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SoonerTimes Home > SoonerTimes > OU Sports > Riley talks about implementing his covid plan with the players


Riley talks about implementing his covid plan with the players
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47Straight
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Joined: Tue Aug 14th, 2007
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 Posted: Mon Aug 3rd, 2020 03:51 pm

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This is part of a much larger article that deals with the way the pros are handling this./  I just took out the OU part for this.  If you want to read it all, just clik on the link at the bottom.
:whorns::whorns::whorns::whorns::whorns::whorns::whorns::whorns::whorns::whorns::whorns::whorns::whorns::whorns:
LEARNING FROM COLLEGE COACHES
Boston College coach Jeff Hafley could hardly believe the results he got late Saturday night, so right away he fired off a text to a group of his players.

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you guys. I know this hasn’t been easy and you guys deserve a ton of credit. Please let the guys know how much I appreciate all of you. This will pay off. It’s a great start now we have to stay at it!

Hafley had 154 people connected to the Eagles football program, including himself, tested last week, and zero—zero—came back positive. And underlying in that text was the key, in his opinion, to the whole thing. “It has to come from the players,” Hafley told me on Sunday afternoon. “I have a leadership council, like everyone in the country, and I told them that. It’s going to be on your top leaders to convey the message—Hey, you go out, you’re risking my senior season. If I’m gone for two weeks, and miss training camp, everything gets screwed up. They took that to heart”

Another guy who’s gotten a lot of calls from the NFL on COVID-19 is one who’s been on the speed dial of plenty of pro football folks the last few years—Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley.

Like Hafley, Riley got some pretty staggering results late last week. The Sooners had 100 players and 38 football staffers tested, and zero came back positive. That signified affirmation that, while things are about to get a lot more challenging, the deliberate approach the Sooners have taken is the correct one.

College programs across the country got the green light to bring players back in early June, but Riley made the decision to hold back on that—choosing to give his guys a July 1 return date so the program could better research the issue and learn from the successes and failures of other college teams going back earlier. From there, he used coaches he knew as resources, and he was selective in the experts he listened to.

“Probably the biggest thing was, I didn’t read anything online,” Riley said Saturday night. “Once I figured out there was gonna be so much out there about it, it was hard just to zero in on what was true, what was false, where all these opinions were coming from. So I put my education in the hands of our medical personnel here and their experience.… There’s been so many differing opinions and thoughts on treatments, how to handle it, best practices, all that, I figured hearing from a group of voices that I know and trust was best.”

As he’d hoped, buying time did allow for improving circumstances and information. Testing became more available, which obviously helped, as did the knowledge that while surfaces weren’t transmitting the virus as once believed, wearing masks certainly did a lot to stop it.

So Riley’s players are wearing masks everywhere, and that’s not just for meetings and walkthroughs—it’s during training too. “Everything,” Riley said. “Conditioning. Practice. Shower. You name it, they have a mask on.” As part of that, Oklahoma was also meticulous in organizing the flow of foot traffic in the building and has tried to minimize the sort of downtime where guys would normally just be sitting around together.

And connected to all that, Oklahoma was aggressive, like BC was, in pursuing buy-in from its players, with the leaders positioned as messengers, and Riley trying to be as clear as he could be in explaining all the why’s of the new guidelines.

“They had to understand the entire process,” Riley said. “We took them through the reasons we felt like those decisions were in their and our best interests. And then, ‘The only way this works is if these things happen.’ We had, even before they came back to our facility or got back to our campus, weeks and weeks of meetings where that was emphasized, that this was gonna be the plan when you get back and this is what you have to prepare yourself for. Versus bringing them back and on the first day they’re here you drop this bomb on them that they can’t do this or that when they leave the facility.

“So I think it was reinforcement of the plan and then, as any coach, any leader knows, you can rah-rah-rah all you want, the reality is that we’ve had a team that believes in our plan.”

And in that plan is where Riley’s advice to NFL teams has been.

And more specifically, it’s the fact that it’s not his plan that’s the key.

“In my opinion, simple as this sounds, listen to your doctors, listen to your trainers, listen to your medical personnel,” Riley said. “These people are trained in these areas and it obviously pays to have great ones, and guys that are super experienced, and top of their field. We’re lucky to have that here. You listen to these people, and you gotta let these people run point. Sometimes coaches, man, we’re all wired the opposite, feel like we’ve got take the point all the time. So that’d be my biggest advice.”

Now, both Hafley and Riley were quick to add addendums to the great results they’ve gotten through July. They know the real challenge starts when the student body returns to campus, because that will, without question, be a multiplier for all the variables in play.

But as for what their respective programs are doing—and the plans that NFL teams can put in motion—both guys are optimistic that everything that can be done to have a football season is being done in their workplaces. As for whether it all works out, and they’re able to have an actual season, both believe that remains difficult to predict.

“I feel better than I did a month ago,” Hafley said. “And I’m still hopeful we’ll have a season. This whole thing is so day-to-day. You hear this, you hear that, and so you have to kind of take it day-to-day. But yeah, I’m still hopeful in talking to the people I’ve talked to, and the guys I have, that makes me optimistic because we’ve got such a good group. But eventually, this is all going to be a little bit out of their control.”

“There’s a lot of outside factors,” Riley said. “If it was only based on us being able contain it, solely that factor—and listen, we’re gonna have some positive tests through the year, I get that, I’m not saying we’re perfect by any stretch—I feel like we could make that happen. But there’s obviously a lot of other factors, how it goes in the public, it’s in the hands of so many different people right now. I think like everything in life right now, it’s up in the air.

“I’m confident we’ll play at some point, whether it’s this year, a full year, spring, whatever it is, I do think we’ll play. I just don’t know when or what that’s gonna look like yet.”

Truth is, neither do the rest of us—and that certainly goes for NFL teams, too.

https://www.si.com/nfl/2020/08/03/training-camp-coronavirus-impact-roster-opt-outs

Fly
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 Posted: Mon Aug 3rd, 2020 05:21 pm

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That is great to know. I keep saying over & over, wear a
dam mask. I go to the store or any where in public I where
a mask. I don't like doing that but I,m doing my part to
control this virus the best I can. But look around & see
how many could not give a squat. It must at least help.

Fly[beating head]

soonerBAS
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 Posted: Tue Aug 4th, 2020 01:50 pm

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here's another SI article on Riley, it's a fun read and makes you think the OU program is in good hands

https://www.si.com/college/2020/08/04/lincoln-riley-oklahoma-football?fbclid=IwAR0vfxM6QaS_31dkFx0cBGyGz2SXbaa1WDKnc0OiOT7NxXtJMm4lPQ1R1qg

if for no other reason, read it for the paragraph that compares Riley to osu's Gundy. it mentions Gundy's outdated thinking, demanding players return and the OAN shirt.

Last edited on Tue Aug 4th, 2020 01:51 pm by soonerBAS

47Straight
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 Posted: Tue Aug 4th, 2020 02:55 pm

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soonerBAS wrote: here's another SI article on Riley, it's a fun read and makes you think the OU program is in good hands

https://www.si.com/college/2020/08/04/lincoln-riley-oklahoma-football?fbclid=IwAR0vfxM6QaS_31dkFx0cBGyGz2SXbaa1WDKnc0OiOT7NxXtJMm4lPQ1R1qg

if for no other reason, read it for the paragraph that compares Riley to osu's Gundy. it mentions Gundy's outdated thinking, demanding players return and the OAN shirt.Yes, this is a really good read on Riley, even if the author gets some of his fact wrong.  I loved this quote.

“We’re watching a coach with extraordinary intellect develop before our eyes,” says Castiglione, the AD. “That’s an extraordinary experience to behold …”


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