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Continued: NFL 2013: Forget opponents, beating the heat first task in preseason

  • Article by: BARRY WILNER , AP Pro Football Writer
  • Last update: July 29, 2013 - 6:54 AM

Some trainers also ask players to monitor their urine color, which offers a good indication of hydration status. (Dark, apple juice color urine means the player is dehydrated; lighter, lemonade color means the player is hydrated.)

Then there's the cooling-down process. Players are encouraged to remove their helmets in between drills to allow for ventilation. Trainers provide cold towels or sponges during practice, and the ever-popular ice tubs after practice, with a goal of reducing a player's core body temperature.

"You have to be a pro and part of that is to keep yourself hydrated," says Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, the 2012 Defensive Rookie of the Year. "It's really up to you, and it's not hard to stay hydrated or to find something to drink. You can have anything you need and they expect you to stay hydrated.

"One of the things I am not sure everyone would know, a lot of hydration comes from the day before and night before. If I do a good job, I don't have to load up and kind of get bloated or heavy."

One issue that doesn't crop up is a player hiding his condition. Casa and Mayer say there's a "buddy system" through which players watch out for each other in the heat.

"By far the biggest indication is an altered mental status, when it does not seem to be the same person in front of you," Casa says. "Some feel excessively hot, feel excessive fatigue, act a little bizarre or different. It's especially true for someone coming off an injury or illness."

So while the idea of trying to make the team at all costs might seem valiant, it is short-sighted and foolish.

The NFLPA's Mayer believes anyone who even gets a look from the NFL should know better, but he recognizes the personality traits that have made them successful.

"All these guys already have been on the right end of the performance spectrum, from junior high to high school to college," Mayer says. "Then, the next thing they know, they are in the league. They always have exceeded expectations, are highly driven and high performance.

"Think about what they do in the offseason and in the weight room, with guys pushing and pushing to have (the most) strength or speed. They are used to training for that.

"And once we start now in camps, they have to make sure not to push it, and to be really careful about the heat. It's incumbent on all of us to be really careful about the heat."

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San Diego - LP: J. Lane 0 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: E. Santana 2
Washington - J. Zimmermann 6:10 PM
Miami - N. Eovaldi
Philadelphia - A. Burnett 6:10 PM
NY Mets - B. Colon
Milwaukee - K. Lohse 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Toronto - R. Dickey 6:10 PM
Boston - C. Buchholz
Arizona - C. Anderson 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - H. Bailey
Colorado - Y. Flande 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada
NY Yankees - D. Phelps 7:05 PM
Texas - Y. Darvish
Oakland - J. Chavez 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Oberholtzer
Pittsburgh - V. Worley 9:15 PM
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner
NY Giants 8/3/14 7:00 PM
Buffalo
Los Angeles 9:00 PM
Seattle
Calgary 26 FINAL
Edmonton 22
Winnipeg 23 FINAL
Brt Columbia 6
Ottawa 23 FINAL
Hamilton 33
Toronto 9 FINAL
Saskatchewan 37
Indiana 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pm
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pm
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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