1st point. Last Sunday the Indianapolis Colts activated receiver Blair White from their practice squad to fill the place of injured Pierre Garcon.
For those who are not football aficionados, this means a man who practiced with the team in the off-season, went through Training Camp in the Summer, but couldn’t make the top selection process, was called up to take the place of someone who beat him out of a job. It was the first NFL game he ever played.
2nd point. The NFL’s Players Association wants to extend the season and at the same time to do away with off-season practices.
Colts quarterback (and future resident of the Hall of Fame) Peyton Manning’s take: “They’re talking about extending the season to 18 games, so they’re going to cut down the off-season stuff in return. That’s not a fair trade. Off-season workouts – that’s how we’ve gotten our edge over the years. It’s how you really develop a player and improve your craft.”
3rd point. At one point during Sunday’s game, Manning had the team on the opponent’s nine yard line. White (in his first NFL game ever) goes into the huddle to suggest Manning (195 games and 13 years in the league) throw the ball to him.
And he did.
For a touchdown.
Manning credits off-season practices for his confidence and success with White.
Leaders lead, even (especially) in the off-season.