We see it every Saturday with these teams that run up-tempo offenses. Defenses have trouble catching their breath, the offense isn't letting up, and the only way to slow the game down before passing out is to fake an injury.
Like it or not, it's a hole in the system that coaching staffs have found.
Quick, quick, quick, the offense is about to run a play and our middle linebacker looks gassed! Hey you, freshman, drop to the ground and grab an ankle!
This happened Saturday in the Auburn-Arkansas game. The Razorbacks were gaining momentum and looking to score before the fourth quarter began. That's when Tigers linebacker Anthony Swain fell like he was just shot by Bruce Willis in the latest Die Hard movie.
Dude, there are hundreds of cameras in this stadium. We see you!
Minimizing a player's injury is nothing that should be taken lightly. If a player is truly hurt, it's only right to believe him and treat him with the same respect that every injured player should get. However, when you're standing perfectly still and looking towards the sidelines for a signal and then collapse like you just heard your grandma died, there's a problem.
No matter how long Swain was down on the field or how well he mastered the fake limp, it's safe to assume he wasn't injured. I'm certainly no doctor, but the chances of you injuring your knee by simply standing still are fairly low.
What does head coach Gus Malzahn think about the situation?
It's hard to be upset with the head coach. He found a way to slow down this trendy offense without burning all of his timeouts. It's genius in a way. However, we need to take a hard look at where the game is going and if we really want to see football transform into the next soccer.
Players shouldn't be injured one minute and doing back flips and running a marathon the next. If you're injured, you're injured. If not, work on your stamina and be better prepared to face these speedy offenses without ruining the integrity of the game.
It's only right.