Former Niner coach Mike Singletary loved the Nutcracker Drill in which two players would square off facing each other, one trying to knock the other backwards. Singletary said it showed the toughness and character of players, as well as teaching the technique and value of leverage when coming out of a stance. He even said at the time he modified the Nutcracker a bit, to reduce trauma.
But should Singletary even had the drill?
The Sacramento Bee is reporting that center Eric Heitmann suffered a possible career-ending neck injury because of doing the Nutcracker. Singletary refused to comment to CSNBayArea.com. And this brings up an interesting question.
If the Nutcracker worked well in Singletary’s day, with no significant injury outcomes, why has it become a problem now? There can be only one reason.
The players today, as opposed to 25 years ago, are bigger, stronger and faster. With more force applied, the greater the chance for injury. And I am for saving players for game day, not disabling them in practice.