Blocking a field goal attempt takes athleticism, preparation and timing. Those three things came together for Shea McClellin of the New England Patriots during Monday Night Football. But the linebacker didn’t come speeding off the edge. McClellin jumped clear over the offensive line to block the kick.
Late in the first quarter, the Baltimore Ravens were poised to score for the first time and take the lead. Instead, Ravens kicker Matt Tucker, who hadn’t missed a kick all season, had his attempt blocked. McClellin got a running start, timed the snap perfectly and made sure not to touch the snapper to avoid a penalty.
“I think it’s just preparation,” McClellin told nesn.com. “If you watch the film and you prepare, run it in practice, it’ll work out. . . We practiced it for a while. We were just waiting for the right opportunity, and we got it. It was something that we practiced. And practice execution makes game reality.”
The special teams play sparked the Patriots offense, and they scored on the next possession.
This was the 27-year-old linebacker’s
second block this season, but McClellin didn’t become explosive overnight. During the off-season, he trained with nationally recognized sports performance consultant Scot Prohaska and worked on his explosiveness.
In the video above, you can see McClellin performing Romanian Rhythm Squats, a squat variation that improves sprint speed and vertical jump, two skills necessary for hurdling over offensive linemen.
The quick reps of the exercise train his fast-twitch muscle fibers, which lead to maximum explosive power. It also improves the elastic components of his muscles and tendons, which helps with absorbing force and immediately exploding again.
If you want to improve your speed, vertical jump and explosiveness, check out McClellin’s Romanian Rhythm Squat workout below.
Romanian Rhythm Squat How To:
1. Set up as if for a traditional Back Squat. More on that here.
2. Keeping your core tight and back flat, sit your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a quarter squat.
3. Immediately explode up out of the quarter squat for 10 reps.
4. For the next 10 reps, explode up out of the quarter squat and onto your toes.
5. Continue alternating every 10 reps until you reach 50 total reps.