When NFL receivers want to get better, they visit David Robinson.
Robinson, who owns the skill training company “D-Rob Always Open,” boasts a client list that includes pros like Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and Jordan Reed.
Robinson’s reputation has continued to grow as word of mouth has spread around the league, which is how Geronimo Allison found himself training with D-Rob over the summer. Allison, a UDFA rookie who became the Green Bay Packers’ fourth receiver in 2016, wanted to take his game up a notch this offseason. He knew that training with Robinson could help him accomplish that goal.
One of D-Rob’s drills Allison found particularly beneficial?
It began with him lying on his stomach. On Robinson’s call, Allison would quickly flip onto his back. The ball would already be zooming toward him, and Allison would have to dial in his focus to make the catch.
“It was a new drill to me. It was challenging but I enjoyed it. It really does work on your concentration for contested catches. (The drill) is you’re laying down on your back and you’re spinning over (as D-Rob throws the ball). He’s throwing the ball while you’re spinning. It works on your concentration. When you’re running routes, there’s a lot of things going on. Defenders are flying around, there’s a lot of moving pieces. When you do get your head around, you have to lock in and concentrate quickly on the ball to get your hands up and make the play,” Allison says.
Here’s a clip of Brown performing the drill:
This drill offers a number of benefits for any receiver. For one, it forces them to catch the ball with their hands as opposed to their body. Trying to catch the ball with your body increases your odds of a drop while also giving the defensive back a longer window to make a play on the ball.
Second, the drill trains receivers to focus on the ball quickly and amongst chaos. It’s not often when a receiver will have the chance to track the flight of the ball all the way from the quarterback’s hand (especially in the NFL), so being able to locate and react to the ball quickly is essential. “When he’s coming out of rolling over, his vision is blurry. I was doing that to get him used to, when receivers come out of their routes, their vision is blurry, to get your eyes focused back on the football very quickly,” Robinson told STACK of the drill.
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