The Arizona Cardinals changed their strength and conditioning staff, letting go of John Lott and hiring Buddy Morris to replace him. With Morris comes Roger Kingdom, a two-time Olympic gold medalist. His specialty? Speed.
He was on the radio with Mike Jurecki and Jody Oehler on Fox Sports Radio 910, and he spoke of his background and went into some detail about what he intends on doing with the Cardinals.
Listen to the full interview (direct link or use the player below):
He explained he has a background in football, having played with the likes of Dan Marino at Pitt. He went to track and made history there.
He has been working with Buddy Morris for 30 years, so they have a long history.
A speed coach is a bit if something unique to the NFL, so it will be interesting to see the results. Kingdom realizes that he could become a bit of a trailblazer. "I'm carrying the weight on my shoulders because it's breaking ground," he said.
It is something he said that team president Michael Bidwill and head coach Bruce Arians want for the team. We know that Arians loves speed. Kingdom brings that training.
What will he do to make the players faster? First it is running technique, then when the mechanics and technique are sound, they focus on the weight room. The idea is twofold. Kingdom will work with the players to become more explosive with the first step and be better with their strides. Another part of it is "trimming" weight. He explains that it isn't necessarily cutting weight, but rather "trimming it," getting it in the right spots for better explosiveness.
Newly signed receiver Ted Ginn, known for his speed, is a guy that is already familiar with track work and technique. However, for guys like Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, he thinks there can be a huge difference.
Mentioning Fitz, he spoke of how he can get three to six inches more out of his stride. Getting more out of every stride can create the separation that they need.
At this point in Fitzgerald's career, that is what he needs. It has been a couple of season since we have seen him create separation. Yes, last year he was hampered by hamstring issues, but this is just the thing to squeeze even more production out of him and get him into that elite receiver category again.
The only positions where Kingdom feels speed is overrrates is the interior line, as they work in a "five to seven-yard box." Rather than "speed," their work is about explosiveness and quickness.
Kingdom is very confident is what this could bring to the team. It sounds like something that could potentially be a game changer.
When will this sort of training happen? In the limited practice time there is in training camp and during the week once the season starts. This will take dedication and buy-in from the players in offseason workouts that begin next month. If they put the work in there, then the techniques they learn could stick.
How impressed are you that the team would add another coach to focus on speed?
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