As soon as the final horn sounds at practice each day, the Oregon football staff gets as far away from the field as they can.
Mentally, at least.
Scott Frost runs stadium steps and lift weights. John Neal does CrossFit. Ron Aiken reads his latest John Grisham novel on the elliptical machine. The others run or walk. And Mark Helfrich rides his bike.
"We try to force that to maintain sanity and health long-term,” Helfrich told the Oregonian.
As Helfrich has risen from offensive coordinator to head coach, it's become harder and harder for him to step away, mentally and physically, to take his mid-day break. Which, in turn, means it's become that much more important.
“It’s a free moment to let your mind go blank,” Helfrich said. “But sometimes when you try to forget about everything you remember everything that you’re trying to forget.”