Alex Webster, a former New York Giants fullback and coach, says "a lot of things are different today."
"The kids today work out 12 months a year and are in better shape when they report for traning. They're bigger and faster than we were," he said. "With the kind of money they're getting, they don't have to look around for an off season job. They can concentrate on getting in shape.
"I made $20,000 tops as my salary. But I think the modern guys have as much drive and pride as we did in my day.
"If there is a difference, the modern players don't play hurt. He had only 33 guys on the squad when I played and if you got hurt and didn't play, somebody else took your place and maybe stayed there, and you were out of a job."
Webster was drafted by the Redskins out of North Carolina State in 1953. "Curly Lambeau, then the Redskin coach, got me playing safety. I was a tailback in the single wing in college and I did play offense and defense. The Redskins cut me and I played for the Monteal Alouettes for two years. Al Derogatis, then a scout for the Giants, saw me and signed me. Being cut by the Redskins was the best thing that ever happened."
Webster played nine years for the Giants and made All-Pro three times.
Webster started the 1973 season winning all six of his exhibition games. "Then," he said, "the wheels fell off. We lost seven in a row and finished 2-12 and I got axed. It's no use alibiing. We had a young team and a lot of injuries. The biggest mistake I made was not in bringing enough people to training camp."
Webster was accused of being too soft with his players.
"I wasn't soft," he said. "I took players the way I would want the coach to take me. I used to tell them, 'You're making good money, better than the average guy. I want to treat you like men. I don't want to baby-sit you." Now that I think about it, I should have kicked them . . .
The secret of George Allen's success, Webster thinks, is his special teams.
"He wins a lot of games with that bunch," says Webster. "They're really dedicated - fine football players. Bob Brunet is may favorite. That guy fears nothing.
"You can't sit on two or three formations any more. The coaches of today break down a lot of movies. Offense changes constantly and backs are harder to key. The linebackers are bigger, tougher, quicker and can sprint out.
"As for the coming season, I like Oakland, Pittsburgh, Dallas and Washington. One of the four will be the best. Take your pick."
Webster played in a member-guest golf tournament over the weekend at Congressional with his former teammate, now boss, Ralph Guglielmi.Guglielmi is president of a business computer forms company and Webster is his top man in the New York-New Jersey area.