With Plax long gone, the New York Giants are looking for that next big-play wideout to step in as their number one receiver.
The G-Men are hoping for a jump in production from one of their homerun-hitting receivers, former University of Michigan standout Mario Manningham, an '08 NFL Draft third-round pick.
As Mario sets his sites on dominating the pro gridiron, let's look back at the NFL Combine preparation that allowed him to reach this crucial point in his career.
First, let's set the record straight about training for Combine events.
• "Training for a combine, whether its high school, college or NFL, is a different mindset from off-season training," says Tim Robertson, Manningham's combine coach and owner of Speed Strength Systems.
• Robertson's combine training approach focuses on increasing strength and power while refining the skill technique specific to each event.
• Yes, the 40 is the most hyped event outside of the NFL Draft itself. Yet, in game situations, how often will you charge downfield from a start position in a straight line with no opposing defenders in pursuit?
• This annual job fair for NFL hopefuls isn't the only event of its kind. Many performance companies, including Nike and Under Armour, stage combine events for high school athletes. What an awesome opportunity to showcase your skills!
• We're always preaching about the importance of attending college camps to help market your game. If you go camping, you may be put to the test, so it won't hurt to improve your skills for these drills.
• Stand with feet hip-width apart and arms at sides
• Without bending at waist, lean forward onto balls of feet
• Step forward, plant foot and explode into first step
• Perform following rep taking first step with opposite leg
Sets/Reps: 3-5x10 yards
Coaching Points: Maintain forward lean with torso in line with lower body // Focus on proper turnover
Robertson: "This is a great drill for teaching athletes to be in a forward position going into that first step without breaking the continuity of their spine and hips. It's going to help them coming out of a 40 stance."
Pro Agility Drill
• Set up three cones five yards apart
• Assume three-point stance facing middle cone
• Explode 5 yards to right and touch ground at cone
• Pivot, explode 10 yards left and touch ground at far cone
• Pivot and explode 5 yards through middle cone
Coaching Points: Focus on proper foot placement // Use three-step approach through first five yards // Lean back toward middle on third step // Drive foot into ground and explode when changing direction // Get low on turns
Robertson: "The shuttle is a highly technique-oriented drill. The big thing with the shuttle is having [athletes] explode and get proper foot placement up to the first line."
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock