Jeff Friday is in his seventh season as Bengals assistant strength and conditioning coach. He is in his 19th NFL season, including nine seasons (1999-2007) as head S/C coach of the Baltimore Ravens. His tenure with the Ravens included a Super Bowl championship in the 2000 season, when he was named Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year by a national vote of his peers.
In Cincinnati, Friday has been reunited with Chip Morton, Bengals head strength and conditioning coach since 2003. In Baltimore, Morton worked as an assistant under Friday from 1999-2001. “I’ve known Jeff since the mid-’90s, and I have all the respect in the world for how he does the job,” Morton said. “We are fortunate to have him on board.” Marvin Lewis, Bengals head coach, was defensive coordinator in Baltimore during Friday’s first three seasons with the Ravens. Friday has worked with the Bengals to help establish a program that features innovative ideas while never straying far from the fundamental principles of productive training. The work has helped the Bengals become one of only four NFL teams to reach the playoffs in each of the last five seasons. In 2016, Morton and Friday are in their second year working with a significantly expanded and improved weights and conditioning facility at Paul Brown Stadium. They worked with club management to develop the facility between the 2014 and 2015 seasons. In 2015, Morton and Friday worked with head coach Marvin Lewis to institute a significant change in the team’s weekly routine. The Bengals moved away from the traditional idea that the day before a game (usually Saturday) should be the lightest player activity day of the week. The team was more up-tempo and on the field longer than before on Saturdays, while Fridays were more of a “walkthrough” day, followed by individual player work in the weight room, trainers’ quarters and/or with the team’s visiting yoga instructor. The individual Friday routine is called “Recovery Modalities.”
Perhaps not entirely by coincidence, the 2015 Bengals posted a 12-4 record, tied for best in franchise history for a 16-game season. “The new routine was a good changeup,” said defensive tackle Domata Peko “We went hard Wednesday and Thursday, and it helped us out having a walk-through on Friday, going through plays that we think we need to work on. Then we went through it Saturday a little bit faster. It gives us a chance to fix stuff on Friday. And we were off our feet more on Friday, whereas before we were basically going all day. We came back in on Saturday and got the blood flowing again and carried that into the games.”
Friday began his coaching career in 1990-91 as a graduate assistant S/C coach at Illinois State. He was assistant S/C coach at Northwestern from 1992- 95, and in ’96, he entered the NFL as assistant S/C coach for the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings made the playoffs in each of his three seasons. In 2008, Friday started his own sports training business, and in ’09, he was a consultant to the United Football League, supervising the developmental league’s strength and conditioning program and assisting in the hiring of head strength coaches. Friday is a native of Milwaukee, Wis. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a master’s degree in exercise science from Illinois State. He holds numerous professional certifications, including: Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Certified Level 1 Strength Coach by the United States Weightlifting Federation, Certified Practitioner by the National Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork, Certified Active Release Technique (ART) Provider, and Functional Movement Screen (FMS) Certified Specialist. Jeff and his wife, Jennifer, have two children — daughter Hailey and son Aidan.
Coaching history: 1990-91—Graduate assistant, Illinois State. 1992- 95—Assistant strength and conditioning (S/C) coach, Northwestern. 1996-98— Assistant S/C coach, Minnesota Vikings. 1999-2007—Head S/C coach, Baltimore Ravens. 2009—Coaching consultant, United Football League. 2010- present—Assistant S/C coach, Cincinnati Bengals.
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This week's State Farm Right Combination was QB Andy Dalton finding WR A.J. Green on a Hail Mary pass the end the first half of the game against the Cleveland Browns.