|Wednesday, August 1
McCardell: 'Got to take care of players'
By John Clayton
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- For years, NFL player representatives have been pushing for shorter preseasons. Why four or five exhibitions, they wonder?
"As players, we are out there expending as much energy as possible," Jaguars player rep Keenan McCardell said. "I don't know what happened. I know some people told me that he was complaining about being dizzy. You got to take care of players. I know this game pushes you to the limit. At a certain point, there's got to be a certain limit to the point you say that it's not good for the body."
McCardell doesn't know the particulars of Stringer's death. He practices every day in a heat index of 100-plus degrees.
"It's a tragic loss," McCardell said of Stringer's death. "He's a great kid. I met him. He was a model citizen."
On the subject of training camp, McCardell said that the Players Association has been pushing for cutting the preseason from four games to two games for the longest time.
"We've always said, 'Let's cut preseason back,' " McCardell said. "You still will have to go through some kind of training camp. But when you go through mini-camps through the whole offseason a lot of the coaches know what they want from players. Training camp is just getting players in pads and seeing if they can do it. I don't think you need six weeks of that."
What has been the NFL's reponse?
"None," McCardell said. "Chances of cutting preseason is down to zero. A lot of people know why. The owners have pretty much of everything in the preseason. They have all the gate. Being a businessman, I can understand that. Being a player, it's like, man, let's get into the regular season where it really counts.
"If we would do that, we could get into the preseason early, and the fans would like that because they can watch real football. I think the people would like to see it go a little early."
During the regular season, the owners must share revenues from the gate with the players.
John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.