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  1. #1
    rammiser's Avatar
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    Voluntary or Mandatory

    This is something that is driving me crazy. T.O. who I really don't like is getting banged on for not showing up to voluntary workouts. Our own Steven Jackson took heat from people because he was missing voluntary workouts. If people want these guys to show up so bad why are they called voluntary??? If teams expect these players to be there then call them mandatory. I don't care what the situation is new team new system whatever if it's voluntary your saying that the players can show up if they want to. Some guys like to workout with their own trainers untill the teams make them report. Jackson missed some time because his girlfriend was having a baby. Even if that wasnt the case why should he be expected to show up for something that is voluntary? Some will say it shows leadership, some say it shows initiative. In my opinion if it's voluntary your giving them a reason not to show up. Make it mandatory if your going to be disappointed when certain guys don't show up. If you expect guys to show up make it mandatory for crying out loud or shut the hell up!

    Just Fix It

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    Re: Voluntary or Mandatory

    totally agree miser, especially when it comes to T.O. I mean c'mon....that guy is a walking billboard of staying in shape. His muscles have muscles. The Bills should make his vountary workouts mandatory for the team.

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    Re: Voluntary or Mandatory

    i certainly agree with the two examples given atleast.

    i do think that a new player should attend as much team activites as possible to fit into the schemes etc...but in T.O`s case its not needed so much,not this current activity anyway..like Tx said T.O`s body is a fine specimen...even when i was in my prime during my army days, my body wasnt as good as his and i cant believe that any sports person trains harder than a soldier in the british army...its insane!!!

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    Re: Voluntary or Mandatory

    This is an article if you haven't read it, that is very important on this matter, and maybe it will give you some light on T.O. He is a good guy, but yes, he has a little bit of character that some don't like. I personally have no problem with him, and would have liked to have him on board. Anyways, here it is;




    Terrell Owens , WR


    2008 Statistics:
    Receptions: 69
    Yards: 1,052
    Touchdowns: 10

    BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Terrell Owens has a pretty good reason for missing the start of the Buffalo Bills' voluntary offseason conditioning program this week.
    The wide receiver is in Washington, D.C., attending the sixth annual National Alzheimer's Gala. He'll receive the Alzheimer's Association's first Young Champions Award on Wednesday night for raising awareness in the fight against the disease. Owens' grandmother has Alzheimer's.
    Among the other people being honored are French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and his wife, Sharon Percy Rockefeller.
    Owens, who signed with the Bills on March 7, made headlines Monday when he was one of several players who didn't show up for the start of the team's 12-week voluntary workout program.



    Seriously, like always, you need to see the whole picture. Sometimes players are dealing with a death in the family, and sometimes it is another reason or so. But seriously, until they say, T.O. missed OTA workouts this week because he was sitting at Joe's Pub in downtown Dublin drinking tequilla, you have to treat it all as bullshizot. Because that's what it comes down to. Someone wants to sell papers, and someone wants to make some money for "Reporting it first!" and disgracing someone's name. Well, surprise arseholes, T.O. was receiving an award for being a good person. Hmmmmz.... how much else is complete crap? The majority of his Cowboy teammates already on the record said they didn't feel he was a distraction at all, and a very few said they just felt they needed to go in a different direction. Well, we're going in a different direction, and Pace and Holt got released. Does that mean they were bad people or a distraction? No, just that the Rams are going in a different direction. T.O. is just being given his earned stereotype, and no one is giving him a clean slate.

    None the less, yes. Unless they can report exactly what the player is doing, and it better be something neglegent to their health or physical being, than I don't really care if they show up or not. Most people have reasons, and if it doesn't say Mandatory, than it isn't Mandatory. Period.

    Aside from that opinion, I believe that if you have not established yourself on the team, and / or are a new member as a rookie, I believe you should be making every attempt to show up to all optional workouts and drills as well. How else are you supposed to get on the starting lineup if you aren't even trying?

    But regardless, everyone will have reasons, and those are how we judge. We would judge on excuses and reasons for not showing up. The media doesn't give the players that benefit, and that is why the media is the media, and why we don't call it, "The TRUTH!"

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    Re: Voluntary or Mandatory

    Quote Originally Posted by rammiser View Post
    This is something that is driving me crazy. T.O. who I really don't like is getting banged on for not showing up to voluntary workouts. Our own Steven Jackson took heat from people because he was missing voluntary workouts. If people want these guys to show up so bad why are they called voluntary??? If teams expect these players to be there then call them mandatory.
    I could not agree more. This rediculous game of calling these workouts "voluntary" when that is clearly not the intent bothers me as much as the 9/10ths of a cent added to the cost of a gallon of gas.

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    Re: Voluntary or Mandatory

    And to agree with you both further, I believe it is strictly the media that "cares" whether they show up, and not the coaching. As a fan, do you care that Seven Jackson missed a few workouts because he had a child? Doubtful, and look at him, he is a huge diesel driven runningback who takes all the carries he can. We don't care. The media just tries to create problems because they are crybabies who missed a star interview because they had more important things to do.

    T.O., Jackson, whomever. After thinking about it, I think it mostly is just the media getting upset because the players weren't there at the workouts to be interviewed, and so they write "bash" articles to get the player a bad wrap.

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    Re: Voluntary or Mandatory

    Jackson should not have been criticized, given his reason for not coming.

    T.O. is a different situation altogether. He has been a problem every place he's been, and now he's supposed to be having yet another "new start" with a new team. This was a chance to make a good first impression. Instead, he thumbed his nose at the notion of attending a voluntary workout. Just more of the same from the biggest jerk in the league.

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    Re: Voluntary or Mandatory

    Really don't take the time to read anything on this thread Avenger? Maybe you should try going up to my first post, where T.O. has a complete and very good excuse for not being there. I am going to go so far as to say, it is more respectable than Steven Jackson's excuse. So, with that said, much love and respect to you, but maybe you just missed it. That is an article of fact, and NFL.COM posted that one to correct all the bull that the media was creating.

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    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Voluntary or Mandatory

    I read the article. It changes nothing.

    So he received an award for fundraising. What does that even mean? He gave his name to a cause, or his time? Who knows? (I'm reminded of my father musing about my mom's contemporaries who would attend luncheons to see who was going to receive the award for attending the most luncheons).

    Makes no difference. In an interview, he made it clear that he would not attend ANY voluntary workouts. It had nothing to do with his other plans (which he didn't mention - thereby missing a valuable opportunity to bring publicity to a worthy cause). He didn't attend the workouts because he believes that he is above such things.

    Of course, if he attends enough galas, maybe all the handshaking will strenthen those muscles that failed him when he lead the league in drops.

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    thoey's Avatar
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    Re: Voluntary or Mandatory

    Physically, I think TO doesn't need to attend the voluntary camps. Mentally, I think he needs to be there with his new team, learning their new philosophies, and gelling with his new teammates.

    The guy is an excellent WR, but he is still a jerk and a cancer.
    This space for rent...

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    Re: Voluntary or Mandatory

    As far as T.O. goes whether it's mandatory or volantary this was an opportunity for him to show that he is changing his ways? NOT!

    One would think that he would like to clean-up his reputation from the past and show his new team that he is eager to learn the Buffalo way and put his me first attitude in the past.

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    Re: Voluntary or Mandatory

    Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

    The definition of voluntary is rather simple. Crack open the dictionary.

    The definition of voluntary workouts also is clear. It's spelled out in the NFL's collective-bargaining agreement.

    The concept of whether a player should feel compelled to attend voluntary workouts, however, is vague and the source of controversy every offseason when certain players don't participate.

    "It's a never-ending situation I've faced my entire career," said Ernie Accorsi, the former Baltimore Colts, Cleveland Browns and New York Giants general manager.

    Coaches and general managers would prefer their players volunteer to show up for the good of the club, to be internally hardwired to want to work out with their teammates at the facility.

    But, aside from a three-day minicamp, teams can't punish players for skipping offseason conditioning programs or organized team activities, commonly referred to as OTAs.

    "You can't force them to be there," Accorsi said. ""But what you can't replace is the chemistry part of it.

    "To me, the most important element of the offseason is the unity and the chemistry. Coaches are going to say something different. They're going to say control over their conditioning programs and learning the systems. That's important. But, to me, building a cohesion by going through the period that's a lot of hard work and no games together."

    Some high-profile examples of players not attending have taken place in the AFC East.

    Star receiver Terrell Owens has declared he won't be attending the Buffalo Bills' workouts unless they're mandatory. Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters has been skipping them for a second straight year because he's unhappy with his contract.

    Pro Bowl running back Thomas Jones isn't sweating in the New York Jets' facility until he has a new contract.

    In 2008, Jason Taylor chose "Dancing With the Stars" over the Miami Dolphins' offseason program, much to the dismay of austere football operations boss Bill Parcells.

    Despite missing the Bills voluntary offseason workouts, Terrell Owens found time to visit an NBA game in Toronto –- just an hour and a half from Buffalo.
    Those, of course, aren't the only players not showing up for voluntary sessions. There are scores throughout the league, but the stars are the ones people notice.

    Should players be vilified for enjoying their offseasons?

    Fans often decide that answer. Owens is in his honeymoon stage. Bills fans generally seem less bothered by Owens' absence and more incensed with the media's spotlight on his decision. Yet they're mostly fed up with Peters.

    Dolfans, stinging from a 1-15 season but enraptured with Parcells' arrival, railed against Taylor last summer. They did this even though he's one of the franchise's biggest stars and was the NFL's reigning Walter Payton Man of the Year for his extraordinary community service.

    "In some cases, players should be there and need to be there," Taylor said Sunday night at a charity event for the Jason Taylor Foundation in Hollywood, Fla. "You understand the team side of things. They want everybody there, somewhat to babysit them, to make sure they're doing things. It does create chemistry in a certain way.

    "But at the end of the day it is voluntary. That's your offseason, a chance for you to do some of the things you can't do during the season and be with your families."

    Article XXXV, Section 1 of the collective-bargaining agreement spells out voluntary workouts:

    No player shall be required to attend or participate in any offseason workout program or classroom instruction of a club other than as provided in Article XXXVI (minicamps). Any other club offseason workout programs and classroom instruction sessions shall be strictly voluntary.

    Section 5 adds that "No club official shall indicate to a player that a club's offseason workout program or classroom instruction is not voluntary (or that a player's failure to participate in a workout program or classroom instruction will result in the player's failure to make the club)."

    With some football managers, Parcells being one of them, offseason voluntary workouts are emphasized. Attendance is expected unless there's a damn good reason. A celebrity dance contest apparently wasn't on the list.

    Parcells and his proteges demand commitment and accountability, and one of the best ways a player can show he's embracing those concepts is with a willingness to work without being told.

    Quarterbacks have a tendency to show up for voluntary sessions. So do eager youngsters and those on the fringes of the 53-man roster. But coaches value veteran starters who show up when they don't have to. Those are the types of players who can set a tone in the locker room.

    ESPN analyst Herm Edwards claimed he didn't get too agitated by his players skipping the offseason conditioning program when he was head coach of the Jets and Kansas City Chiefs.

    "You would hope if you're a new player and you just got traded or somebody picked you up that you would be there," Edwards said. "But it ain't something to make a big deal out of, and especially when you get a guy with a big name. There's a fine line."

    But in the case of Owens, who announced shortly after signing a one-year, $6.5 million contract with the Bills that he will be skipping all voluntary workouts, Edwards has a problem.

    "That's why I wouldn't take the guy," Edwards said. "If he doesn't come for OTAs, that's 14 practices he's going to miss.

    "He'll be there at minicamp for three or four days. He'll run around and be in shape and they'll throw him some passes, but that hurts the quarterback. Now you have to wait all the way until they get to training camp to get the timing down with the guy and get a feel for the guy.

    "Does that kill you? No, it doesn't kill you. But you wish you can get some of that done in shorts before you get to the pads, the timing, the terminology."

    Edwards qualified his comments by asserting repeatedly that Owens will take care of himself and remain in fabulous shape without the Bills' offseason program. But Edwards noted the person who'll be affected most by Owens' reluctance to show up is the Bills' third-year quarterback, Trent Edwards.

    "He's making a statement," Herm Edwards said. "He's saying 'I'm T.O. I'm the star. This is how I do it. I know what it takes for me to get ready.'

    "It's sad because you wish the guy was there because he's a new player and he happens to be a receiver, but there's not a whole lot you can do it."

    Coaches want their players to attend voluntary workouts and be around the team facility because they're constantly searching for every little edge.

    What if a division rival has a better offseason attendance record? What if opponents are finding chemistry while another team's players are scattered across the country? What kind of disadvantage does a franchise such as Buffalo have over Miami, where the players live year-round and don't need to be convinced to stick around in the offseason and stop by the film room?

    "Coaches feel like you're behind if your guys aren't around," Herm Edwards said. "But you can't go crazy about that. It's not a battle worth fighting, not in March or April."

    Accorsi laughed at the idea of how much offseason conditioning has evolved since he entered the NFL.

    The Colts' program was nonexistent when they hired Accorsi in 1970. They stepped it up by purchasing memberships at the Towson, Md., YMCA, where the exercise of choice was handball or basketball. The Colts eventually began paying their players to lift weights and run together.

    "For an old-timer like me it didn't seem right," Accorsi said. "But it was the only way in some franchise cities that you were going to get them, especially if they were from the warm weather and you were asking them to come to a cold climate."

    Accorsi isn't a big fan of offseason programs to begin with. He said they're overrated from an X's and O's standpoint. He also has a theory that players suffer more injuries because they don't have enough time off.

    The value, Accorsi insisted, is in building team unity. But even that is achievable without insisting players huddle in the spring.

    "You'd like to have your whole team together, but you have plenty of time to generate chemistry," Accorsi said. "Certainly, an offseason together would enhance it, but that doesn't mean you're not going to have it.

    "If there was a rule that there could be no offseason programs, some teams would have chemistry and some teams wouldn't."

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    A-Web's Avatar
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    Re: Voluntary or Mandatory

    Quote Originally Posted by thoey View Post
    Physically, I think TO doesn't need to attend the voluntary camps. Mentally, I think he needs to be there with his new team, learning their new philosophies, and gelling with his new teammates.

    The guy is an excellent WR, but he is still a jerk and a cancer.
    I can agree with parts of this post even with what I have stated above. Aside from being recognized for raising money (a good PR move in my opinion) I can see that making an attempt to show up for some voluntaries would help out to some degree. But, alas, I still feel that when you are the definition of a black greek god in terms of fitness year in and year out, you have no reason to spend time lifting weights with mere mortals. What I would hope is that he gets in touch with coach, gets the playbook, and learns his role. He can keep in touch with a QB and Coach without lifting weights with the group.

    My basic finishing line is, when Preseason game 1, or Regular Season game 1 come rolling around (whichever you would choose to judge by), If T.O. knows his role, knows the plays and routes, and has a good connection with his team (both Coach and fellow players) than he should be left alone and thought of highly when speaking about his preparation. Whether it be team orriented or not. Like I have said in just about every thread regarding people and how they play. In football, all that matters is results. Not how you get them (except cheating Mr. New England), or who gets them, but simply...getting results.

    So, if he is ready to go on day 1 as good as anyone else, leave it be.

  14. #14
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Voluntary or Mandatory

    Here's an interesting T.O. stat...

    Despite playing on talented teams over the past five years with Dallas and Philadelphia, the last time Owens played in a playoff team that his team won was 2002 (playing for the Niners). The Cowboys never won a playoff game during his tenure, and the Eagles won when he was injured.

    Maybe he shouldn't be "big timing" his new teammates.

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    A-Web's Avatar
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    Re: Voluntary or Mandatory

    Not an argument, but a point of reference and something to note as well.

    Not that all of it was based on this, but wasn't some of this failure do to the resurgence of the New York Giants this past couple years? This would relate specifically to his time in Dallas. As for Philly, that was probably when I would say T.O. was at his worst in terms of sportsmanship.

    To also add, I think we should get some credit for his lack of playoff-ness this past season. That loss we added to their report card when Romo was down was a major victory for the Rams, and a unnoticed, but major defeat to the 'Boys. When a team misses the playoffs by a single game, and to know that that team lost to a team that ended up 2-14, and that the 2-14 team was my team, takes away some sting in me, and makes me smile.

    But, the only direction we can go is onwards, and the only way to know is to watch. So good luck to us, good luck to the steamer pile that was/might still be the Buffalo Bills, and have fun everybody.

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