- but I was a fairly competitive high jumper in high school and college. Never threatened anything on the national level, but placed in state/confererence meets. One of the things that was drilled into me, and which I tried to pass on as a coach, is that you only have X good jumps a week. Why waste them in practice? Work on your approach, your footwork. Do 3 step drills at a low height to tune up your form.... but don't do a personal best in practice. So if you have 16 games worth of good plays in you, maybe it is better to portion that out ovr 17 games. I feel like I didn't really explain this well, so I will gladly expand/reiterate if desired.
I think there is a difference between a sport which depends on a one- or two-time maximum effort and a sport which relies more on stamina over many plays. You're not going to hit a personal best bench press or long jump too many times in the same day or week, and the more you try, the more your results will deteriorate. In football it's already understood that you wont be achieving a personal best on every play. It's physically impossible to do so because of the demands.
 
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Over Guapo Grande

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I have heard about this (I read about sprinters). Let's make it equivalent to what Lombardi is saying though. We are not talking about practice. He is saying if you went to a meet and were doing competitive jumps you would equally stress your body over 5 weeks in the following way:

4 jumps 5 weeks in a row

5 jumps x2, a week off, 5 jumps x2

I think the week off is a lot more recuperative.

And also, this is competing against other players, not a clock or apparatus. So I may be tired at the end of a football game but so are my opponents. This is different than track and field events.

I will think about this more.
It is an imperfect analogy, because the best way to put the least amount of stress on yourself is to take fewer jumps... so you come in at a higher point, and your goal is to not miss anything until you top out. So Maybe play fewer plays? It is good food for thought, and I am not necessarily disagreeing with you.
 

Joe Sixpack

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My initial reaction was it sounds to me like Lombardi is full of shit, but then I thought of a baseball analogy and I think I've come around to what he is saying.

Imagine we only looked at number of games started when assessing starting pitcher workload. Then someone came along and said no, it doesn't matter how many games, you have to look at number of innings pitched (or number of pitches thrown).

From that perspective, it makes a lot of sense.

In basketball you manage guys with minutes played, not games played.
 

Tangled Up In Red

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Another analogy is European football, where some teams may play, say, 30 games a season and others may play 60.
Roster quality/depth is a massive factor, but so is how you rest folks on limited subs.
 

Royal Reader

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Another analogy is European football, where some teams may play, say, 30 games a season and others may play 60.
Roster quality/depth is a massive factor, but so is how you rest folks on limited subs.
Yeah, and the way teams manage that vary. You had guys like Ledley King with his chronic knee injury, and late career Gareth Barry, who played one game a week but tended to last the ninety. Lots of other clubs if they play twice in a week will give a guy 90, but broken up 60/30 over two games.
 

Phil Plantier

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I’m not sure, but neither is Lombardi and he should say so.

I think the whole thing is academic because what team is gonna preemptively draw down 10 percent or whatever on their key players’ snaps because there is one additional game on the calendar? Not gonna happen. I don’t see a reason to think teams are at all calibrating snap counts to a 16 game schedule as it is, especially with the drastically fewer padded practices that have been the norm for a decade plus or so. Coaches do what they always do, they sit guys who are laboring or hurt if they can, and may sit key players late in blowouts. Otherwise they’re gonna treat every drive, quarter, etc as a zero sum game battle for everyone’s professional lives, which means dudes are gonna play.
The one caveat is that there are positions that rotate more than they did in the past: D-line and RB (maybe safeties too?) So, at some point coaches learned that playing their best players every play did not result in maximum performance. It is possible that they would expand this.

But my guess is that some team will experiment with giving veterans a maintenance game off during the season. Probably not all of them get the same game, but let's say that for the 4-5 out-of-conference games, 4-5 players miss each game with injuries they would normally play through. That gets all of your starters an extra bye, in effect.

I know this is a tough sell to coaches ("in football season football players play football" etc.), but someone's going to try it.
 

tims4wins

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I think late in the year if teams are either sewn up playoff spots or are out of it you will see more “load management” than previously.
Especially with the single bye. Almost every playoff team will have to win 3 playoff games to get to the Super Bowl. Does one extra home game really matter that much if you are playing 3 either way? Instead you can rest your guys and get some of the benefits of a bye.
 

RedOctober3829

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Especially with the single bye. Almost every playoff team will have to win 3 playoff games to get to the Super Bowl. Does one extra home game really matter that much if you are playing 3 either way? Instead you can rest your guys and get some of the benefits of a bye.
The Pats this year will have some extra rest built in late in the year as well. They have the mini bye after Atlanta into Tennessee, an extra day to get ready for Buffalo, then their bye week. If they play Saturday out of the bye, they’ll have an extra day to get ready for the second Buffalo game as well.
 

Devizier

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I think late in the year if teams are either sewn up playoff spots or are out of it you will see more “load management” than previously.
Extending the season means you’ll see something closer to the NBA. Lots of stars resting, more meaningless games. It won’t be as big a deal for 17 games as when it (eventually) gets to 18, and possibly all the way up to 20?
 

BaseballJones

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My initial reaction was it sounds to me like Lombardi is full of shit, but then I thought of a baseball analogy and I think I've come around to what he is saying.

Imagine we only looked at number of games started when assessing starting pitcher workload. Then someone came along and said no, it doesn't matter how many games, you have to look at number of innings pitched (or number of pitches thrown).

From that perspective, it makes a lot of sense.

In basketball you manage guys with minutes played, not games played.
Actually in the NBA, they do both. They reduce minutes, but they also have guys sit out games for "load management".
 

Joe Sixpack

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Actually in the NBA, they do both. They reduce minutes, but they also have guys sit out games for "load management".
Yes, but guys sitting out games is done because they are playing heavy minutes, not a high number of games. A guy playing 15mpg doesn't usually sit out for load management.

I could see in the NFL a guy that plays every defensive snap sits out a game for load management, while a guy playing 15-20 snaps maybe doesn't need the rest. In other words it makes sense what Lombardi is saying to look at snaps to evaluate that, rather than number of games.
 

tims4wins

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Extending the season means you’ll see something closer to the NBA. Lots of stars resting, more meaningless games. It won’t be as big a deal for 17 games as when it (eventually) gets to 18, and possibly all the way up to 20?
Maybe yes, maybe no. At 18 games 1 win will still separate playoff teams from non-playoff teams.

Also, when they go to 18 games I would expect they go to 2 byes, which would change the equation.
 

snowmanny

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I think late in the year if teams are either sewn up playoff spots or are out of it you will see more “load management” than previously.
I heard someone say that Bruschi said for teams that close against division rivals (he was apparently pointing at the NFC East, which has a lot of intra-division games late) you might want to load manage to be fresh for the more important games.

Ed-it was Mike Greenberg quoting him
 

reggiecleveland

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As a guy who has undergone more than a few surgeries, the diea of volume vs days of activity is pretty much accepted science. I had bad jumper's knee tendonitis and as a result took a big break from hoops (a whole month! or 6 weeks) after each season in college. Our hard core coach had us back in the gym a week or two after we were done. If you lost at the conference level you were playing ball again by the time of the final four, or earlier. As I was playing well into my 30s I often credited this time off. But, I was workaholic who ramped up the volume over my teammates so reps, hours on the court was the same or higher. So when the wheels fell off and I was done from even playing pick up, I learned (too late) the time off (It added up to more than year, when post high school season were added) did not matter as much, as the fact I still had the milage.
 
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BuellMiller

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Mar 25, 2015
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I agree but it is tricky for QB and Oline.
Yeah, I was thinking something like this (as it would also somewhat keep stats/records in line with the past so many years that have used the 16 games schedule). But as has been mentioned, especially around QBs, it also wouldn't help the fan experience if you bought a ticket for the one game that Ryan Mallet has to play over Tom Brady.
And it would maybe affect the competitive balance to some degree that wouldn't be beneficial...maybe these would be rare occurrences, but if say you have 3 games left, 1 against the best team in the league, and 2 others against division foes, and you know you need to win 2 of those 3 games to make the playoffs, and some of your best players have played all the games so far...do you take them out against the Patriots so they can play the Steelers and the Browns? (Although I guess it would add another strategic element to the game to enjoy how BB would handle it vs the likes of the other lesser coaches).
 

simplyeric

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Yeah I was reading this and thinking that not only is the quantity of rest important, but the timing is pretty critical. I would think that having a bye in the middle or second 1/3 of the season would be better than an early season bye, in terms of how it affects the body. I am not sure why I think that. In terms of the long term effects maybe it doesn't matter? But in terms of in-season performance, I can see why it might be better later in the season, even if part of it is psychological. But, in the same way that a late-game timeout gives you time to catch your breath as you push towards the end of the game, maybe that also applies to the season as well.

But, I don't know... I'm not sure that trend really means what it looks like it means. How causal do we think that is?
Going back several more years:
year winner bye week​
2006 Colts Week 6​
2007 none​
2008 Steelers Week 6​
2009 Saints Week 5​
2010 Packers Week 10​
2011 Ravens Week 7​
2012 Giants Week 7​
2013 Seahawks Week 12​
2014 Patriots Week 10​
2015 Broncos Week 7​
 

RetractableRoof

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Of all the threads, Yammer appears in a BBTL discussion of the BYE WEEK? That's like finding out Elvis is alive and playing a gig at the Quincy Sheraton Ballroom.
Neah, it'll be a gig at a church in Florida or something... (I mean if Elvis is alive, I've got no thoughts on Yammer appearing in a church.)