I definitely think you are wrong about that. I don't believe for a second that players go 110% in the preseason, I doubt that most of the big name players go even 80%. In one of the articles on this site I read, there was a comment about McAlister not looking like he wanted to be there, and I don't doubt that he didn't. What does this game mean to him, he's not fighting for a roster spot nor will he get benched if he gives up a big play. I don't know that the coaches say "take it easy out there" but I am pretty sure they'd rather escape unscathed and with a L than with a couple injuries and a W.
Preseason or just playing a game in a carpark.You play 110% all out,to get the win.
Do the coaches say,"Ok guys take it easy out there,don't get injured."No.