Player safety has become one of the key talking points surrounding the NFL in recent years. But while we frequently discuss the health of players and the impact the game has on their bodies, we almost never have those conversations about the rest of the staff of an NFL team.
New York Jets receiver Brandon Marshall wants to change that. He sees the insane hours coaches work and knows it can’t be good for them. Bill Belichick famously told new staff members to expect to work 20 hours a day, which leaves a dangerously small amount of time to sleep. And those coaches are working 7 days a week too, putting an enormous toll on their bodies. In an appearance on Inside the NFL, Marshall called for coaches to unionize and collectively bargain for better and safer hours.
“It’s time for our coaches to unionize. We’ve had four coaches in the hospital this year. If people understood how many hours, and what it takes to be a head coach, how many hours they put in, it would be an issue.”
One of those coaches was Marshall’s own Todd Bowles. And as soon as he got out of his hospital bed, he headed straight back to work. That’s ultimately the problem with Marshall’s plan to solve this problem; coaches don’t work these hours because they want to, the work them because they’re obsessed and insanely driven.
If something is going to be done about the issue, it’s going to have to come from NFL owners themselves. They’ll have to put limits on coaches working hours, because most of these coaches are going to work as much as they possibly can.