Basketball skills have helped Michael Mayer make great catches in traffic
Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer, who set the all-time receiving record for tight ends in only three seasons in South Bend, initially wanted to play basketball. He tried football on a lark, and it became his future.
But his basketball skills have helped. During a Wednesday visit with #PFTPM, Mayer agreed with my characterization that he catches passes like he’s going after rebounds.
“I think that’s a good way to describe it,” Mayer said. “When I was playing high-school ball, I was like a . . . double-double type of guy. I was just getting rebounds off the board, playing good defense. I think in the football world of what I’m doing, I can make a lot of good, contested catches and I think that’s definitely helped me out. It’s helped me out with my feet, it’s helped me out with my quickness being a bigger guy and I think basketball has helped me out tremendously.”
Making contested catches won’t be enough to make it in the NFL, and Mayer realizes it. He addressed the one area in which he needs to improve his game.
“I think there’s a little bit of my blocking technique I need to improve on,” Mayer said. “That’s something I really, really took upon myself this past season of working on my blocking technique. I think it got tremendously better. Hands inside, things like that. It’s just going to keep getting better and better. I’m going to have vets that are going to help me out when I get to the league, I’m going to have coaches, and it’s just going to get better and better and I’m just going to keep working on it and you know whatever happens, happens.”
Although he grew up near Cincinnati and acknowledged that he’d like to play for the Bengals, Mayer realizes that “whatever happens, happens” is the operative mantra for his experience tonight.
“I think it’s just something you accept, and I think it’s something that you say, ‘All right, what is everything that I can do to help me in this process? Everything I can do, did I do it? Did I do it the right way?’ And if I have, then, everything else is going to work out. I mean, that’s what it comes down to. If there’s something out of my control, I’m not going to worry about it, but let’s control the controllables before I start worrying about the uncontrollables.”
He can controlled the controllables pretty well. Tonight, the biggest uncontrollable gets resolved -- possibly before 15 picks are made.