Now that Super Bowl 2013 is set and the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens are preparing for the coming battle in New Orleans on Feb. 3, it is a fitting time during this transitional week to look back at some of the more interesting ways in which injuries in the NFL this season changed the dynamics of play for many teams. In certain cases, like what we witnessed with the botched handling of the Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III's series of knee injuries, it may have cost this young man dearly in terms of his career longevity.

Hopefully, Griffin has a disability policy in place just in case he needs to look at alternate career choices, pending his long road of rehabilitation on the same knee that he injured back in 2009, while he was at Baylor.

What is a coach? The Oxford American Dictionary defines the word "coach" relative to athletics as, "an instructor or trainer in a sport." I'm not sure that this simple definition truly defines what the word "coach" has come to mean to each and every one of us in our own lives.

Over my last 30-plus years in athletics, I have found some of my own coaches to take the form of a teacher, mentor, guide, psychologist, sideline doc, spiritualist, second parent, motivator, disciplinarian, and a game-changer.

Before I get to my analysis of the divisional playoff game between the Denver Broncos and the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday at 3:30 pm in Denver, I must digress for a moment to a comment I made in my column last week - "based on their (the player's) respective prior injury history, use their greatest strength against them – the athletic mindset of pushing beyond the limits of human performance to win - even to the point of sacrificing one's body for the team."

I was referring to the fact that even if a highly competitive athlete has a recent injury, he will, if you let him, hurt himself again trying to return to action to win for his team.

It won't be long before Derrick Rose is finally spotted wearing a Chicago Bulls uniform in a real, live NBA game.

At which point, adidas will have to go back to the drawing board for its next brilliant shoe promotion.

Not that the Bulls and their fans much care about that. They've been dreaming about D-Rose, not just all day, but for months now. The Windy City has been waiting, with bated breath, to see its hometown hero's "Return" ever since his knee buckled in Game 1 of a 2012 Eastern Conference playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Bulls have fared remarkably well without him so far in 2012-13. They're 19-13, just a half-game back of the Indiana Pacers for the lead in the Central Division and home-court advantage in the first round of the 2013 playoffs.

But Chicago won't be a legitimate contender in the East unless/until Rose is healthy again. Which brings us to the questions on everyone's minds in Chi-Town: Where is Rose in his recovery right now? What's the next step? And (most importantly) when can the basketball world expect to see the 2010-11 MVP doing MVP-like things for the Bulls?

Let's have a closer look, with an assist from renowned sports performance manager Mackie Shilstone.


Well, it's that great time of year again. The NFL playoffs have finally arrived to the delight of fans around the world. The magical, yellow brick road leading to the land of Oz (the Super Bowl) ends up this season in New Orleans.

Sadly, our Saints (7-9) will be spectators watching the magical mystery tour culminate on their own turf on Feb. 3. Glad to have Coach Sean Payton back for next season.

Mackie Spotlight

EJGH’s very own Mackie Shilstone, Executive Director of the Fitness Principle, is in New York working with Serena Williams as she goes for another U.S. Open title. As Williams’s Fitness Coach, Mackie will be part of the team preparing her for matches throughout the tournament. To give everyone a behind-the-scenes look at how Williams prepares for every opponent, Mackie is writing a daily postcard for detailing all the day’s happenings. Check back daily for updates. 8/22/13
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