Andy Reid keynotes BYU coaches clinic
PROVO, Utah — Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was the keynote speaker at BYU's annual high school coaches clinic that took place Thursday in conjunction with the team's 12th practice of spring camp.
Reid, a former BYU offensive lineman and graduate assistant coach, addressed the 275 coaches in attendance from six states and Canada and also talked to the BYU football team prior to practice.
"I appreciated the opportunity to be here," said Reid, while addressing coaches at the clinic. "I'm partial. I love BYU. I bleed blue. I have the helmet right in the office. I'm all in!"
Entering his 10th season at the helm of the Chiefs and 23rd season as an NFL head coach in 2022, Reid ranks No. 5 all-time in NFL history with 233 victories. Including his years as an NFL assistant coach, Reid's teams have made the playoffs 22 times, and he has coached in four Super Bowls and 11 Championship Games. He is the only NFL coach to win at least 100 games and appear in four consecutive conference championships with two different franchises.
BYU head coach Kalani Sitake and director of athletics Tom Holmoe also addressed the coaches at the clinic, which included a variety of learning and mentoring opportunities for coaches such as on-field and classroom breakouts for offense and defense as well as sessions on recruiting, mental health awareness and Cougars in the NFL. The coaches then watched the BYU football team practice for additional insights and opportunities to connect and share ideas.
Following practice, Sitake spoke to the media about the day. See some of his comments below as well as some thoughts about spring practices by wide receiver Gunner Romney and punter Ryan Rehkow.
Head Coach Kalani Sitake
"We’ve got one more week left and we're looking forward to seeing our guys perform in Pro Day tomorrow. Not a big number; I think there's five guys doing it. So that's a good sign, that means we're returning a lot of guys. Really excited going into this last week. We'll start getting it done, and taking advantage of the three practices next week is going to be huge for us."
On what Andy Reid said to the team
"I thought it was just really cool for the guys to hear him speak. I thought it was really effective. He was just talking about the players being proud of why they're here, to avoid all distractions, and to go through bringing energy to the field and to do it without fear and make sure that we stay aggressive and be in attack mode. That fits right in line with what we try to do as a team, so, hopefully, our guys can take it to heart and see that what works for Super Bowl champions hopefully will work for us here at BYU."
On the coaches clinic
"I think it's important for us to be involved in recruiting. A lot of times, that means seeing their coaches and developing a relationship with them, but also being able to exchange ideas. I know that the clinic means that myself and our coaches speak and connect with these guys, but it's also us learning from them, too. I think that's always good for us to collaborate and try to get better."
On Brayden Cosper’s recovery
"He's got some of his best friends around that are encouraging him, but he's got the strong will to play. It sucks what happened to him last year, because I think he was really ready to do something special. It’s hard to keep a guy healthy when he just goes so hard. I get nervous every time he runs routes because he's just 100 percent. He doesn't have a neutral zone, it’s just all pedal to the ground. We'd like to see him get healthy and be able to participate in the game against South Florida."
On injuries during spring ball
"Yeah, the Logan Fano injury, that one was tough. The game of football is violent and physical and even when you're trying to be careful, things like those injuries can happen. We're looking forward to him making a full recovery and being back. He's in great spirits and I wouldn't count him out for the fall. Maybe he can get back and play in some games. Other than that, injury wise, I think we’ve been pretty good. We got some guys banged up, but that's football and we'll assess everything next week.
Receiver Gunner Romney
On healthiness as a team
“Health has been my number one priority this spring. The coaches have done a really good job of limiting my number of reps and letting a lot of the other guys get some time in too. This is the best I’ve felt in the last few years.”
On receiver Brayden Cosper
“He’s faced so much adversity in his career, and to see him bounce back and be playing right now is awesome. He definitely deserves it.”
On not having a spring game
“It feels like we have a spring game every practice. We are scrimmaging and some days are full tackle, so we are still getting that in-game feel and experience.”
On quarterback Jacob Conover
“Jacob is coming into himself right now. He is getting a lot more confident with his passes and with the offense. The last couple practices he has really performed well.”
On the defensive backs
“There’s a lot of competition with our defensive backs and they are not backing down from us in practice. They are stepping up and really progressing as a position.”
Punter Ryan Rehkow
On highlights from conversation with Coach Reid
“One of the things that really stood out to me was eliminating distractions as soon as you get on the field. That really resonated with me, especially as a group of specialists, because everything is so mental rather than physical. So, being able to be dialed in every rep is something I took away from that and will strive to improve upon, too.”
On the role specialists play in spring ball
“We try and do whatever the team asks of us. We do a few things right at the beginning and then after that they give us a lot of freedom to go and perfect our craft, so we make the best of that. Whether that is out on the field kicking, back in the weight room, or doing stretching and recovery, that is our job right now during spring.”
On what he did to perfect his craft in the offseason
“It was a very long and successful season last year, and I think we all had that mentality that there is so much more that we can do. We all took a little break from it because you can’t keep kicking year-round, the legs do need a break, so we took a couple weeks off. Now we are really ramping back up. Between spring and fall is when we really put on the finishing touches and make sure we are fine-tuned for that day-one game.”
On the specialist personnel right now
“We have two other kickers besides me and Jake Oldroyd as well with Justen Smith and Cash Perterman. Both have been putting in a lot of work, and they keep me and Jake honest. We must be on our A-game every day, because we know they’re working just as hard as us. I think that contributes a lot to our success, knowing we have to be on-top of things. All three of our long snappers, Austin Riggs, Dalton Riggs, and Britton Hogan have all been lights-out so far in spring camp, which is exciting for all of us. We realize that we do play a big part in the games, and we are very supportive of one another within the group, and we are excited for a special season.”
On the long snappers
“I think they don’t get enough credit because they’re your unsung heroes because you only know their names if they mess up. I know we try to make an effort to show our appreciation because we can’t do our job without them. It’s a special bond we have to try and create and maintain throughout the season. They all do a great job and they love their position.”
On things to work on this upcoming season
“For me, I think gross (punting yards) was where I wanted it to be, but there is still room for improvement there. I know net yards is a place where we can make a huge stride in, so I think that will be a focus for us. Coach Lamb really takes pride in limiting those return yards, so I think that will be a huge focus come fall camp. As for field goals, we know what Jake is capable of and that’s the goal. We should be scoring points every time the field goal team takes the field, so we will do our part in that and make sure we have all ends tied up there.”
BYU football wrapped up its first week of fall camp with its fifth practice on Saturday morning.