Rod Marinelli Ready to Bring “30 Minutes of Hell”

This sounds like excellent news for all Bears fans:

And how does Marinelli plan to make the Bears’ line better? It starts with ”a lot of drill work,” he said. Marinelli believes that the tempo of practice is extremely important and that players develop habits by how they perform on a daily basis. As a line coach, he always has pushed his players hard during the position time in practice. Former Buccaneers star Warren Sapp calls it ”30 minutes of hell” and said it soon will separate the men from the boys. You find out who is committed to their livelihood by the way they respond in practice.

That’s Rod Marinelli, the new defensive line coach and assistant head coach of the Bears.

Key phrases that make me feel all warm and special inside:

  • “tempo of practice is extremely important”
  • “players develop habits by how they perform on a daily basis”
  • “pushed his players hard”
  • “30 minutes of hell”
  • “separate men from the boys”
  • “committed to their liveliehood by the way they respond in practice”

OK, pretty much the whole paragraph. Sorry, got a little carried away there.  But it’s just really nice to read that conditioning and mental toughness and drillwork is making a comeback, because the last few years of watching Bears football sure didn’t give that impression.  Quite the opposite, in fact.

I’ve long wondered about the overall conditioning of the entire defense, but the line is especially important; a tired defense in the 4th quarter means the opposing offense can run any given play more effectively than they could in the 1st or 2nd quarter.  This is hardly news; why, then, did the Bears seem to think conditioning was unimportant?

Two of the greatest coaches in the history of any sport are Vince Lombardi and John Wooden; both were fanatics for conditioning, on the theory that it would win you many games late, by being in better shape physically, and therefore mentally tougher.  It’s all connected; the harder you work players physically, and the more you demand of them conditioning-wise, the more they are trained to tolerate mentally challenging situations and fatigue.

Seemed to work out pretty well for them.


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