Ex-Chiefs player shares Andy Reid’s plan to keep team fresh during Super Bowl halftime

Nick Wagner/nwagner@kcstar.com

During the regular season, the NFL halftime lasts about 12 or 13 minutes, but at the Super Bowl, that’s roughly how long a musical act will play at the break.

For Super Bowl LVII, Rihanna will be the musical act, and when you factor in time for setting up the stage and later tearing it down, the halftime can take up to 30 minutes.

With all that extra time at the half, a player can get tight or lose focus.

But former Chiefs offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz said on the 33rd Team podcast that coach Andy Reid emphasized approaches to halftime and pregame throughout the week leading up to Super Bowl LIV. Schwartz detailed how Reid approached the longer halftime, and wouldn’t be surprised to see it used again Sunday in Super Bowl LVII when the Chiefs face the Eagles.

“It’s such a long halftime, and so coach broke it down into different 5-minute segments,” Schwartz said. “First 5 minutes, go to the bathroom, sit down, have a snack. Next five, we’re gonna come in, we’ll talk about what we saw in the first half. Next five, you got your own free time to do what you want. Then we’re gonna bring the coaches back, we’re gonna talk a little bit about what’s upcoming in the second half. And then the strength coach is gonna lead you in a bit of a warm up and then we’re gonna take the field,and then you still got 5 minutes.

“So he’s talking through all the logistics. I always thought it was really interesting that he put so much emphasis on those different time periods and obviously it paid dividends. We came out on top, we had a good second half and we were able to take the lead and win it.”

The other time period is before the game. There is a long stretch between the players taking the field and the opening kickoff.

Schwartz shared what Reid did before Super Bowl LIV kicked off.

“We went over like pregame and halftime almost every single day (at practice),” Schwartz said. “And he talked about it over and over and over. He was like, ‘You guys are gonna take the field. We’re gonna have like 20 to 25 minutes before kickoff starts. This is gonna be so different from normal.’ ...

“If you’re kind of into your normal routine, you’re like ready to go when you leave the tunnel. It’s super exciting. You’re running onto the field for the Super Bowl. Like I said every single day he was like, ‘Alright, we’re gonna go onto the field. I want everybody seated on the bench. You guys are all gonna go sit down and like we’ll tell you when you can get up.’ He wanted us to stay as fresh as possible, and leaning on his previous experience and I’m sure what his guys did, but also, like you said, talking to other coaches and what other things were done.”

Here is Schwartz talking about Reid’s preparations.