“I’m very confident with what we’ve been doing over the last three and a half years,” said Dimitroff, who described the methods as semi revolutionary.
The Falcons are getting some attention for being part of the best teams in reducing injury for good reason. Their starters are not missing starts. Is this sustainable? Last year they were part of the best teams but the question is why? Football Outsiders has games missed by the starters from last year but that can be misleading. The RGL lists each injury based on the game and practice data, and if the injury was contact or non-contact. If one is plagued with bad luck of getting tackled and injured, it’s completely different than an athlete running on the sideline and pulling a hamstring. Different injuries different causes. Based on the RGL list Atlanta is doing very well and is still the top 5 over the last few years.
I don’t know Jeff Fish, but the idea of having a centralized figure to make the medical and performance side be in harmony is indeed the future. Having a centralized philosophy with performance and medical data and some other factors such as team age and and how the coaching style works. For example, a decade ago the St.Louis Rams were changing snap volumes in practice during one report at training camp. While the Superbowl was likely because of Kurt replacing Trent, I noticed the change by Dick V to be more than random taste. Those in the know realize a little Toronto Twist was involved. What are the Falcons doing that is so special? Jeff’s use of MSK US and the Polar System seems not too revolutionary, but the entire organization must be running like a well oiled machine when the GM is involved and buys in. A coach free to do the things he believes in is rare, and when the performance coach is handcuffed because of policies or politics, nothing is going to get done. I was very impressed with his interview on youtube as he has the perfect balance of practical and effective.
Gray Cook said, they are nearly at maximum speed and strength, so the focus should be on keeping them fresh. At first glance I think they are allowing pedagogical recovery, but what I would be interested is this an artificial window of recovery that can be sustained? How does one keep speed and power without doing the things that go there? They seem to have olympic lifting platforms, so are they olympic lifting? Are they hitting the numbers close to what they did in college? All of this data is likely to be proprietary so we will never know. What I do know is that Atlanta Falcons is the best model of what to do with structuring a winning system. I hope and expect several teams changing to this philosophy next year.