More than on any other social media platform, your experience with Twitter comes down to whom you follow. If you’re just following your friends and family, you’re going to get pretty bored (no offense to your Aunt Sally). There’s a plethora smart, interesting accounts available to follow, and ignoring them is like quarantining yourself from the coolest part of Twitter!
Twitter can be an especially useful tool for athletes, because a large number of athletic experts frequently dispense valuable knowledge in their feeds. With that in mind, here are 15 accounts every football player should follow.
1. Matt Bowen
Matt Bowen spent seven years in the NFL as a strong safety. Now he’s an ESPN NFL writer and a high school defensive back coach. Bowen’s almost always watching football, and he’s great about sharing thoughtful insights on the Xs and Os. He also frequently includes vines of great fundamental football plays, such as Teddy Bridgewater looking off the free safety before throwing a dart up the seam for a touchdown.
2. Dr. David Chao
Following Dr. David Chao’s account makes you feel like you’re inside an NFL training room. Chao is an orthopedic surgeon who served as the head team physician for the San Diego Chargers between 1997 and 2013. He has a ton of experience dealing with football injuries, and he often diagnoses injuries shortly after they happen, sharing his thoughts with his followers.
Fifty years ago, football teams had two uniforms—home and away. But times have changed, and both NFL and college teams now flaunt a wide variety of wardrobe choices. If you’re looking to stay on top of who’s wearing what, Uniswag is the account for you. From gloves to helmets to jerseys to cleats, Uniswag keeps you abreast of fashion on the gridiron.
4. Inside the Pylon
Inside the Pylon is a website that offers “intelligent football talk and analysis on the NFL and college football.” They’re chock full of good information on all three phases of the game, which makes their Twitter account an excellent follow. In the past 24 hours alone, their tweets have covered the importance of rush lanes, the meaning of the robber technique, the concept of the wheel route and the finer points of the crack sweep. If you want to learn more about every aspect of football, give ItP a follow.
5. Adam Schefter
Schefter is the guy on what’s happening in the NFL. He constantly tweets breaking news and can be relied upon to confirm or deny any rumors that bubble up in the football world. If you’re only going to follow one NFL expert on Twitter, make it Schefter.
6. NYT 4th Down Bot
It’s one of the hardest questions a coach has to answer during a game: “Should I go for it on fourth down?” The New York Times 4th Down Bot is here to help. It uses a unique formula that crunches all relevant information and offers an analytical answer to that very question. The 4th Down Bot offers live analysis of every NFL fourth down decision, frequently coming up with interesting choices. 4th Down Bot will help you see the massive amounts of data that influence every decision, and it’s not afraid to mix in some humor.
7. Rob Gronkowski
Lots and lots of NFL players are on Twitter. But if you’re going to follow just one, make it Gronk. Why? Because unlike many other players’ accounts, which are obviously run by PR people, most of Gronk’s tweets are actually from him. That means y9ou get plenty of professional wrestling, sports cars and “chicken sue flay.”
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8. Yann Le Meur
Yann Le Meur is a great follow for any athlete looking to improve his or her knowledge of sports science. Le Meur is a sport scientist at the French Institute of Sport, and his Twitter account does a phenomenal job of breaking down complex studies into easily digestible information. No one likes poring over boring research papers filled with big words. Le Meur’s account does that work for you and then gives you the information you actually need to know, covering everything from strength training to ACL injury prevention to the performance-enhancing benefits of coffee.
9. and 10. Coach Matt Jones and OL Watchdog
To the casual observer, offensive line play looks simple. A bunch of giant dudes run into other giant dudes so their ballcarrier or quarterback has room to operate. But anyone who’s ever actually played football knows there is a science to playing offensive line. Coach Matt Jones is an offensive graduate assistant for the Tulane football team, and he has a passion for offensive line play. Through his #LinemanLunch video series, he highlights the finer points of exceptional blocking. Although he focuses on the offensive line, he also covers receivers and backs making great blocks. OL Watchdog is a similar account that uses vines to showcase stellar o-line play.
11. Matthew Berry
If you play football in real life, odds are you also love fantasy football. Thousands of fantasy football accounts litter the landscape, but Matthew Berry is the guru. He is ESPN’s Senior Fantasy Analyst, and he’s been covering fantasy sports since long before they became insanely popular. Overall, he’s a pretty entertaining dude, and his account keeps you on top of how real-life NFL happenings affect your fantasy team.
12. and 13. Sam Monson and Peter Damilatis
Pro Football Focus is a website that watches every single down of NFL football and assigns players grades based on their performance. If you want to know who is actually playing well (or poorly) in the NFL, give some of their staff members a follow. Sam Monson and Pete Damilatis are analysts at PFF who frequently tweet fascinating stats and insight.
RELATED: 21 People Every Athlete Should Follow on Twitter
14. PFF College
The college football arm of Pro Football Focus offers similarly great insights. With so many teams and so many players in college football, lots of great performers get lost in the shuffle. Ever heard of Weston Steelhammer? He’s the top-rated safety in the Mountain Conference. How about Matt Skura? That’s Duke’s center who was graded as an All-American by PFF this season. If you’re looking for insight that reaches beyond the Heisman finalists, PFF College is the place to go.
On everything from football training to nutrition to technique, STACK’s got you covered. Our extensive library of articles and videos feature some of the best players, trainers and nutritionists in the world—and all of our content is aimed at one thing: helping you get better. You should also join our STACK Football Performance Training Facebook group, where you can share drills and knowledge with your fellow football lovers!