The Gus Bradley era has begun in Jacksonville. And players may soon be holding lighters in the air during practice.
According to the Associated Press, Bradley has incorporated music into football practice, with rock, rap, and pop songs playing during Tuesday’s opening minicamp session.
“We just believe that it really elevates the performance,” Bradley said. “It’s not just to have music out there. We found out that music, without going into too much detail, how many beats there are in a song and things like that elevates everybody’s performance.
“We’re trying to compete. . . . We’ve got to do everything we can to get practice at the highest level, the highest level. And if that means play some music at the same time, we’re going to do that.”
It’s a tactic that Bradley learned from his former boss, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. Bradley also apparently learned from Carroll how to apply to pedal to the metal.
“We allowed them to play fast so they could put full concentration into their assignments and the execution and their effort,” Bradley said. “Those three principles — hard, fast and together — and the music helps do that.”
The players already have noticed the difference.
“Going into my eighth year, I’ve never been a part of anything like this,” tight end Marcedes Lewis said. “First day of minicamp, they’re throwing everything at us: blitz period, hurry-up offense, two-minute drill, the whole kitchen sink at you the first day. . . . Everybody came out here with the right attitude and we got it done. . . .
“Everybody’s talking about the coaches and how great they are. It’s one thing to be able to coach great, but it’s another thing to be great people coaching. These are great people that actually care about you. We feel that. We thrive off that. And the energy has been great since Day One and we’re going to continue to feed off that and get better every day.”
There’s plenty of room for the team to get better. Last year, the end result was 2-14. An immediate turnaround is unlikely, but three of the six worst teams from 2011 made the playoffs in 2012. So anything can happen.