The Dallas Cowboys are one of the first teams to open up training camp as they prepare for the 2013-14 NFL season and they are also one of the first teams to begin getting used to the new pads that will be required by the league this year. Players will be forced to wear thigh and knee pads and they will not be able to play if they refuse to do that.
For Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, he wants to prepare his players for what they will be forced to wear during the season and he will make the players practice in their new pads as they decide which fit and style they prefer.
“You’ve got to be able to carry your pads to be a good football player,” Garrett said, via Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com. “If you go out in shorts or in these pads that you’re not going to wear in the game and then, come game time, you’re wearing something different than what you’ve been practicing in, that’s not good for you.
“You want to feel comfortable. You want to feel like you’ve been there before, so we’ll do that in practice as well.”
As for the players, some may have an issue with the new NFL rule that requires the pads, but Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee says that it will become second nature after a few practices.
“I think at first it’ll be an adjustment, but I don’t think it’s too big of a deal,” Lee said. “It’ll be good because you can practice in them and feel good.”
You practice how you play and this is a good move for Garrett.
The mandatory pads may not seem like a big deal, but if a player is uncomfortable the distraction could hurt how he performs. Garrett is making sure that he avoids any situation like that.