SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The Wall Street Journal reports 49er players have missed far fewer games due to injury over the last two seasons than the other three teams still in the playoffs. Some 49er players and other observers credit a stretching regimen the coaches won’t talk about.

“They’re doing so much more training, their muscles are a heck of a lot bigger than they used to be,” John Madden told the KCBS morning crew. “So maybe when you get big muscles you have to stretch them more.”

Madden said he was never a fan of stretching as the coach of the Raiders in the 60s and 70s.

“As a coach I hated stretching, as a player I hated stretching. So to be honest with you, I never did (that). I went the other way. Just warm up on your own and then let’s get ready to practice, or let’s go out and play…. It was something that I thought was over-rated. Now there’s probably someone a heck of a lot smarter than I am that came around and figured out that this was important and this could help you.”

Madden said, as a coach, he also stuck to the basics with workout equipment.

“I took all that stuff – probably wrongly so – as a distraction… I didn’t need a lot of gimmicks or gadgets or (workout) balls or stuff like that. You have to have tunnel vision. You have to go down one road, and I always thought those types of things took you off that road and started to point you in a different direction. And sometimes — I saw this — players would enjoy that part of it more than they enjoyed the football part. I never wanted that.” (8:45)

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM. And catch John’s extra report at 9:15 a.m. Mondays and Fridays through the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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