Monday’s health and safety news surrounding football — and more:
* Yahoo! Sports blog Shutdown Corner wrote about the secret at the Senior Bowl — coaches trolling for jobs.
The Senior Bowl week is all about prospects getting time with NFL teams — interviewing, answering questions on and off the field, and trying to prove that they have what it takes to make it in the pros.
However, that’s about more than just the former college players who are looking to get a leg up on the competition in the pre-draft process. The week before the Super Bowl in Mobile is also a landing spot for assistant coaches who are looking to find new spots in the league, and are still trying to find a seat in this professional game of musical chairs.
Yahoo! provided the example of one coach, Paul Spicer, who was looking for a new job last week.
Paul Spicer played defensive end for the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars from 1999 through 2008, and was a part of the New Orleans Saints’ roster in their Super Bowl season of 2009. Spicer spent 2012 as Jacksonville’s assistant defensive line coach and the season before that helping out, but following a 2-14 disaster and a new head coach in former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, Spicer didn’t just find himself fired — his position was actually eliminated. After that blow, Spicer coached the defensive line for the East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla., and then came to Mobile on his own time and his own time — trying to impress the NFL with his football acumen.
The NCAA has made progress on the subject with a policy on the books, and stated best intentions. But at the moment, while it dictates that members take the matter seriously with set guidelines, it leaves the details up to each school.
And so there is gray area to wonder what corners get cut in the heat of a close game. Who is diligent enough and who isn’t? The NCAA, accustomed to breathlessly monitoring the number of cellphone calls during recruiting, needs to move even harder and faster on a true danger. There can be nothing gray about this.
* Speaking of choices, ESPNChicago.com reported the fiance of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said she will try to persuade their 5-month old son not to play football when the decision arises.
– Bill Bradley, contributing editor