No wonder Oregon’s football team plays so fast. Paul Westhead’s their guru.
The former Loyola-Marymount – and current Ducks women’s coach – spoke to the Oregon football team before the season to help them understand why and how “fast” principles can be applied to an offense.
Maybe Westhead should start charging for his services. The Ducks (12-0) are living up to Loyola-Marymount’s former ways. Of Oregon’s 71 TD drives, 35 took five plays or less, and 24 took 56 seconds or less. Westhead’s more than impressed.
“What Chip Kelly has done — and why others have not done it — it’s very hard,” Westhead told FanHouse’s Brett McMurphy. “As in basketball, you (operate) in a split second. We could have upwards of 80-100 possessions a game. Coaches may think ‘Am I willing and able to do it’ and the answer comes back, ‘Uh, I don’t think so.’
“Maybe some football guys have tried it, but they can’t sustain. Football is a very methodical regimented game. Staying with this offense for a whole game, for an entire season, that’s unheard of. That’s why Chip Kelly is special. He did it.”
So what did Westhead say? Turns out he’s got a whole philsophy on playing fast.
“There are three things that are important,” Westhead told FanHouse. “You have to do it in a split second as fast as you can, you have to repeat it over and over again and the third component, you have to sustain what you are repeating. Go fast, do it over and over and do it for as many possessions as the game gives you.
“The only real fear is not the enemy, but yourself. If you’re backing off a second or two, or a stride or two, then the opponent can lock in rather than the speed game that runs right by them. The opposition is not the problem, it doesn’t matter — you can be the problem or the solution. In speed, you dictate how fast.”
Ah. I bet there’s one other thing that’s crucial. Really good players.
Want more? I’m also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller.