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  • Writer's pictureTerry O'Neil

Giants' Shurmur Schools NJ Coaches

Head Coach Pat Shurmur Friday evening showed a crowd of 550 high school coaches how his New York Giants practice at the annual New Jersey Football Coaches Association (NJFCA)/Rutgers Football Clinic in the Rutgers practice bubble,Piscataway, NJ.

Shurmur opened with this comment:  "We were all drawn to this game as youngsters because of the physical, competitive nature of the sport, or we wouldn't be sitting here.  We were drawn to this game because it's the greatest team sport of all time, and we need to protect it.  Player safety needs to be on the front burner or, I promise you, mothers are not going to let their sons play.  So we need to do what we can to keep this great game alive.  I think the steps that the State of New Jersey has taken to do that are going to lead the charge."

On February 13, the NJSIAA, governing body of New Jersey athletics, acting on a recommendation by the NJFCA, adopted the most restrictive practice contact limits in the history of the game at any level. Referring to those new regulations, Shurmur continued, "I assure you, there are a lot of smart guys in this room.  You will find a way to train your players so they can compete at a high level."

Sitting in the front row was Ramapo (NJ) High School Head Coach Drew Gibbs, whoseRaiders completed a perfect 13-0 season in 2018 despite, or maybe because of, banning full contact in regular-season practice.  Shurmur pointed to Gibbs and said, "The guy down here who didn't lose a game last year without tackling live, he's the one who should be talking to you."

Shurmur revealed that he never allows his squad to tackle to the ground, not even in pre-season when NFL coaches are permitted daily full contact.  Earlier in the day, Rutgers Coach Chris Ash told the audience he limits regular-season full contact to one individual period per week -- five minutes on Tuesdays -- giving each defensive player one live tackling rep.

The full 50-minute Shurmur presentation, assisted by Giants assistant defensive backs coach Henry Baker, is being distributed today at no charge to coaches in all 343 of New Jersey's football-playing high schools.  PLP has edited an 11-minute version which will be posted on its Website,

To read the Star-Ledger account of Shurmur's appearance, click here.

To read the story, click here.

Takeaways for Winning

Mickey Marley, member of the Tennessee Football Coaches Association (TnFCA) Hall of Fame, has distilled his 37 years of coaching into a series of engaging, motivating anecdotes in a newly published book, Game Ready: 52 Takeaways for Winning. 

To purchase a copy, click here.

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