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Jimmy Smith training at API


hawkeye
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CARSON, Calif. — Jimmy Smith is hanging on for dear life.

His chin is perched precariously over a bar as his biceps and forearms shake like branches in a storm. His mouth is carved into a grimace you'd associate with someone undergoing an appendectomy without anesthesia.

He's in a pull-up position, with gravity torturing him, wearing what looks like a grenade-proof vest. Forty-five pounds of lead probably could stop a grenade. It's not stopping Zac Woodfin, one of the keys to Smith's NFL future, from barking orders like a traffic cop.

"HOLD!" Woodfin yells. "Now go down! One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. UP!"

Woodfin is a performance specialist at Athletes' Performance Inc., one of those intense, high- tech, pre-draft training centers that have become de rigueur for NFL prospects. Smith, a two-time all-Big 12 cornerback at the University of Colorado, is in the middle of an eight-week tour of duty he hopes will make him a first-round draft pick.

API is gearing prospects toward one goal, doing well at the NFL scouting combine Feb. 24-March 1. That's where one drill can determine if a player is set financially for life or must prove himself in training camp.

"It's the biggest job interview, not only in these athletes' lives, but it's the biggest job interview there is," Woodfin said. "Imagine going to a three- or four-day event and there's literally tens of millions of dollars on the line. You have six to eight weeks to prepare for this job interview.

"We take it very, very seriously."

How seriously? Take the combine's 40-yard dash. Each prospect gets two shots at it. Two. They can have another try at a pro day on their campus, but nail it in Indianapolis and they're set.

"A 4.5 to a 4.4 means a million dollars," Smith said. "A 4.4 to a 4.3 is literally tens of millions of dollars. If I run a 4.5, I'm just another big guy."

On a late January afternoon, the hottest place in the United States might be the workout area adjacent to one of the training fields. Smith lies on his back with his feet up on an electronic pulley machine. He pulls down 45 pounds 50 times in 30 seconds.

"They lower the weight a little bit, but not much," Smith said. "By the end of your workout, six pounds feel like about 100."

Every player has a different workout that is specifically designed for the position he plays and his weaknesses.

"I've never heard of them," Smith said of many of the drills. "When we first did them, people were, like, dying. We didn't know what was going on."

He's feeling leaner, stronger and faster than he did at Colorado. Everything he eats, from breakfast at the facility to the box dinners he takes home, are specifically chosen by API's nutritional staff.

He said he's always liked fruits and vegetables "but I never really incorporated it in my meal unless I got lettuce on my hamburger."

His lone recreation has been an occasional collapse on the beach on his one day off a week, Sunday. There will be plenty of time to party after the April draft. Until then, API said Smith has been one of the more impressive specimens in camp.

"Jimmy Smith is doing excellent," Woodfin said. "He's got unbelievable strength for a corner. He's a tall corner, which is rare. His height, his strength, his mental ability, he's a very sharp kid. He's going to pick up defenses really, really quickly. The sky's the limit for Jimmy."

http://www.denverpost.com/cu/ci_17305955

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Hips!!!!!!!!!

He's 6-2. Too tall to play CB.

Tall guys can't turn their hips quickly enough to play CB in the NFL. It's just a fact of life.

Every year there is the same debate on every draft board. "This guy is an exception. He can play CB despite being tall." And every year, about half-way through the season people are saying: "We need to move this guy to safety."

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Hips!!!!!!!!!

He's 6-2. Too tall to play CB.

Tall guys can't turn their hips quickly enough to play CB in the NFL. It's just a fact of life.

Every year there is the same debate on every draft board. "This guy is an exception. He can play CB despite being tall." And every year, about half-way through the season people are saying: "We need to move this guy to safety."

Unless your initials are DRC. :P

Edited by Rai
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Hips!!!!!!!!!

He's 6-2. Too tall to play CB.

Tall guys can't turn their hips quickly enough to play CB in the NFL. It's just a fact of life.

Every year there is the same debate on every draft board. "This guy is an exception. He can play CB despite being tall." And every year, about half-way through the season people are saying: "We need to move this guy to safety."

I'm not a fan of him. But there are some exceptions to the rule. Sean Smith 6'3 Miami Dolphins, Antonio Cromartie 6'2 NY Jets, Nnamdi Asomugha 6'2 Oakland Raiders, Aqib Talib 6'1 Tampa bay Bucs, Antoine Cason 6'1 San Diego chargers and Ike Taylor 6'2 Pitt Steelers. So I see why people are making a big deal of it. It's not about how tall he is more so than how he moves. If he's stiff in the hips. That can be a problem for smaller WR's. But I wouldn't count him out because he's tall. That's crazy. :P

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