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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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Miami 1 Bottom 3rd Inning
Washington 1
NY Yankees 0 Bottom 4th Inning
Toronto 0
Philadelphia 3 Top 3rd Inning
Atlanta 0
Tampa Bay 4 Bottom 2nd Inning
Boston 0
Los Angeles 1 Top 3rd Inning
Milwaukee 0
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood 7:10 PM
St. Louis - C. Martinez
Oakland - J. Hahn 7:10 PM
Minnesota - P. Hughes
Texas - R. Detwiler 7:10 PM
Houston - D. Keuchel
Arizona - J. Collmenter 7:40 PM
Colorado - T. Matzek
Seattle - F. Hernandez 9:05 PM
LA Angels - M. Shoemaker
San Diego - T. Ross 9:15 PM
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner
Chicago 45 2nd Qtr 2:02
Cleveland 42
LA Clippers 8:30 PM
Houston
NY Rangers 0 1st Prd 13:43
Washington 0
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