By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
The pads come out today at Anderson University.
This afternoon’s practice, beginning at 1:50 p.m., will be the first of the preseason in full pads. The NFL has mandated that all players wear their knee and hip pads this season. Some players have balked at wearing those pads in the past because they feel the added padding slows them down.
Head coach Chuck Pagano said he will hold players to the league standard in practice as well.
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“Some guys wear them, some guys don’t,” he said. “It’s never been mandated, and now it’s a league rule. We’re going to be in pads nine times throughout the course of camp, full pads. They have to wear the pants, and so we’re going to make them because they have to wear them in the game.”
Second-year wide receiver T.Y. Hilton said he’s always worn his full complement of pads, and it’s never affected his speed.
“I don’t know why guys don’t wear them,” Hilton said and then laughed. “That’s just crazy. I think it’s good for the league, though.”
Pagano said most of the players in camp are veterans and know how to practice in pads. The emphasis this afternoon will be on competition, but it’s important that players are smart and take care of one another.
“The players are eager, and the coaches are as well,” Pagano said. “They’re eager to see how these guys perform in pads.”