Douglas: Quality Of Play In The NFL Will Be “Terrible” This Year

Hugh Douglas believes there will be a football season, but without much practice – or a preseason – the product on the field might not be pretty

July 29, 2020 - 7:54 am
Ben Roethlisberger Steelers

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With Major League Baseball already pausing the Miami Marlins’ season, this after half the team tested positive for COVID-19, many sports fans are wondering how the NFL will contend with the virus this fall.

At this point, should fans be confident that there will even be an NFL season?

“I’m pretty confident . . . that there is going to be a football season,” former All-Pro Hugh Douglas told JR SportBrief. “Look to baseball and how they’ve handled their COVID situation so far and how they’re going to try to push through this. When you look at everything that has happened and you look at some of the models – the NFL has stated on more than one occasion that they’ve looked at every angle.”

The NFL certainly does not expect the 2020 season to be business as usual. The virus will present challenges – a lot of them.

“Guys are going to test positive,” Douglas said. “How are you going to move forward with the season? Fifty-three man roster. That, to me, sounds like there’s going to be a lot of opportunities for a lot of young guys to play, if they can stay healthy.”

Without practice or a preseason, though, the play on the field might not be pretty. Fans should be prepared for this.

“It’s going to be terrible,” Douglas said. “I don’t even know any other word to use to describe it. Horrible, terrible, timing’s going to be off, sloppy – all of that. It’s not going to be the football that we were accustomed to seeing last year during the preseason. So it’s going to be an adjustment. I think if we do have [a season], people are going to have to understand that – that it’s not going to look like it looked in the past for us.”

Douglas, 48, was a first-round pick in 1995. He was Defensive Rookie of the Year and played for the Jets, Eagles and Jaguars. He had a fantastic career.

But would he have played in the midst of a pandemic?

“I would honestly say that in my younger days when I was playing and I didn’t have a family that I would probably risk it,” Douglas said. “But as I got older and I got married, and I have young children, I think it would be a lot harder. As we all know, when you’re married, that’s that voice of reason. That’s the one that lets you know, ‘Hey, it’s bigger than just football.’ With all of those intangibles being involved, it would be kind of tough for me to walk out there on the field and still be able to go home and look my family in the eyes and make sure that they’re safe. It’s all about keeping them safe at that point.”