The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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Have We Figured Out the Cardinals Late Season Collapse?

Remember this moment if and when the Cardinals season collapses on itself as it has the last two years.

So how is this relevant to avoiding losing five of their last six as they did last year?

Because how you prepare directly impacts how you finish.

Don't believe me? Ask any runner, triathlete or endurance competitor in your orbit. How you prepare for a race is often more important to how you finish than how the race starts. Meaning, the months of preparing for a marathon are often more important to the final mile than the first few miles of the race.

The approach under Kliff Kingsbury's training camps have been mostly the same since he began his NFL head coaching career: less is more.

In fact, this has likely been Kingsbury's approach as a head coach his entire career which might explain why even at Texas Tech his teams faded later in the season.

Less hitting, less competition, less outdoor practice and more rest, more snacks and more breaks.

I understand the logic. The NFL season is a meat grinder and minimizing injury risk is a real thing for all NFL teams. Why test players physical limits in August when you know its an incredible grind to get to December? Kliff probably feels he's doing the best thing for his guys by asking less of them when nothing is at stake and hoping for more when everything is at stake.

I just don't think that's the way it works. Preparing in August isn't just about succeeding in September. Its about succeeding in December and January too.

If you're voluntarily cancelling joint practices, the holy grail of preseason preparation for most NFL teams, you are actively undermining your teams preparation.

Maybe Kliff knows his team well enough that they just needed a break. Maybe the Cardinals are at the end of their ropes after a grueling training camp. Maybe cancelling the second joint practice was the best thing for this team.

Or maybe what you do in August will show up in December.

Or in the Cardinals case, what you don't do in August will keep showing up in December.

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