The NFL has gone high-tech. New for the 2015 season, every player has a tracker embedded in his shoulder pads that collects data like velocity, distance traveled and proximity to opposing players. Zebra Technologies is the company behind the tech, and the insights they provide are letting fans see the game in a whole new light.
Week 6 produced more impressive data, and many of the players behind those numbers were STACK athletes. Let’s take a look at who popped off the spreadsheet and tell you about the workouts behind their performance.
All data courtesy of NFL.com.
1. Bowman is Back
After missing the 2014 season with a torn ACL and MCL, San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman is returning to his All-Pro form. In the 49ers’ Week 6 win over the Ravens, Bowman racked up a league-high 15 tackles. What made his play especially impressive was his efficiency. Bowman covered an average distance of just 15.45 yards on his tackles—nearly 3 yards less than the inside linebacker league average of 18.32 yards.
Bowman’s performance relied heavily upon his elite athleticism and solid tackling technique. His workouts include challenging exercises like Kettlebell BOSU Ball Squats and Med Ball Overhead Slams.
Related: NaVorro Bowman’s Linebacker Workout
2. Travis Kelce is the Fastest Tight End in the Game
Although the Kansas City Chiefs fell to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 6, Travis Kelce had an explosive performance. The third-year tight end hauled in five catches for 88 yards, including a 37-yard catch and run late in the fourth quarter.
Kelce recorded a speed of 21.25 mph as a ballcarrier, by far the fastest of any tight end this season. The second closest is Rob Gronkowski, who hit 19.90 mph in Week 3. Kelce trains for elite speed with exercises like Squats, Dumbbell RDLs and Bunkies.
Related: Travis Kelce’s Tight End Workout
3. Russell and Jimmy are Finally on the Same Page
Although the Seattle Seahawks lost another close game, this one to the Carolina Panthers, they had some positive takeaways. Perhaps most important was the emergence of tight end Jimmy Graham. Through the first five weeks of the season, Graham seemed underutilized and out of sync with quarterback Russell Wilson. But the duo finally clicked in Week 6, as Graham hauled in 8 receptions for 140 yards.
The most encouraging play came on a crucial third down. As Wilson scrambled outside the pocket, he signaled for Graham to adjust his route. Graham alertly stopped running toward the sideline and began streaking downfield. Graham covered an additional 20 yards on the adjustment before hauling in a nice throw from Wilson for a big gain.
The two built chemistry in the off-season by partnering up for workouts. Check out their Partner-Resisted Towel Row, an exercise that simultaneously builds upper-body strength for both participants.