Arizona Football: Rich Rodriguez Adapting Chip Kelly Practice Regimen?

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Arizona Wildcats head coach Rich Rodriguez is going to be adapting some of the tactics that made Chip Kelly's Oregon Ducks turn into the unstoppable Big Green Machine.

If something is working in college football, borrow it like mad and hope it pays off.

Rich Rodriguez seems to be installing two staples of the current practice routine of the Oregon Ducks. One is the frenetic and up-tempo pace that is starting to become all the rage in college football. More from the Arizona Republic.

First, the Wildcats will play at a faster pace than they did under former coach Mike Stoops. There was little standing and watching. Plays came quickly, one after another.

"It's kind of a controlled chaos," said fifth-year senior offensive lineman Kyle Quinn. "Everything changed. The speed of the practice is something we weren't accustomed to. It's a different drill every five minutes and you're always moving. That rapid movement is something we haven't seen before."

Basically, because of the limited practice time college football coaches are afforded to work with their players, the ability to optimize that time for better learning and digesting is of the upmost importance. This makes perfect sense for the spread option attack, which needs not only precise execution but great attention to detail to get down right. Getting extra practice time in to install these sets makes perfect sense.

The other not so obvious one? The loud music that blares through at every practice.

Second, the workouts will be audible in downtown Tucson. Rap and rock music blared from speakers spread out around the two practice fields.

"We got a brand new speaker system," said Rodriguez, who was hired last November. "It's the best in the country.

"We're trying to create an environment with a little bit of a distraction for the players and more of a game-day experience. I know some of the locals don't like it, but at least we're practicing at six in the evening and not six in the morning."

This isn't something Rodriguez was known for doing at Michigan or West Virginia, so you have to figure the inspiration came from the way Chip Kelly runs shop at Oregon practices.

An eclectic music shuffle constantly blares to simulate crowd noise. Songs include the symbolic ("Sympathy for the Devil" before the Arizona State game); the hip (tracks from the rapper Drake); and the out of place ("Circle of Life" from "The Lion King"). For good measure, the players hurry around attired in the Ducks’ dizzying yellow and green color scheme.

Both Rodriguez and Todd Graham at Arizona State are planning to go up-tempo, although it'll likely be impossible to replicate the madness that Oregon goes at this season. It took Kelly three seasons to really get the Ducks running the style of offense he wanted them to start going at, and you have to figure that until Rodriguez and Graham get the players they want for their schemes, there could be some tough transitions ahead until they get it down right.

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