The Kansas City Chiefs continue this week with Phase One workouts of their offseason program, focused primarily on the permitted strength and conditioning sessions, as well as physical rehabilitation work, leading into the 2014 campaign.
While Chiefs head coach Andy Reid continues to lead the team overall, he confidently turns the guys over to the mastermind behind the workouts, Chiefs strength and conditioning coach Barry Rubin.
"Barry gets this whole phase one period started," coach Reid said. "The players spend a tremendous amount of time with him the first two weeks and they know that it’s conditioning, conditioning and more conditioning. They get after it in there. I’m a huge believer in what he teaches. He stays on top of his game, both in the lifting phase of it, but also in the nutritional phase of it. He stays on top of it and the players know that he’s bringing up-to-date, good stuff to the table for them."
Rubin, who is in his second season with the Chiefs, following three years in the same capacity with coach Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles (2010-12), described the significance of the team's offseason program.
"The strength and conditioning program needs to be the foundation of every football program," Rubin said. "That’s how you can make a good player into a great player, a fair player into a good player, because you can reach all your abilities that you’ve been blessed with and the only way to do it is through a sound strength and conditioning program; that’s how you get to be your best."
Despite a new year, which includes new faces on the Chiefs roster, Rubin's goals and expectations remain clear-cut.
"Get the guys in the best shape possible in the given time that we’re allowed," Rubin said. "We try to get them as strong, as explosive, and as fast, and as flexible as we can in the time that we have. This takes the place of your practice and then, once the season starts, this kind of takes the back seat to practice; we still work out twice a week to help maintain the strength, but this can be a huge asset if players use it correctly."
The time period is a plan of four days a week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, which includes weights and running, catered specifically to the players' needs by Rubin and his phenomenal staff.
"It’s what I call 'serious fun'; you want to have fun, but serious fun," Rubin said. "We want to do everything we possibly can to simulate what they’re going to do on the field, off-field, as closely as we can. So, that’s how we set up our programs."
Three-time Pro Bowl RB
"Barry Rubin is all about strengthening and speed work. He does a good job of teaching the young guys and the veteran guys. He pushes us even harder to motivate us and I think we all need that and Barry does exactly that."
Three-time Pro Bowl LB
"Barry Rubin is a guy that is experienced and has a lot of success of making people stronger and faster. For me and my age, he is bringing out the youth in me, from the workouts that we do, and I love it. He’s keeping us healthy; that’s the main part. That’s why you lift weights, to be healthy. He has it down to a science."
Pro Bowl DT
"He tells you everything that you're doing, what it helps, what it doesn't. If we come in with certain aches and pains, he knows how to have different movements for us that will work the same muscles so, having him explain to us how it's done. Most of the strength coaches just tell you to 'do this and do that', but he explains things to us; we love him."
The encouraging words from the Chiefs continually motivate and inspire Rubin.
"That means a lot; it sure does," Rubin said of compliments by coach Reid and the players. "We’ve got great guys on our team, top-notch human beings. They’re hungry to do well. They’re hungry for themselves to be the very best that they can be. We’ve got a highly-motivated bunch of guys. It is a good thing."
Phase Two of the offseason program covers Weeks 3-5 and allows for on-field workouts, which may include individual player instruction and drills, as well as a team practice that is conducted on a "separates" basis, meaning no live contact or team-offense versus team-defense drills are allowed.