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Oregon Speed + Husker Power

wheat

Scout Team
5 Year Member
There was a discussion here a couple of weeks ago, and I’m too lazy to go look it up, that talked about the strength and conditioning philosophies. As a recap, there was mention that Oregon had some internal differences, partly because they whipped almost everyone with their speed but routinely lost to a more physical Stanford team. They made some changes and went with a more “Power” approach in S&C and ended up beating Stanford and narrowing losing in the national title game but subsequently their performance fell of significantly.

There was sentiment expressed that it is a choice and you embrace speed or power and that most teams are going the speed route. Alabama hired staff from Indiana and Devonta Smith credited them with giving him the extra burst that he thought was the difference between his junior and senior years. Having watched Alabama, they are also not as physical as they have been in the past. I wonder if that will become something other teams can exploit over the next few years.

The point of this is more to ask the question because I’m not terribly knowledgeable about strength and conditioning. I get that you can’t simultaneously run the “Speed” and “Power” approach but, if you’re going to try to marry speed and power, wouldn’t you do it sequentially? And maybe tailor it for specific players and position groups? For example, maybe your program for walk-on linemen is two years of bulking up and adding strength and then moving to the core/flexibility/speed emphasis. Maybe, for some, winter conditioning is power and summer condition is speed (or maybe that's the maintenance of both). Maybe, if you find a 4.35 guy, you just leave him in the speed category. Getting in front means being innovative. Would it be at all rational to have co-S&C leads with one heading Power and the other coming from the Speed camp and then have the coaches decide where a given player needs to be at a specific point in time? If that’s rational, they could work, over time, on the right duration and sequences to hit the optimal combination of power and speed for different body types and physiologies.

I spend a lot of work time thinking about what we can do more efficiently or innovatively in my research program and I applied that to what little I know of strength and conditioning at the 30,000 foot level and, what to a naïve outsider, appears to be frequently be a more rigid either-or approach to S&C. The Oregon title run and this year's Alabama team seem to be examples of marrying the two approaches by sequencing them, albeit not necessarily in a truly strategic fashion. In any case, they both had tremendous years and looked different/better from their previous selves early in the transition from one philosophy to the other, though one went from speed to power and the other more from power to speed. Perhaps this is non-sense but I thought it might be worth seeing what those of you actually know something about it think.
 
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XCHusker

Recruit
2 Year Member
There was a discussion here a couple of weeks ago, and I’m too lazy to go look it up, that talked about the strength and conditioning philosophies. As a recap, there was mention that Oregon had some internal differences, partly because they whipped almost everyone with their speed but routinely lost to a more physical Stanford team. They made some changes and went with a more “Power” approach in S&C and ended up beating Stanford and narrowing losing in the national title game but subsequently their performance fell of significantly.

There was sentiment expressed that it is a choice and you embrace speed or power and that most teams are going the speed route. Alabama hired staff from Indiana and Devonta Smith credited them with giving him the extra burst that he thought was the difference between his junior and senior years. Having watched Alabama, they are also not as physical as they have been in the past. I wonder if that will become something other teams can exploit over the next few years.

The point of this is more to ask the question because I’m not terribly knowledgeable about strength and conditioning. I get that you can’t simultaneously run the “Speed” and “Power” approach but, if you’re going to try to marry speed and power, wouldn’t you do it sequentially? And maybe tailor it for specific players and position groups? For example, maybe your program for walk-on linemen is two years of bulking up and adding strength and then moving to the core/flexibility/speed emphasis. Maybe, for some, winter conditioning is power and summer condition is speed (or maybe that's the maintenance of both). Maybe, if you find a 4.35 guy, you just leave him in the speed category. Getting in front means being innovative. Would it be at all rational to have co-S&C leads with one heading Power and the other coming from the Speed camp and then have the coaches decide where a given player needs to be at a specific point in time? If that’s rational, they could work, over time, on the right duration and sequences to hit the optimal combination of power and speed for different body types and physiologies.

I spend a lot of work time thinking about what we can do more efficiently or innovatively in my research program and I applied that to what little I know of strength and conditioning at the 30,000 foot level and, what to a naïve outsider, appears to be frequently be a more rigid either-or approach to S&C. The Oregon title run and this year's Alabama team seem to be examples of marrying the two approaches by sequencing them, albeit not necessarily in a truly strategic fashion. In any case, they both had tremendous years and looked different/better from their previous selves early in the transition from one philosophy to the other, though one went from speed to power and the other more from power to speed. Perhaps this is non-sense but I thought it might be worth seeing what those of you actually know something about it think.
Good questions and some of the same I have. I look at a guy like Adrian Martinez who bulked up and looks slower from his freshman year which seems to have impacted other areas os his game. I coach running so our S&C is specifically about flexibility, core strength, and speed so I don't know what works best for football but I really like your ideas and I see a guy like SSO saying some of the same things.
 

huskerman1

Scout Team
5 Year Member
There was a discussion here a couple of weeks ago, and I’m too lazy to go look it up, that talked about the strength and conditioning philosophies. As a recap, there was mention that Oregon had some internal differences, partly because they whipped almost everyone with their speed but routinely lost to a more physical Stanford team. They made some changes and went with a more “Power” approach in S&C and ended up beating Stanford and narrowing losing in the national title game but subsequently their performance fell of significantly.

There was sentiment expressed that it is a choice and you embrace speed or power and that most teams are going the speed route. Alabama hired staff from Indiana and Devonta Smith credited them with giving him the extra burst that he thought was the difference between his junior and senior years. Having watched Alabama, they are also not as physical as they have been in the past. I wonder if that will become something other teams can exploit over the next few years.

The point of this is more to ask the question because I’m not terribly knowledgeable about strength and conditioning. I get that you can’t simultaneously run the “Speed” and “Power” approach but, if you’re going to try to marry speed and power, wouldn’t you do it sequentially? And maybe tailor it for specific players and position groups? For example, maybe your program for walk-on linemen is two years of bulking up and adding strength and then moving to the core/flexibility/speed emphasis. Maybe, for some, winter conditioning is power and summer condition is speed (or maybe that's the maintenance of both). Maybe, if you find a 4.35 guy, you just leave him in the speed category. Getting in front means being innovative. Would it be at all rational to have co-S&C leads with one heading Power and the other coming from the Speed camp and then have the coaches decide where a given player needs to be at a specific point in time? If that’s rational, they could work, over time, on the right duration and sequences to hit the optimal combination of power and speed for different body types and physiologies.

I spend a lot of work time thinking about what we can do more efficiently or innovatively in my research program and I applied that to what little I know of strength and conditioning at the 30,000 foot level and, what to a naïve outsider, appears to be frequently be a more rigid either-or approach to S&C. The Oregon title run and this year's Alabama team seem to be examples of marrying the two approaches by sequencing them, albeit not necessarily in a truly strategic fashion. In any case, they both had tremendous years and looked different/better from their previous selves early in the transition from one philosophy to the other, though one went from speed to power and the other more from power to speed. Perhaps this is non-sense but I thought it might be worth seeing what those of you actually know something about it think.
We have neither.
 

wheat

Scout Team
5 Year Member
Good questions and some of the same I have. I look at a guy like Adrian Martinez who bulked up and looks slower from his freshman year which seems to have impacted other areas os his game. I coach running so our S&C is specifically about flexibility, core strength, and speed so I don't know what works best for football but I really like your ideas and I see a guy like SSO saying some of the same things.
Thanks. It was a post by @ShortSideOption that got me thinking about it. He talked about it some but I am curious how it might look fleshed out a bit and how it could be moved from conceptual to practice. I think AM was closer to his freshman form this year in terms of regaining some quickness and speed.
 

ShortSideOption

All American
10 Year Member
Thanks. It was a post by @ShortSideOption that got me thinking about it. He talked about it some but I am curious how it might look fleshed out a bit and how it could be moved from conceptual to practice. I think AM was closer to his freshman form this year in terms of regaining some quickness and speed.
It's interesting. I started saying later in the year i'm not sure you can "marry Husker Power and Oregon Speed" and that comes strictly from what happened at Oregon to get Helfrich fired when they tried doing something similar.

 

jikastew

13
15 Year Member
Right now, in CFB, the name of the game is speed. Will it eventually bite Alabama? If someone, somehow develops something to neutralize it, sure. But that's not happening anytime soon until a paradigm shift occurs.

Speed is always going to win in the long run at the college level. Better coaches (those who can actually gameplan well) who have a team full of burners can always gameplan a decent strategy against bigger, stronger, slower. But the opposite isn't true. A fast team, with a good coach, always has a puncher's chance. If the fast team also has the most skilled football players? That's Alabama, OSU and Clemson right now. That's every team in the NFL at every position.

Big and fast is always better, but you usually can't have both with most athletes. There's a reason very few make it in the NFL. I think most NU fans would be very surprised just how slow our 95 team would look against 2020 Alabama.
 
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I thought each guy had his own particular routine?
We saw Ziggy and others come in different every year it seemed, this change?
I would think a 3 bill guy has a different regimen than a buck80 guy
 

wheat

Scout Team
5 Year Member
Right now, in CFB, the name of the game is speed. Will it eventually bite Alabama? If someone, somehow develops something to neutralize it, sure. But that's not happening anytime soon until a paradigm shift occurs.

Speed is always going to win in the long run at the college level. Better coaches (those who can actually gameplan well) who have a team full of burners can always gameplan a decent strategy against bigger, stronger, slower. But the opposite isn't true. A fast team, with a good coach, always has a puncher's chance. If the fast team also has the most skilled football players? That's Alabama, OSU and Clemson right now. That's every team in the NFL at every position.

Big and fast is always better, but you usually can't have both with most athletes. There's a reason very few make it in the NFL. I think most NU fans would be very surprised just how slow our 95 team would look against 2020 Alabama.
It will be fascinating to watch Bama VS A&M. Fisher is building great lines with physicality and will have plenty of athleticism at the skill positions to go with it. I think we'll see this experiment played out in the SEC West.
 

wheat

Scout Team
5 Year Member
It's interesting. I started saying later in the year i'm not sure you can "marry Husker Power and Oregon Speed" and that comes strictly from what happened at Oregon to get Helfrich fired when they tried doing something similar.

But did they go back to putting the two together by sequencing the strategies? Or did they stick with more of a power focus because it appeared to work? I'm genuinely asking because I have no idea.
 
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ShortSideOption

All American
10 Year Member
But did they go back to putting the two together by sequencing the strategies? Or did they stick with more of a power focus because it appeared to work? I'm genuinely asking because I have no idea.
I'll try to give bullet point cliffs:

- Jim Radcliffe was Oregon's strength coach. He had a philosophy "bullets over bowling balls" that mirrored what Chip Kelly wanted to do with his teams which was have a bunch of freaking fast dudes everywhere.

- In 2013 Helfrich takes over, they play well but lose to Stanford who is in their division. He is of the opinion that they are losing to Stanford because they aren't big or strong enough. (file away that Stanford had 12 draft picks in two years on those teams, 50% of which went top 3 rounds)

- They decide to get to the title they have to beat Stanford, so they task every linemen with gaining at least 15 pounds over the offseason. Waking them up at 3 in the morning and drinking protein shakes, etc. This completely ruins how Radcliffe trains.

- 2014 even though they get pretty injury-riddled, they make the CFP and the finals. They lose to Ohio State. While they beat Stanford, they did lose to Arizona that year. But it appears to be "working" in its first year.

- 2015 if bigger is better as 2014 "proved" then let's do it all the way around. Start implementing it for all players. They beat Stanford again which was their goal, but they are starting to falter other places. They go 9-4.

- 2016 the wheels become completely detached from the bus and they go 4-8 and fire Helfrich.

- 2017 they hire Taggart, put Radcliffe in a different role, hire Oderinde to try and keep getting stronger like the players were doing, and hospitalize them in some of the first workouts while there.

Summation: When they tried to mix the power and size with their speed, it completely unraveled. In my opinion it runs really parallel to what i've seen in Lincoln. You can hang with some of the people you are built for, but by and large it doesn't work when you try to be both things. And running a spread offense while simultaneously celebrating adding weight and strength doesn't work as designed. I've had players that left tell me they felt slower under our program, which is why they were looking for a change of scenery. We are on the verge of having our best player possibly take off now as well.
 
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There was a discussion here a couple of weeks ago, and I’m too lazy to go look it up, that talked about the strength and conditioning philosophies. As a recap, there was mention that Oregon had some internal differences, partly because they whipped almost everyone with their speed but routinely lost to a more physical Stanford team. They made some changes and went with a more “Power” approach in S&C and ended up beating Stanford and narrowing losing in the national title game but subsequently their performance fell of significantly.

There was sentiment expressed that it is a choice and you embrace speed or power and that most teams are going the speed route. Alabama hired staff from Indiana and Devonta Smith credited them with giving him the extra burst that he thought was the difference between his junior and senior years. Having watched Alabama, they are also not as physical as they have been in the past. I wonder if that will become something other teams can exploit over the next few years.

The point of this is more to ask the question because I’m not terribly knowledgeable about strength and conditioning. I get that you can’t simultaneously run the “Speed” and “Power” approach but, if you’re going to try to marry speed and power, wouldn’t you do it sequentially? And maybe tailor it for specific players and position groups? For example, maybe your program for walk-on linemen is two years of bulking up and adding strength and then moving to the core/flexibility/speed emphasis. Maybe, for some, winter conditioning is power and summer condition is speed (or maybe that's the maintenance of both). Maybe, if you find a 4.35 guy, you just leave him in the speed category. Getting in front means being innovative. Would it be at all rational to have co-S&C leads with one heading Power and the other coming from the Speed camp and then have the coaches decide where a given player needs to be at a specific point in time? If that’s rational, they could work, over time, on the right duration and sequences to hit the optimal combination of power and speed for different body types and physiologies.

I spend a lot of work time thinking about what we can do more efficiently or innovatively in my research program and I applied that to what little I know of strength and conditioning at the 30,000 foot level and, what to a naïve outsider, appears to be frequently be a more rigid either-or approach to S&C. The Oregon title run and this year's Alabama team seem to be examples of marrying the two approaches by sequencing them, albeit not necessarily in a truly strategic fashion. In any case, they both had tremendous years and looked different/better from their previous selves early in the transition from one philosophy to the other, though one went from speed to power and the other more from power to speed. Perhaps this is non-sense but I thought it might be worth seeing what those of you actually know something about it think.
I think our point in the last thread was that it is not working. It appears that our staff does not have the best education to be able to keep up, they are stuck in old school Husker Power training. To a large extent, you can have both power and speed but not with the concepts they are currently using.

There does not appear to be much of those concepts married with real functional training which is how you make the body able to use the power and speed and also to keep you from getting injured. Each individual position should be trained differently. Not saying that they don't already do that but from watching the players, their performance and injury rates, it is very clear to us in the business that they are not doing a great job.
 
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