Posted by: Chris Vannini on May 14, 2013
As NFL media got a look at Chip Kelly's practice on Monday, they realized the hype around the speed and tempo was as advertised.
Kelly spoke with the media and gave insight into why he does what he does.
Simply, it all comes down to efficiency. So while practices can be short, they can be more valuable. It's not about how long you work, it's how well you work. He explained his methodology goes back to his time as an assistant at New Hampshire from 1994-2006.
"It started when we were at New Hampshire, and as we moved to Oregon," Kelly said. "It was a little different when I was a coordinator and changed more when I was a head coach. We want to be efficient with our time. We don't want to be on the field for a long time. We want to maximize our time we're on the field.
"You see us go from tempo periods to teach periods. There's a rhyme or reason to what we're doing. Time on task versus time on teaching, I think there's a good balance of that. We want to get them in and get them out, but we also have to get a certain amount of work in."
Kelly blares music at practice and says there's plenty of science behind the distractions it provides, though he didn't get into the details. It's something he's done for a while.
With that maximization of time on the field comes working in short bursts. Instead of simply running the players ragged, Kelly practices his players in short bursts, because that's how games are played.
"There's a lot that goes into that," Kelly said. "Obviously we know we can't practice full-speed for the entire time we're out there, so it's got to be short bursts, but the game of football is short bursts. It's really an anaerobic sport, when you look at it, because you're going hard for five to six seconds, and then you're taking a break. That's what we're trying to get accomplished with these guys."
Do shorter practices limit the evaluations coaches can do of players? Kelly says no, and that everything is filmed, which is the basis for those evaluations.
With rookies getting to work, former USC quarterback Matt Barkley said he's working to be the starter. Kelly was asked if he takes Barkley's statement seriously, and the coach said Barkley better be thinking that way.
"I hope so," Kelly said. "I would hope that anybody that comes into this place isn't sitting here saying, 'I'm going to be a solid backup.' I want our guys to come in here and show us everything they can do. Our job as a coaching staff is to put the best guys on the field in the first game against Washington that will help us win.
"If that's Matt, then that's Matt. We'll see how that goes. If anybody came in here and said they're vying for a backup job, then they'll probably be on the bus down (the road) real quick."
You can watch Kelly's press conference by clicking here.
Chris Vannini is the lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to email@example.com