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 7 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
Mark Ingram is a Freight Train
Mark Ingram might not have dazzling speed or fancy jukes, but he has superior vision and he runs downhill. In the Saints’ Week 7 win over the Colts, Ingram tallied 143 rushing yards on just 14 carries. What made his performance particularly impressive was the fact he needed to cover just 2.38 yards for every rushing yard he gained. That means he wasn’t running east and west—he was picking the hole, hitting it hard and running efficiently. Hey, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, right?
Much of Ingram’s athleticism was built during his time at the University of Alabama. There, he was taught to prioritize proper form and bar speed over loading up with heavy weight. This allowed him to build a strong base of explosiveness and power, two attributes that continue to define his game today.
RELATED: Inside Alabama Football’s Weight Room
Ted Ginn, Jr. is Still a Burner
Although Ted Ginn, Jr. is in his ninth NFL season, his wheels don’t seem to be slowing down. Ginn had 102 total yards on offense during the Panthers’ Week 7 win against the Eagles, including an end-around play in which he reached a top speed of 21.93 mph to dust the defense. That was the second-fastest foot speed of any ball carrier in week 7.
Make no mistake about it—Ginn’s supersonic speed is a result of his intense training. He hones his athleticism with drills like Explosive Starts and Build-Ups.
RELATED: Ted Ginn, Jr.’s Explosive Starts
Chris Johnson Looks Incredible
Chris Johnson is experiencing a remarkable resurgence. In recent years, the three-time Pro Bowler has struggled. He averaged just 3.9 yards per carry in 2013 and tallied only 663 total rushing yards in 2014.
Now a member of the Arizona Cardinals, Johnson has rushed for 567 yards so far this season, second best in the NFL. In the Cardinals’ week 7 win over the Ravens, he tallied 122 yards on 18 carries. His most impressive play was a 26-yard touchdown run in which he broke two tackles, changed directions and beat the defense to the corner of the end zone.
Johnson reached a top speed of 20.03 mph on the play, showing he still has plenty of speed. Is he a bit slower than he used to be? Sure. But speed isn’t the only part of Johnson’s game—he’s agile, he has good vision and he can break tackles. He builds his skills with workouts that include Vertimax Med Ball Jumps and Accelerated A-Skips.
RELATED: Chris Johnson’s Speed Workout