Greg Lloyd: 'guys are not truly football players anymore'

Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Former Steelers outside linebacker Greg Lloyd has a rash of criticism over the current state of the NFL, and even sends a veiled threat at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

When Greg Lloyd speaks, people listen.

Or they should, anyway, because he always has something pointed, biting and inflammatory to say.

In a recent interview with 93-7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, Lloyd spared no feelings in summarizing his thoughts on the current state of the NFL.

"I still bleed black and gold, but at the end of the day, I had an opportunity to coach a year in Tampa Bay and it’s across the league, it’s not just in Tampa Bay, but the guys are not truly football players anymore," he said. "Some of it’s not their fault, but a lot of it is.

He also mentioned "I'm not a [Roger] Goodell fan, so if he wants to fine me, tell him to come down to Atlanta and he can fine me all he wants to. Football is played between the lines and it's a violent game. It's meant to be violent, it's supposed to be head-on collisions."

It seems more likely Goodell would fine a retired player before he'd go down to Atlanta to discuss the issue with Lloyd - known as one of the tougher players in league history.

However, Lloyd's opinion of dissatisfaction with the current state of the game doesn't seem to be shared with many of his colleagues. There are thousands of former players joining lawsuits against the league, seeking damages for allegedly covering up information regarding head trauma.

The league has enacted policies aimed to diminish the level and area of contact in the game, but Lloyd's issue with the players appears to be rooted in their lack of mental preparation as well as the league's push to make the game "safer."

"(the difference isn't) so much (how we) trained, but also how we studied," he said. "The guys don’t study the game the way we studied it. We were in before the coaches got in, and we were sometimes the last to leave. Today, it’s like, ‘I can’t wait till this practice is over with so I can go get in my nice car and drive my nice car and let everybody hear how fast it is because their mind is on the wrong thing."

It goes without saying Lloyd isn't a fan of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement mandating fewer practices with pads, but he wasn't asked about it.

As usual, it's hard to summarize any of this editorially. Lloyd says it all.

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