The Off-Season by Adam Carriker
Adam Carriker has experienced many off-seasons in the NFL. He has been in the league since 2007, and has seen numerous teammates’ approach to the NFL offseason. He has seen various work ethics, and he talks about his own in this fourth article. AC talks about how a traditional fan may view the offseason compared to how he and other players of his talent view it. It’s really an interesting and unique perspective.
In a lot of people’s minds the off-season is just a bunch of days off for NFL players. To be honest, it certainly can be. If you want, you can sit on your butt 24-7 watching TV, or you can go out partying, or whatever you want to do. There are no team requirements otherwise. I do know some players that have done that in the past. It is no coincidence that they are no longer in the NFL. Most guys I know, or at least the successful players take about two to four weeks off after the season. This is almost a necessity. I know some players who go to far the other way and never take any time off and the next day after the season is over they are back in the weight room working out and doing conditioning drills. You have to respect the work ethic, but almost laugh at that approach. The NFL season is a grueling marathon. It is physically demolishing and mentally exhausting, and if by the end of the season, you don’t feel that way, it means you didn’t put enough effort into the season. The body and mind have to get some time off to recover.
After a few weeks off, most players will get back into a workout routine. If there are any injuries they will have had surgery or have already been doing their rehab even before to get a head start on things, so they can catch up to the other guys who are healthy. Most workout routines are not killer at this point. You still have months before the season starts and a bit of time before team organized workouts begin. What I usually do is work out three days a week for about two or two and half hours. Also, on a daily basis I will be doing any maintenance on parts of my body that are sore or need help recovering from the season. It’s basically general maintenance of the body while also getting back into working out, and starting to get ready for the upcoming season. This can actually take a bit of time. As team organized workouts approach, I will begin to work out four days a week and rev up the intensity. By the time the team workouts begin, I try to be in really good shape and really strong.
The off-season is also filled with Free Agency excitement (as I experienced this year) and of course the NFL Draft. As a free agent, I was obviously very interested in other teams and what they were doing because they were all possible landing spots for myself. Once I signed, I was very interested to see whom else the Redskins were going to bring in and who is going to help my team, and it’s the same thing with the NFL Draft. Something fans may not realize is that for a lot of teams are filled with new guys who are gunning for their jobs and their livelihood, so to some players, they want to find out who is coming after their means of putting food on the table for their families.
Our organized team workouts begin today. For the first couple weeks, we will run and lift as a team and begin to install our playbook. After a while, we will work with our coaches on the field as well as run and lift. The last part of the off-season schedule together as a team is a month of practices. After the practices we will get a few weeks off before training camp and the season begins. To me, the off-season is where players either make teams or end their careers, good players either get worse or become great, and great players can become Hall of Famers.
“Dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you’re willing to pay the price.” -Vince Lombardi