How the Houston Texans Linebacker Corps Conditions During The Off-Season

Strength & Conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald reveals what Brian Cushing, Jadeveon Clowney and Brian Peters do during the off-season.

As the strength coach for the Houston Texans, I don't recruit on the road and I don't decide playing time, so I don't really care how much natural talent someone has. All I am concerned with is that each person maximizes his or her potential. Having coached both men and women, and having coached from Division III to the NFL, I know that successful people bring their best energy every single day.

Jadeveon Clowney

Some refer to it as revving a "high motor" or having their "hair on fire," but regardless, it all means the same thing. Athletes who play with energy consistently make game-changing plays for their teams. A few high energy athletes who come to mind, guys I grew up watching, are Walter Payton, Ronnie Lott, Michael Jordan and Larry Bird.

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On one Friday early in camp, we had a scheduled off day. In the NFL off-season, teams hold voluntary helmeted non-contact practices. These sessions are very movement- and conditioning-oriented, and they thoroughly tax the players' energy systems.

For most players, the best thing to do after a long week of practice is to spend the weekend doing regen/recovery and resting for the coming week. But this was not the case for our three "Energy Bus" riders—linebackers Brian Cushing, Jadeveon Clowney and Brian Peters.

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Here's what these three high-energy beasts choose to do on their off days:

  • Prep/Regen: Roll, Mobility
  • Core: Leg Raise, Rotational Med Ball Throws, Lateral Suitcase Walks, Reverse Hypers, Planks
  • Single-Leg Plyos
  • Double-Leg Plyos
  • Broad Jump onto a Box
  • Hurdle Jumps (Each of these 250- to 275-pound dudes jumped over a 64-inch hurdle)
  • Double Bodyweight Deadlifts - 3 reps
  • Rear-Foot-Elevated Pitcher Squats
  • Glute Ham Raises
  • Suitcase Farmers Walks
  • Sled Push
  • Regen: Roll, Stretch, Tubs (Saturday)

This just goes to show how these guys are putting in extra work so they can continue to play with energy on the field. Put simply, you need to have great discipline to have great energy. You need to do everything you can to have great energy. Oftentimes, that might not be extra work, just attacking your prescribed workouts with everything you have. And of course, proper sleep and nutrition help to fuel this energy.

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Brian Peters

Texans LB Brian Peters clears a 64-inch hurdle

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