As evidenced in the video interview above, Blue Adams doesn't have any problems expressing himself. He easily rolls into his philosophy for teaching the players in his position room, and while there are certain underpinnings that all coaches share, he manages to package them in entertaining and meaningful ways that he hopes will resonate with the players.
For example, almost every coach emphasizes the importance of the day to day process of doing work, and of not getting caught up in praise and then slacking off in succeeding practices. Adams, though, has a different phraseology for that.
“I tell them to live in a black hole,” he said, conjuring up images of dungeon-like work. “A lot of times with young guys they will have success and they don't handle it well, and they get off the fundamentals. I tell them to live in that black hole. It's miserable. Get comfortable in that misery and with working in the dark. Then when game time comes everybody will say 'Who is that guy that's shining?' I don't care about us having swag right now. I care about the fundamentals right now, snap in and snap out.”
Another catchphrase for Adams is “EDD”. It's one of his building blocks for improving on those fundamentals, and for getting through the day to day grind of the black hole.
“Every Day Drills,” Adams defined with a smile. “They are basic movements they may have to use in the course of the game. We get their bodies contorted and then work on ways to get out of them. That's my whole premise on the deal. It's about laying a foundation.”
Watching Adams and his group during individual periods of practice, the EDDs are easy to see. They are as basic as backpedaling on a straight line without moving from side to side, or in running through different breaks while maintaining proper form. Over and over the reps go, until the movement he is looking for becomes ingrained.
The ideas for a drill may come while Adams is eating, or sleeping or watching a play. He'll see a movement or position that he wants to work on, and a new EDD is born.
“The guys may hate me for it,” he says of the EDDs, “but they will love me later on. I like to create a situation where there's a lot of stress in practice. I try to put them in as hard a position as I possibly can. I know the movement I am looking for. It's just a matter of making that movement being second nature.”
Other phrases and chatter highlight Adams sessions. To one player who is standing up during a drill: “You are treetop tall! You gotta live low!” To another who kicks a pair of cones while cutting in different directions and driving on a pass: “My cones may move a little bit, but not that much. If you get past them, you won't kick them.” On and on the chatter progresses, but with each quip comes a coaching point – and hopefully ones that will stick with a generation of players that might tune out lectures, but be more likely to respond to this sort of teaching method.
Adams also has something of a different view on teaching his entire group. While expectations might be for more attention to be paid to the top guys on the depth chart, he thinks that can be detrimental to the group as a whole.
”Every guy does something great, but I am always coaching the last guy on the depth chart. I'm a firm believer that if you coach the last guy, the ceiling rises for everyone else.