Offseason training is a time for coaches to experiment with new techniques. It's hard to do bold, unusual things during the season, so mini-camps and OTAs are when NFL coaches do things like "bring in Navy SEALs to work with the team." Per The MMQB, that's exactly what Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn did recently.
For four days, Falcons players worked with retired SEALs on "a combination of physical training and classroom sessions, focused on developing some of the core tools of SEAL training: mental toughness and resilience, teamwork and stress management." What does that mean?
- Push-ups, lots of them, in a synchronized fashion
- Carrying gigantic 240-pound logs
- Flipping tires
- Classroom sessions
Here's a video montage:
What did the coaches and players think of the experience? "We learned that leadership comes from all levels," Quinn said. "Just because a player is going into his second or third year doesn't mean he isn't going to have significant leadership value here."
Quarterback Matt Ryan noted that it wasn't the first time a coach has brought in an outside influence to talk to players, but that this was different because the SEALs embedded themselves with the team for four days. He was also struck by how some teammates changed their routine due to the SEALs' presence.
"We would see guys at 3:30 in the afternoon in our facility just talking with the SEALs. That doesn't happen this time of the year. Usually when you are done, people are out of here pretty quickly."
As for what the SEALs themselves took away from the four days: "I wouldn't bet against the Falcons this year, these guys got it," Bill Golden, an APG trainer and Special Operations Forces veteran said.