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This from Bengal OT Andrew Whitworth in the USA Today;

“Guys are human beings. And if you tell guys ‘It doesn’t look like you’re doing anything until July or August,’ guys will lose a lot of incentive to train and to get better,” Whitworth said. “You will get a lot of guys who will say, ‘We’re not even going to play. I’m not going to work hard all the time.’”

Whitworth thinks everyone should be ready for sub-par football if players don’t have a full offseason to get ready.

You gott’a be kidding me. There’s tons of reasons to want to settle the lockout and move on towards 2011 preparation. Low incentivized professional players are not one of them.

I have watched Andrew Whitworth from the sidelines and he is an excellent player. I would assume that he is driven to perform at his best every year regardless of his contract situation.

If, for instance, he were to be suddenly cut by the Bengals or become a free agent and nobody was beating down his agent’s door seeking his employment, i am sure Andrew would be ready for the upcoming season by prepping on his own. Because he loves the game.

What i believe that Andrew is really saying is that the NFL has a number of players that love the life of an NFL player, but not the game itself.

 Because if you love the game, getting ready to play, just on the knowledge that at some point in time there’s going to be a season, and you are truly a professional, staying in shape is no problem.

No, if you are unmotivated to train, then you love the “shiny things” that come with professional football and not the game itself. And not really a professional at all.

No, Whitworth’s quote is really a sad commentary on the state of the game.

As my former coach Chuck Noll used to say, “You can’t play the game for the money.” Meaning that the love of the game had to be the first thing. Because if you love to play, and you respect the game, you’ll always do what’s best to compete at your best.

Coach Noll, as usual, had it right.