INDIANAPOLIS – The players have spoken.
After surveying 1,300 players, the NFL Players Association released a team-by-team report card during the NFL Scouting Combine that determined which franchises were doing the best at providing the best – and worst – working and living conditions for their players and families.
The Indianapolis Colts? They checked in No. 16, buoyed by the top-ranked training staff but pulled down by team travel that was judged 28th.
The poll revealed the Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins as the most conducive environments for success. They ranked No. 1 and No. 2. The Vikings earned straight-A’s in the eight categories.
And it tossed serious shade on the Washington Commanders and Arizona Cardinals, who finished No. 32 and No. 31 respectively. The Commanders were judged 29th or lower in five of the eight categories.
And then there are the Jacksonville Jaguars, who were No. 28 in the poll. Responding players were unanimous when asked what needed to be addressed.
“Get rid of the rats!’’ the NFLPA release posted.
The union said players reported there was a three-to-four week stretch during the season that the Jaguars had a rat infestation in the locker room and laundry hampers.
The overview of the Colts’ report card pointed out players felt well supported by owner Jim Irsay, and 97% of the respondents believed he’s willing to spend whatever it takes to upgrade the facility.
On the flip side, players had issues with food and travel. Some players prefer to pack their own lunch rather than eat at the facility. As for travel, according to the poll the Colts are one of seven teams that don’t offer first-class seats to players, instead reserving them for coaches and staff. Also, the report card noted the Colts are one of six teams that force many players to have roommates on road games.
A breakdown of the Colts’ report card, including issues mentioned by players:
TREATMENT OF FAMILIES: B+ (tied-5th overall)
- Family room offered.
- One of 11 teams that do not offer daycare on game day.
In a category subdivision, the Colts ranked No. 2 in support of players’ families and No. 12 in post-game gathering area.
FOOD SERVICE/NUTRITION: D (tied-22nd)
- Some players bring their own food.
- All three meals provided.
- 70% of players said there is ample room in the cafeteria.
WEIGHT ROOM: B (tied-18th)
- 90% of the respondents feel they have enough strength coaches.
STRENGTH COACHES: A- (tied-17th)
- Players gave overall high marks to the strength staff.
TRAINING ROOM: B (tied-8th)
- Players reported the training room is somewhat small.
- 92% feel they have enough ATCs.
- 87% feel they have enough physical therapists.
- There is a steam room and 67% believe it’s big enough.
- The Colts are one of six teams that do not provide a sauna.
- 98% of players feel they have enough hot tub/cold tub space.
TRAINING STAFF: A+ (1st)
- Players spoke very highly of their training staff and believe the staff goes above and beyond in the locker room and significantly add to their success.
LOCKER ROOM: B+ (tied-10th)
- Overall, players viewed it as a good locker room. There were several complaints the lockers could be upgraded.
- 95% of players feel they have enough space.
TEAM TRAVEL: F (tied-28th)
- 79% of players feel they have enough room to spread out.
- One of six teams that make younger players have roommates.
- One of seven teams that do not offer players first-class seats.
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