SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – In the first signs of spring training, Giants and A’s pitchers and catchers are warming up in Arizona this week.
“I remember years and years ago when that used to be one of the great secrets,” John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew. “(It’s) a good place to go this time of year and really see baseball up close and personal and cheap. I don’t think they even charged years ago for spring training. And then the secret got out.”
Madden said the NFL could use a spring training equivalent.
“Football has to get something like that. We don’t have a development piece…We’re shortening training camp and talking about (only) two pre-season games and all these things that are really going to affect the development piece for young players in the NFL.”
The NCAA has instituted a new ejection penalty for intentional hits above the shoulders. Madden said it’s an idea that could find its way to the NFL.
“People say that they’re taking the football out of football,” the former coach said. “That stuff wasn’t there years ago. If you watch these old football films… when they would sack a quarterback, they’d just go in and tackle him, and they’d tackle him below the shoulders. So it’s not something that has been there forever and now you’re trying to take it out. It wasn’t there forever… So those people that say that you’re really changing football, maybe they’re just trying to get it back to where it was.” (7:45)