Taylor Lewan interview with ESPN at IMG Academy

Submitted by m1817 on February 19th, 2014 at 10:08 AM

At an interview with ESPN.com at the IMG Academy, Taylor Lewan says,

"I think I’ve really improved my technical running form, my start and my 40. It’s amazing how much science there is. I’m not here to understand science. I’m here to get it done. I think I’m several tenths of a second faster than I was before I got here".

What are the coaches at the IMG Academy teaching him that his college coaches didn't ? Lewan was coached by two different coaching staffs in his five years.  Why didn't they teach him things that would improve his technical running form, his start, and his 40? 



James Burrill Angell

February 19th, 2014 at 10:37 AM ^

Obvious answer. Offensive linemen are not doing a lot of 40 yard dashes in game situations so its not exactly a skill taught heavily at the college level. High school camps and the NFL combine might be the only times anyone ever bothers to time a lineman in the 40 yd dash.


Like watching pachyderms run an Olympic sprint event.


February 19th, 2014 at 10:12 AM ^

His 40 time and running technique are not at all important while at Michigan.  This is ONLY important for the combine.  Coaches at Michigan care about blocking technique, quick first steps, and strength.  


February 19th, 2014 at 10:16 AM ^

Has nothing to do with his actual job or rather an insignificant amount. Why would the coaches spend time on running form for a left tackle? We clearly had other areas where our time could/would be better spent.


February 19th, 2014 at 10:54 AM ^

But that has too much to do with what's important in-game, not in-combine. I'd love to see pad level tested at combine, though. "Alright you, show me your pad level." /drops flat to the ground "Very nice, very nice."


February 19th, 2014 at 10:17 AM ^


" In 2009 Radcliffe published "Trench Warriors," an online article in which he delineated his philosophy for training linemen. He panned exercises performed in a sitting or prone position -- the big man's traditional weight-room staples -- in favor of "any drill that involves projection of the hips." Other Radcliffe notes: Stride length can be improved more readily than stride frequency; stride length is largely a function of hip flexibility; speed and strength are most productive when speed is superior to strength; get fast first, then build endurance.
"We do stuff that's pretty wild," says junior Grasu of drills at a typical workout. "You'll see 300-pound guys walking around on their hands. In the offseason, I'll work out with linemen from other schools, and they can't believe how flexible I am."

Not sure it is coaching as much as it is training. This is not a knock on Wellman or Barwis, it's just that I imagine Lewan, in preparation for the draft, gets evaluated and works on his weaknesses.


February 19th, 2014 at 10:21 AM ^

It makes sense, you guys, because the team that drafts Lewan is counting on him to make a bunch of tackles in the open field after their quarterback throws a pick.  I mean, someone has to stop the defense from scoring.  


February 19th, 2014 at 10:24 AM ^


Seriously though, just how fucking dumb would it be to be teaching OL how to shave a tenth of a second off their 40 time while in college?  Back to the drawing board for you, OP.  Need a few lessons in football, methinks.



February 19th, 2014 at 10:25 AM ^


There's only 1 solution here. Fire Hoke.


February 19th, 2014 at 10:28 AM ^

I completely agree with the original poster.

What the hell are these coaches doing? He is projected to be a first round pick! Just think how early he would of go with a faster 40 time at Michigan! Like the 0th round! That's never been done before..those idiots.



February 19th, 2014 at 10:35 AM ^

Maybe I'm alone on this, but I think we should just hold a team combine competition on Saturdays instead of games. Team with the faster average 40 times and bench reps takes home the glory.


February 19th, 2014 at 10:46 AM ^

I agree. It the same with academics - all high school classes should be converted to ACT and SAT prep courses. Skip law school, just prepare future lawyers to take the bar. The same with doctors - dont train them to actually operate, just to be able to pass tests based on operating. 

Monocle Smile

February 19th, 2014 at 10:58 AM ^

is that there are increasing numbers of cases where this is in fact happening. There's outside pressure for high schools to perform well on the ACT, especially in the Midwest and for law schools and med schools to pop out high percentages of students that pass the bar and boards rather than perform well on the job.


February 19th, 2014 at 12:26 PM ^

This kinda reminds me of Cardale Jones with "I'm not here to understand science".. as if he's already overwhelmed with how much they're trying to teach him. He has a college degree from a decent school after all, I (wildly speculate that) it can't be *that* much learning.


February 19th, 2014 at 12:51 PM ^

The coaches taught Lewan how to block and win football games; IMG teaches him how to pench press and run shuttle drills.  Both are important, but one is run by a bunch of agents whose vested interest in seeing Lewan makes millions means they don't really care how he performs on the football field.


February 19th, 2014 at 1:18 PM ^

I had a similar reaction after reading that Terrelle Pryor never knew how to properly throw until the 2013 offseason, and Michael Vick was never taught how to carry the football. (Link)


February 19th, 2014 at 1:24 PM ^

I've often thought the same things as the OP when I've read stuff like this and I think I've come to a satisfactory answer......it's all bullshit.


Everytime there is a change in anything concerning your team or your player you will get reports on how they have improved, blown away, night and day, made big jumps etc... from where they were previously.  Sometimes you may in fact see an minor improvement but nothing you will notice.  Lewan obviously got very little on hands training running a 40 at Michigan(as we know coaches can only spend so much time with kids), but if he wanted to he could have trained right here.  I'm sure Wellman could have done the same things.  Barwis works with a lot of kids getting ready for the combine. 

It's just how life is.  Newer is better.  If you have ever had a contractor to your house you'll see this effect.  I've never come across a contractor who said, "man this guy really did a nice job".  Every time it's the same thing.  "Whoever installed this had no idea wht they were doing."

Remember when Michigan was going to be more phyiscal when RR came in?

Remember when Michigan was going to be even more physical when Hoke came in?

126th in rushing last year.  Everything new is not better. 


His Dudeness

February 19th, 2014 at 1:53 PM ^

I've been here before, OP. Just take a few days off and rest the limbs. Get a hammock. Try a new drink that you normally would never order. Most of all, live damn you. LIVE!


February 19th, 2014 at 4:20 PM ^

Assuming he's in Bradenton then at IMG is the International Performance Institute (IPI) where they really are ahead of the game in conditioning and sprinting. I was fortunate to spend a summer there and not only did those guys go beyond my S&C staff but the Williams sisters, Al Herrington and Peyton Manning were there to learn as well. I'm sure they can find things for Lewan to improve.