For Pat Narduzzi and his staff, spending time in the classrooms teaching scheme (and more importantly, making sure that players understand it) may be more important in the big picture of things than the time spent on the practice field.
The same can probably said for any first year staff installing a new offensive and defensive scheme, so hear me out.
After the seventh Spring practice under the new staff, Narduzzi was asked about the possible correlation between a lack of execution and a lack of intensity. He then explained that you can’t expect either of them without first having an understanding of the scheme.
“There are two reasons they don’t execute. They’re either trying not to execute, or they don’t know what they’re doing.” Narduzzi explained after practice.
“It’s hard to execute when you don’t know what you’re doing. And if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s hard to be intense about it because you can’t do it in full force, so those go hand in hand.”
“That’s why we talk about playing with intensity, and effort, and toughness – but you have to have the knowledge because if you don’t have knowledge, you won’t have any of that. That’s why these classrooms are so important.”
Good point by Narduzzi. So before you jump on your kids for any of those three things – intensity, effort, or toughness – keep that in mind and make sure they have a thorough understanding of the scheme first.