Arizona Cardinals: Team to Allow “Cell Phone Breaks” for Players

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury announced Tuesday his plan to allow his players to have frequent cell phone breaks during team meetings.

No stranger to football players and film sessions, young Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury announced plans to allow cell phone breaks for players.

At the NFL owners meetings, Kingsbury explained the idea of the breaks, citing that the players “are itching to get to those things.”

Kingsbury talked about how, when he coached the Texas Tech Red Raiders as recently as last year, he could tell players were missing their mobile devices; the rookie head coach reportedly used cell phone breaks at Texas Tech last year.

“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.

Kingsbury also noted that the average age of NFL players is 25 years old, which is not much older than collegiate athletes, which usually range from 18 to 22 years.

Teams will only have to have a meeting session for a “good run” (around 20 to 30 minutes) before the players can get a few minutes to themselves to reconnect with the social world beyond them.

“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,” Kingsbury explained. “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.”

To me, it seems like a foolish idea, and the large majority of those with a keen focus on football agree.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who is known for his hot takes on live television, opposes the idea, too:

Smith brings up a good point in saying that Kingsbury has yet to do anything significant as head coach of the Cardinals. Kingsbury has not coached preseason games. He has not coached training camps. He has not even drafted a single player yet.

But he is still making up asinine rules that allow professional athletes to stop studying film every 20 minutes just so they can update their social media presence. These adult men are being paid to play, study, and practice for the sport they have devoted their first 40 years of their lives to, yet Kingsbury thinks his players cannot handle watching film to prepare for games for more than half an hour.

Insane. They are not teenagers looking to show off to their friends with a new filter on Instagram. During the days leading up to a game, Arizona Cardinals players should have one thing on their mind: football. Not Instagram or Twitter or Facebook or Snapchat or, well, you get the point.

Of course, nobody would be a true writer (or fan, for that matter) without looking at both sides of the story, something that Steven Ruiz of USA Today’s “For The Win” site did today in an article. The piece talks about how if it takes cell phone breaks every 20 minutes just for players to retain the information and knowledge shared during the meetings, then so be it.

But it still just doesn’t seem right. It seems out of place and unprofessional.

If legendary Patriots head coach Bill Belichick were to impose a rule similar to this one, even he would get more negative attention than positive. And he is arguably one of the best and smartest coaches to grace the sidelines of a football field.

For a 39-year old with absolutely no NFL coaching experience to think of an idea this wild is just … wow.

Of course, if it works, I will be more than happy to give credit to Kliff Kingsbury. Although I am skeptical of his new plan, only time will tell if his players are on board and if positive reactions are the main outcome.

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