When you’re 6-foot-8, 370-some-odd pounds like Trent Brown, you don’t face too many formidable foes. But in training camp, there’s one consistently whapping the big fella on the noggin. That’s the heat.
Thursday’s practice saw the mercury climb into the high 80s, and with the exception of an occasional breeze, there was precious little air to breathe. But Brown not only survived but thrived, continuing to look dominating while getting his work in.
“It’s not fun,” said the soft-spoken Brown. “But this is what we were working for all offseason.”
In large part, conditioning is what the offseason is all about. For guys such as Brown and rookie first-rounder Isaiah Wynn, some of what they could do was hampered by offseason surgery, but to their credit, both big men passed the conditioning run. In fact, as far as we know, every player on the roster did so.
The requirements vary by position, but the gist is a bunch of sprints with little rest between each rep. As Eric Rowe told me, “if you can’t pass it, you probably weren’t doing all you should do.” Of course, that’s easy for a cornerback to say, but the big bodies tend to labor more, especially in the heat. Marcus Cannon left practice on Day 1 (and again Wednesday) with heat thought to be the culprit. Still, those sights have been few and far between.
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“It sucks,” said newcomer Danny Shelton, who’s lugging around 343 pounds on his frame, “but I take pride in being able to do what the coaches ask me and that was one of the things that has to be done.”
This camp had been a little slower paced than previous ones but it’s a credit to the linemen in particular that they’ve managed to stay on the field and do what’s required. Thus far, they’ve triumphed over the conditions, and have even managed to run the hills a couple times after practice. No doubt that makes Bill Belichick a happy man, though you probably won’t catch him smile.