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 10 produced more impressive data, and many of the players behind the 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. Shea McClellin and the Chicago Bears Shut Down Todd Gurley
Rookie sensation Todd Gurley has been running roughshod over opposing defenses for much of the season. He entered the Rams’ Week 10 match-up with the Bears averaging 5.62 yards per carry. But the Bears’ D did a great job of bottling Gurley up, limiting him to 45 yards on 12 carries and never letting him top 15.73 mph. Gurley has the ability to accelerate upwards of 22 mph when he hits open space, so that’s a serious accomplishment. Linebacker Shea McClellin had a lot to do with Chicago’s strong defensive performance, tallying 8 combined tackles and a forced fumble.
After some initial growing pains, McClellin seems to be adjusting well to the linebacker position. In his first two seasons as a pro, he was forced to play defensive end. He was informed he would be switching to inside linebacker at the end of the 2013 season. McClellin spent that off-season working with Scot Prohaska, a nationally recognized sports performance consultant, to get ready for his new position. Prohaska helped McClellin reduce his body fat percentage from 17.5 to 9.5 while improving his speed, quickness and maximal strength. Last season was an adjustment period for McClellin, as he tallied just 36 combined tackles in 12 games. But it seems he turned a corner this year. He’s now on pace to finish the season with roughly 90 combined tackles.
RELATED: How Chicago Bears LB Shea McClellin Got Ripped
2. Antonio Brown is Really Flippin’ Good
The Antonio Brown Show continued in Week 10 as the Steelers wideout notched 136 receiving yards and two touchdowns. His second score came on a 56-yard catch-and-run capped off with an acrobatic flourish.
The play is a perfect illustration of Brown’s outrageous athleticism. He starts off running a crisp slant route into the heart of the defense, then uses his soft hands to catch the ball in stride. Turning upfield, he shifts into turbo to zoom by the Browns defensive backfield. Finally, he launches over the goal line and performs a perfect front flip, nailing the landing. Speed, agility, precision, explosiveness, strength, balance—Brown has it all.
Brown builds his skills with TRX training and Pilates.
RELATED: Antonio Brown’s Pilates & TRX Workout
3. Philly’s New Tight End Attack
Week 10 saw the Philadelphia Eagles employ a ton of double tight end sets. Zach Ertz’s 76 snaps and Brent Celek’s 58 ranked first and third, respectively, among Eagles offensive skill players. The duo took advantage of the increased opportunities. Celek snagged four receptions for 134 yards and Ertz pulled down seven for 68.
Ertz should be a big focus of the Eagles offense moving forward. He’s a huge athletic target who creates matchup problems for almost any defense.
Ertz stepped up his training this past off-season by working with performance coach Todd Durkin, who trains NFL greats like Drew Brees and LaDainian Tomlinson. “[Zach is a] great coachable young man who works his butt off. We worked not only on strength, speed and field work, but also mindset. He has what it takes to be an All-Pro tight end in this league, and he’s willing to do what it takes to be the best. Absolute beast!” Durkin told STACK.
RELATED: Todd Durkin’s World-Class Workouts