PHOENIX — New Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury won’t waste any time using his college coaching background to help him in the NFL.
Kingsbury said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings that he’ll implement “cellphone breaks” during team meetings. He did something similar while coach 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 seeing 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.
Instead of asking them to sit for longer stretches, Kingsbury will adjust his meetings to maximize their focus.
“I think coming from the college ranks to obviously, those young men, it’s got to be quick hitters, 20 minutes at a time, give them a break and get them back in,” he said. “We want to make sure that when we have them, they’re focused, and they’re locked in, and we’re maximizing their time.
“So if we’ve got to split it up or have shorter meetings, that’s what we do.”
When Kingsbury gets a break to check his phone, what is he looking at?
“My favorite app to check? ESPN.com, probably,” he said. “Look at scores. March Madness scores — that’s about it.”