New NFL head coach to give players 'cellphone breaks' during team meetings

Arizona Cardinals boss Kliff Kingsbury feels that it will help keep player’s attention for extended periods.

Arizona Cardinals boss Kliff Kingsbury (file pic).
Arizona Cardinals boss Kliff Kingsbury (file pic).
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

NFL COACHES BORROWING from their college contemporaries in nothing new.

For years, the brightest minds in professional football have adopted and adapted strategies that have been successful in the college game, leading to such recent developments as the spread offense and the ubiquity of the run-pass option or “RPO.”

But incoming Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury appears to be taking this reasoning to another level, carrying a strategy from his days of coaching college football into his NFL locker room; providing players with “cellphone breaks” during team meetings as a way of maintaining their attention for extended periods.

According to ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss, Kingsbury plans to allow players to break with their phones every 20 or 30 minutes to keep their focus when it matters most.

“They’re itching to get to those things,” Kingsbury said. “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.”

It makes sense that Kingsbury, who coached last season at Texas Tech, would be eager to bring some of his coaching strategies to the Cardinals. As he noted, many of the players that he’s coaching aren’t that much older than those he was guiding through the Big 12 schedule last year.

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Further, as one of the younger coaches in the NFL, Kingsbury is more familiar with the ongoing distractions that phones can present to his players.

“We want to make sure that when we have them, they’re focused, and they’re locked in, and we’re maximizing their time,” Kingsbury said. “So if we’ve got to split it up or have shorter meetings, that’s what we do.”

Kingsbury still has plenty of big decisions to make before the start of the season, most importantly meeting with the Cardinals front office to determine whether or not the team is entirely behind taking quarterback Kyler Murray with the first overall pick of the NFL draft.

Whomever the Cardinals eventually select, one thing they can count on is plenty of breaks to check their phone.

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