Kliff Kingsbury Better Not Suck Because He's Playing Right Into The Hands Of His Haters By Giving His Players "Cellphone Breaks" During Team Meetings
ESPN- Kingsbury said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings that he'll implement "cellphone breaks" during team meetings. He did something similar while coaching at Texas Tech but will adapt it for NFL players.
"They're itching to get to those things," he said.
Kingsbury will let the players break for their phones every 20 or 30 minutes -- what he called a "good run" -- right around the time he usually starts to see players lose interest.
"You start to see kind of hands twitching and legs shaking, and you know they need to get that social media fix, so we'll let them hop over there and then get back in the meeting and refocus," Kingsbury said.
While coaching the Red Raiders the past six years, Kingsbury saw firsthand just how short young football players' attention spans can be. Kingsbury said the average age in the NFL is 25, not much older than the players he coached in college.
I'd be quite the hypocrite if I typed in my password, opened up Twitter, stumbled upon this story mid-day on a Wednesday, and proceeded to scold Kliff Kingsbury for having the baseline understanding that the generation he's predominantly trying to get through to has the attention span of a goldfish that has taken too many subconcussive blows to the head. I mean, at 39 years of age with a clear consciousness of his Ryan Gosling-esque self image, you can argue you that he's not actively trying to relate to his technologically addicted players as much as he just instinctually does relate to them like a young, cool Uncle of sorts. Whatever the case may be, not updating your techniques in dealing with the new, more narcissistic breed of young adult like they are all as laser-focused on film study as Larry Fitzgerald is a good way to find yourself being tuned out in favor of a timeline.
The truth is, I judge people for aimlessly scrolling through their phone at the table about as often as I catch myself involuntarily scrolling through my phone at the table. Therefore, as incredibly pathetic as it might be, maybe the occasional break for a notification check is what you have to give to get today's pro athletes to fully take to your approach. Either way, I can pretty much guarantee that Kliff Kingsbury won't be a failure based on the amount of time his team spends on social media.
What he will be, however, is a parody if he just so happens to fail while also being the most stereotypical version of a stereotypical hire. Before Kliff Kingsbury even gelled his hair and slid on his designer sunglasses for the first time as the broke and beautiful man's Sean McVay for the Arizona Cardinals, the repressive old guard of NFL retreads already a skeptical eye on him as someone who didn't earn a job that he's historically too young, pretty, inexperienced for. I also tend to differ from 50-70 year old disciplinarians when it comes to preferred learning techniques. Unfortunately, I can't blame them for rolling their eyes when the formerly fired college coach whose lack of a need for an Instagram filter is as impressive as his lack of a need for a respectable resume decides his NFL team needs internet intermissions.
I guess my point is that maybe it's best not to play right into their predictable and generalized critiques by branding the time intervals between team meetings as "cellphone breaks" and actively encouraging online distractions. Sort of feels like we're one step away from post-practice lunch appearing on the itinerary as 'brunch'. Not that it would really make any difference whatsoever if it did, but it would sure make the millennial jokes a whole hell of a lot easier to come by if he falls flat on his face while also millennializing his roster's day-to-day routine. After all, it's not like doing so returned reverent results at a much lower level of football. He might just be a pioneer, but I think I'd market his new age tactics a little more professionally as they make him even more likely to become a punchline.