The NFL offseason is hardly a time of rest and relaxation. Yes, players have a chance to let their bodies heal, enjoy some time with friends and family away from the team’s facility and then quickly get back to work preparing for the next season.
Tackle Joe Staley also took advantage of the down time to go under the knife….well, laser. Don’t worry, the procedure was not major and not even a result of playing football. After having lasik eye surgery, Staley can now throw away the contacts that have been a part of him for so long.
“I’ve worn contacts since I was in seventh grade and it really became annoying,” Staley said. ”The opportunity came to my attention to get lasik eye surgery with Dr. Scott Hyver. My dad had it done four years ago and he has been really happy. He told me how easy the procedure was so I though it would be a good idea.”
Though playing with contacts is common in the NFL, the third-year lineman recalled times when he got frustrated after opponents’ hands would get inside his face mask and knock out his contacts. But his decision solves much more than having to head to the sidelines for a new pair of lenses.
“I didn’t just think about it benefiting my football career, it’s just benefited my life,” Staley said. ”It’s good not to have to wake up an put contacts in and not have to worry about getting an eye infection if I forget to take my contacts out.”
Staley still has to be careful initially as he’s been given a long list of do’s and don’ts.
“I can’t rub my eyes, which I’ve done about 47 times already,” joked Staley. ”It’s really hard not to rub your eyes, especially when you’re in the shower and you have to get the water out. I keep freaking out that I’m going to go blind whenever I cant myself rubbing my eyes. They told me that my lens would come off, but I wouldn’t go blind. They would just have to do the surgery again.”
One of the items Staley has been given to help prevent him having to go in for a second procedure is a pair of goggles similar to those worn by former NBA start Horace Grant.
“They’re these plastic specs,” Staley said. ”I have to wear them at night for this first week so I don’t rub my eyes without knowing it. I’ve also been really good though about using my eye drops. I have artificial tears that I can put in my eyes to prevent them from drying out.”
As a result, Staley can see clearly now…even if the rain wasn’t gone at Tuesday’s OTA session. Below is a video as well as a few photos from Tuesday. For more photos, view our photo gallery.
Tags: 2010 OTAs, Alex Smith, Brandon Jones, Joe Staley, Scott McKillop, Vance Joseph
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In the spirit of March Madness, linebacker Scott McKillop paid tribute to Kentucky’s dynamic freshman point guard during Monday’s first OTA practice session of the 2010 offseason. While making “reload” calls in reaction to shifts by the offense, the second-year player from Pittsburgh not only called out the change in assignments, he did so with flare.
“I did the John Wall dance a couple of times, he’s the guard from Kentucky,” linebacker Scott McKillop said. ”I also did a little Spiderman, a little bowling and a few leg kicks. I just wanted to make it fun so when the offense watches film, we can laugh about it.”
McKillop and the rest of his teammates are much more relaxed at this point of the year than any other season in recent memory. The offense will be running the same system for two years in a row while McKillop will play in a defense that will be headed up by Greg Manusky for the fourth straight season.
“I’ve got about a month head start compared to last year and I’m familiar with the guys, familiar with the system,” McKillop said. ”I’m more comfortable so you can have fun. If you can’t have fun out there, you shouldn’t be playing.”
Like McKillop, the rest of the players went through a very lively practice, especially considering training camp is roughly five months away. Below is a video and several photos from Monday.
QB Alex Smith
WR Michael Crabtree
TE coach Pete Hoener with the tight end group
LB Takeo Spikes
Tags: 2010 OTAs, Alex Smith, Michael Crabtree, Scott McKillop, Takeo Spikes
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