Football coaches are always reinventing themselves, finding new and interesting ways to motivate their players. Much of that has to do with the competitive nature of the sport — the NFL is often referred to as a copy-cat league, and I’m guessing that the CFL isn’t much different. Teams are quick to adopt a scheme or technique once it proves successful elsewhere. You know, survival of the fittest and all that.
Which brings us to Don Wnek, Edmonton Eskimos defensive line coach, who is on the cutting edge of coaching techniques. Literally. You see, he motivates his players by wielding a knife.
Apparently, Wnek is into using all sorts of toys as practice tools. There are also bowling pins and swinging towels but the knife drill is easily the most insane:
The most bizarre of the toy drills, Wnek tries to slash and stab his players with the plastic blade.
It’s a one-on-one exercise with Wnek standing within an arm’s length of a defensive player, who is trying to avoid the blade….
“They want to get into a football position and play the game a little bit,” said Wnek.
“The knife is a focal point. Focus on this, focus on the attack point - it could be in reference to an offensive line-man’s hands - know what angles you are being attacked from and dodge it.”
Just in case it wasn’t clear from the article: Wnek doesn’t use a real knife (that would be too Pacman Jonesin‘), just a plastic one. Still, it’s not something you see everyday … well, unless you’re Jeff Otah’s brother.
No idea if this drill works — Wnek joined the team a few months ago — but if it proves effective, the Cincinnati Bengals will have to be the prohibitive Super Bowl favorites.