Your thoughts on the "Nutcracker" drill?

On Friday, Singletary let it be known that the Nutcracker drill would be returning to training camp this year. The nutcracker drill is highly reminiscent of the Packers' concussion checks of old (if a player 'had his bell rung' he'd line up in front of Ray Nitschke and go one-on-one with him, if they did alright, they would be in on the next series), and certainly a brutal aspect of Singletary's tough-minded training camp.

As mentioned in the delightful parenthesis above, the nutcracker drill is basically taking two players of similar build and, in theory, strength, and sending them at eachother. Whoever is left standing/gets past the other player is the winner. So generally, the player who utilizes leverage the best comes out on top.

Last season it was widely criticized by many members of the media and casuals outside of 49ers fans, but on this site the majority of people seemed to love it, as evidenced by the initial Mike Singletary Approval Ratings we ran. Still, there were a few key injuries. David Baas was hurt for a significant amount of time, and Patrick Willis sprained an ankle. As Joe Staley noted last season after going through the Nutcracker drills, he hated them at first, but eventually came around. I believe that makes a good amount of sense, you're not getting hit for months, and then suddenly you're going one-on-one with a guy, getting hit.

So my take is that it's important to take them slow to begin with, make sure they don't get hurt just from all the time off. Singletary noted in a press conference that it was going to be changed up a little, though it's not immediately clear what about it will be different. From his statements (noted in the transcript here), it seems like they are trying to tweak the technical aspect of it so the players get the most out of it. The link above has his thoughts on the drill. So what are yours? Are they good for the players? Are they bad for the players? Does it condition them to outlast their opponents in the fourth quarter in weeks 10-17, or does it simply tire them out and cause unneeded injuries?

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