Professional football is a big man’s game, for sure. But that doesn’t mean if you’re “undersized” that you can’t succeed. Brandon Flowers is a 5’9”, 187-pound cornerback that has a weekly assignment covering the opponent’s top wideout – many that are half a foot taller than him – but that just makes the 2013 Pro Bowler work even harder preparing for Sunday.
“The receivers are bigger and stronger now,” the seven-year pro says, “so I have to do a lot of vertical, explosive lifts and exercises for endurance.”
The second round pick put of Virginia Tech makes sure to train not only his strengths, but also his weaknesses to balance everything out. “I’m not a real long guy, but they call me a physical corner,” he comments.
So that means performing a lot of squats and power cleans and doing them in an explosive style to improve on his movement in and out of breaks on the field. And that also includes upper body movements for jamming receivers on the line of scrimmage to slow down their pattern running.
“Whatever I do on the field, I do in the gym every day,” he explains. “I do it until it becomes second nature. For instance, on my lateral movement, I need to be as quick as I can be. So I incorporate a lot of bands to strengthen my glutes.
“I do push-ups every night, even after I hit the weight room,” he continues. “If I get my hands on you, I can do pretty good then.”
Because he plays a position where stretching the field is common, Flowers must also work hard at getting his endurance level higher than the guy he is covering.
“If I get tired, I get run by,” he says. “And especially if I’m covering one of these freaks of nature- like a 6’5” receiver…if I’m not at my best, then I may struggle with these bigger guys.”
Flowers mentioned names like Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall and Demaryius Thomas as the type of players he is expected to shut down all game long to give his team a chance to win, so doing your homework in the gym is a necessity.
Here is an example of a typical week during the offseason for Flowers:
*SHREDmill – a circuit that runs for a total of 45-to-60 minutes broken down into 45 seconds on/30 seconds rest, 15 seconds on (at a higher resistance)/45 seconds rest, etc.
*Long distance running – 40 and 60-yard dash with an overstride
“If you have to run back an interception or covering someone on a deep ball, you need to be able to run a long way.”
*Agility, speed and reaction drills – ladder, cones, hand-eye coordination
*Weight room (upper body) – bench press, curls, back exercises
*Pool – high-knee running, work on form, running with hands on pool wall
*Weight room (lower body) – squats, power cleans, explosive jumps
*Beach workout – running, back peddling, etc.
“Working out in the sand is the best thing for you. It’s an uneven surface, so if you can do it there, then the football field is easier. Plus it’s also easy on the joints.”
SATURDAY/SUNDAY – Rest
Be sure to follow Brandon Flowers on Twitter – Bflowers24
Photos courtesy of the Kansas City Chiefs