FNF Coaches Talk — Oakley face shields, outdated tackling drills, locker room sanitation

FNF Coaches Talk

Welcome back, Coaches. We’ve got three COVID-related stories for you.

1. NFL teams experimenting with Oakley face shields (Boston.com)

We know that Schutt has created a splash shield to prevent the spread of the COVID virus on the practice field as well as in games. The popular sunglass manufacturer, Oakley, is also producing a football helmet shield which is being experimented with at the NFL level.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said players are experimenting with utilizing a face shield as a precautionary measure to protect against the coronavirus.

“I think we have some guys that will wear them and some guys that won’t,” he said Monday morning, the first day of the team’s padded practices.

Unveiled by Oakley and the NFL in July, the face shield features clear plastic with slits and holes designed to block the paths of respiratory droplets while still promoting airflow and communication. Dr. Jeff Crandall, chairman of the league’s engineering committee, said the primary purpose of the product is to reduce the aerosolization of droplets, which is a mode of transmitting COVID-19.

The decision to wear the shield will be left up to each individual as the Patriots are not expected to issue a team-wide mandate.

Belichick said the team initially broached the topic with players in May, prior to the release of the Oakley version. The team began researching a few options, such as extending the eye shield or modifying equipment generally used following broken noses or other facial injuries.

“The team and organization have addressed this very professionally, strictly, and we’ve changed quite a bit as more information or different techniques or products have become available,” Belichick said. “We’ve been very fluid. The players have done a great job of following protocols.”

Read the entire story.

What products is your team using to prevent the spread of the virus?

2. Giants player injured in outdated hitting drill during training camp (Giants.com)

We understand coaches try to instill toughness in players during training camp, and certainly there is a use for tackling drills in practice. But we’re not sure we agree with this drill from first-year Giants coach Joe Judge.

New York Giants cornerback Corey Ballentine violently collided with wide receiver Austin Mack during a one-on-one goal line drill Tuesday night, and then he lay on the ground motionless as silence befell the field.

Trainers rushed to Ballentine’s side, general manager Dave Gettleman made his way out onto the grass and defensive back Julian Love knelt nearby. Then out came the cart.

Already thin at cornerback, it was a nightmare scenario for the Giants. And then, in an instant, it wasn’t.

Ballentine rose to his feet, sat on the cart and rotated his shoulder a bit. Not too long after, he was back on the field to finish practice.

“I’ll wait for the trainers for the official on Ballentine, but he finished practice. He was up quickly right there. He’s good to go,” head coach Joe Judge told reporters after practice.

The drill, as it turns out, is one frequently run by Bill Belichick in New England. Judge has just made some slight modifications.

Read the entire story.

Would you consider running this drill in practice?

3. Alabama high school team is cleaning locker room with hospital grade disinfectant and fog machine (WBRC Alabama)

We’ll be following up on this story for a feature in our next edition of FNF Coaches. We’ll let you know what type of fog machine and disinfectant spray Hueytown High (Ala.) is using as well as any other tips the coaches can provide for locker room safety.

What lessons have you learned in terms of locker room safety and sanitation?

What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk