Playing in the National Football League is extremely taxing on the human body. The men that make up the 32 rosters around the league are incredible athletes and they all take a constant pounding. So the last thing that you would expect to hear is one of them jumping in the boxing ring as part of his offseason training program.
But this is exactly what Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Curtis Marsh does.
“I was a running back my first two years at Utah State,” he recalls, “and then was switched to corner in my junior year. My (new) position coach Corey Raymond suggested boxing to improve my hand-eye coordination, feet and balance. It also helps my explosiveness to jam receivers at the line; not lunging forward but just like jabbing.”
The four-year pro and former third round draft choice still uses boxing during the offseason for one hour a day, twice a week. His trainer is Danny Davis, who just happens to also have another client named Bernard Hopkins, the current WBA, IBF and IBA light-heavyweight champion.
“(This) definitely helps me on the football field,” Marsh says. “I really like the jab/cross hand/duck combination drill with the pads.”
His former college teammate Chris Randall – who played the corner opposite Marsh – has also been using boxing since then and currently plays for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League.
Marsh takes a few weeks off once the football season commences to give his body a much-needed rest. Then he begins to kick it into gear and performs a four-day routine in the weight room on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
“I also do one extra day – either Wednesday or Saturday – playing basketball or doing speed drills,” Marsh says, and added that once the team OTAs begin, he does the speed training twice a week in the form of ladder drills, sleds, resistance marches, A-skips, A-marches, over speed drills, balance drills, etc.
Be sure to follow Curtis Marsh on Twitter – @CurtMarsh31
Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Eagles