Almost like clockwork it seems like during close games where an offense is effectively using tempo and driving the ball successfully, a defensive player drops to the ground with a mysterious injury, play stops while trainers come out, and the kid gets up and jogs to the sideline only to return the next play or two magically healed.
It's a tactic shamelessly used, and seldom discussed, by teams and defensive coordinators to stop the momentum the offense has in their favor, allowing substitutions and with the only downside being the "injured" player has to come off the field for a play. More times than not, that player ends up being a defensive lineman.
Few things ruffle the feathers of offensive coordinators and offensive minded head coaches like this seems to. It's a way around the current rules that many coaches feel is getting abused.
Mike Gundy shared an interesting suggestion on how to start to curb that behavior that so many coaches are taking advantage of earlier this week, according to the Tulsa World.
“If you’re injured, you can’t come back in until there’s a change of possession. Then you can come back in. People say ‘Well, you know, that’s not fair to that kid.’"
"They can do a study on this, if you’re injured, even a mild injury, you’re not coming back in in 6-8 plays. Everybody has to check you. You don’t just come back in. The rule is going to be fair if they just implement it and it will stop people from laying down.”
Gundy is convinced this will put an end to that strategy and has forwarded the suggestion to the Big 12 offices. He notes that they had a game earlier this year where a player came off the field three times, and the training staff never attended to the guy, and it was all captured on their game film.
It's an interesting suggestion that I'm sure nearly all coaches employing an up tempo attack will support, while defensive coaches will maintain that it's one of the tools they have left in a landscape where football always seems to be tilting in advantageous of the offense.
Head here to read the full article, with more comments from Gundy.