Cliff Avril: NFL Acting "As If Nothing Has Changed"

As other sports leagues wrestle with the coronavirus pandemic, the NFL is operating as if it will have a normal season

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
May 29, 2020 - 8:26 am
Roger Goodell NFL

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As Major League Baseball, the NBA, the NHL and other sports leagues prepare for a return to action, the NFL is operating business as usual.

“The NFL is actually going about it as if nothing has changed,” Super Bowl champion Cliff Avril said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Yes, people aren’t in the building and things like that, but they’re on Zoom calls. They’re preparing for a season. They’re preparing as if it’s going to be a normal season. You hear about the Zoom calls; you hear about the virtual one-on-ones with the coaches and different things like that. They have adapted to this, and they feel like there’s going to be a 2020 season. Until the President or somebody else says otherwise, they are going to have a season this year.”

While the coronavirus pandemic might make that difficult, Roger Goodell and the NFL are preparing as if nothing is amiss. Players, however, don’t have that same luxury, especially younger players.

“If you’re a young player, I think this is the most pivotal time,” Avril said. “This is how you get better, this is how you grow – this is how you figure out what being a pro is like. The season is the easy part; it’s preparing for the season that is hard. Making sure you know the verbiage on the defense, the offense, building that camaraderie – things that you necessarily can’t do during the season. So I think that’s hard. 

“But as a veteran player, I didn’t go to offseason workouts after year six, so it wouldn’t have been a difference for me anyway,” Avril continued, laughing. “So I just think it depends on where you’re at in your career as far as how this will affect you. This is a young league, so it’s on the other side of the coin for the young players right now. I don’t think it’s a good thing.”