Football coaches look for different things in a player. In some, they look for speed, while in others, strength is more important. But what they tend to look for in every player is toughness. That’s why it was surprising when, in late May, the NFL asked teams to stop using the “Oklahoma drill” – considered the ultimate test of toughness – during their training camps.
Dave Flemming is a senior writer for ESPN The magazine, and has written extensively about the drill and its effects on players and viewers. He says that getting rid of the drill during training camp in order to prevent concussions doesn’t mean football will be any less of a tough, contact sport.
“You’re never going to be able to legislate the violence out of football,” Flemming says. “After all, that is part of the entertainment that people really love, whether they want to admit it or not.”
What you’ll hear in this segment:
– What the Oklahoma drill is and what it means to players and coaches
– Why the NFL is concerned about the drill
– How the NFL is sending a larger message by asking teams to stop using the drill
Written by Marina Marquez.