George O'Leary offers short rant on the softness of kids nowadays

Posted by: Pete Roussel on Tuesday August 27, 2013

UCF head coach George O’Leary went on a short rant during his radio show on Tuesday night about how he believes that kids are softer today than in the past.

O’Leary said on 740 The Game, “In the NFL, you can only hit for 14 days in camp.  That’s why the tackling and blocking is so poor.  They’re not doing it.  They’re not practicing it.  In college, every day used to be doubles.  Now, you have 29 practice opportunities.  We go one a day.  Most of these kids when it was 2-a-days, they would have struggled making it.

There is no question the kids today are softer than kids in the past, in my mind.  I think it comes from too much parental babying.  I think that’s why it takes kids a little bit longer to play.  The game is about contact.  You can try to hide it any way you want, but you got to hit people whether you blocking or tackling.”

O’Leary continued, “I always talk about contact speed.  Even when you watch the NFL, a lot of those guys run 4.5 but they hit you at 4.9.  You can’t win with those guys.  All you got to do when you’re watching TV is watch the back leg, whether they’re blocking or tackling, and see if it comes through.  You can’t play that way.  We got a bunch of them that almost break their hip trying to put the brakes on before they hit someone.  You can’t win that way.  I’m always looking at contact speed in a football team whether it’s offensively or defensively.  That’s what wins games. 

“I think kids have so many other things going with themselves with peer pressure and before, 10 or 15 years ago, there wasn’t that much going on in my opinion.  Now, they have all these shows and stuff.  It’s just ridiculous, the reality show.  You can’t watch TV now.  It’s all stuff that really doesn’t matter.”

Since arriving at UCF in 2004, O’Leary has developed a hard-nosed football team based on physical football.  In four of eight seasons in C-USA, the Knights finished 7-1 against conference opponents, in part due that physical style of play. 

This season, UCF moves into the American Athletic Conference.  The Knights opens with four non-conference games against Akron (Thursday), at FIU, at Penn State, and South Carolina.

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