Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy recently said that he’s had just two healthy teams since he’s been the head coach – the 13-3 2007 and 15-1 2011 teams.
Those records only underscore the importance of teams that remain injury-free. Last year’s 8-7-1 team also places an exclamation point behind the statement that injuries have played nearly as big a role at slowing the Packers as their opponents on the other side of the ball.
With that said,the Packers seem to be looking outside their own training room toward Australia to see if they can figure out what’s going on. According to ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky, the Packers have contracted with Catapult Sports, a company that studies data on athletic exertion utilizing GPS systems that can compile the information instantaneously.
Here’s the tweet Catapult pushed out this past Friday:
— Catapult (@CatapultSports) April 11, 2014
According to the company’s website, they are already working with dozens of professional and college sports teams across the globe. In the United States, that includes these teams and organizations:
- Atlanta Falcons
- Baylor University
- Buffalo Bills
- Dallas Cowboys
- Dallas Mavericks
- Detroit Tigers
- East Tennessee State University
- Florida State University
- Gatorade Sports Science Institute
- Houston Rockets
- IMG Academy
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Louisiana State University
- Miami Dolphins
- New York Giants
- New York Knicks
- Old Dominion University
- Philadelphia Eagles
- Philadelphia Flyers
- San Antonio Spurs
- Seattle Sounders
- St. Louis Rams
- United States Biathlon
- United States Men’s Soccer
- United States Military Academy
- United States Rowing
- United States Rugby
- United States Special Forces
- United States Sports Academy
- United States Women’s Soccer
- United States Women’s Rowing
- USA Field Hockey
- University of California-Berkeley
- University of Central Florida
- University of Connecticut
- University of Kentucky
- University of Minnesota
- University of North Carolina
- University of Notre Dame
- University of Oregon
- University of Pittsburg
- University of South Florida
Just what this means for the Green Bay Packers is difficult to say, but McCarthy is showing that he is open to looking at other ways to reduce the injuries that have devastated the Packers the past few years.
Of course, one isn’t going to get away from the bone-crunching injuries, such as the one that shelved Aaron Rodgers last season, but by utilizing the
services offered by Catapult Sports, soft tissue injuries may be reduced – and those injuries, namely the hamstring issues – are the injuries that have hurt the Packers the most.
In his story, Demovsky quotes Buffalo Bills strength coach Eric Ciano, who describes how the data is utilized:
“The number one goal of this system right now is trying to help prevent injury as well as help us with the rehab process. “There are a lot of different things that goes in to it, but the biggest thing is ‘how can we monitor guys on the field to help us get the information?’”
Coaches can’t be everywhere and trainers can’t be on top of every pop and snap of a tissue. However, with this system in place, it might help Packers coaches and trainers to ease up on players who are stretching things to the limit.
McCarthy, as reported by Demovsky, emphasized the importance of trying to get a handle on the injury situation. Here is what he had to say to reporters last month about the issue:
“You got to grade yourself on, did you hit the target of training your football team right through this new CBA schedule? And you look at injuries; you look at your outcome. I feel like I haven’t hit the target that I want to hit. So with that I’ll continue to change and adjust and emphasize the things I feel we need to do and that will be evident when they get back here in the offseason program. The offseason program is going to be different than it was the last two years and training camp will be also.”
We can only hope that with the fundamental changes McCarthy describes above, in addition to utilizing this new technology, that the Packers can get a handle on their injuries and get back to the things that really matter: like winning football games.