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http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nf...-workouts_x.htm

 

Former Hurricanes sweat big stuff at Miami

By Chris Colston, USA TODAY

 

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Other than being located amid the lovely palms of southern Florida, there is nothing special about the University of Miami's weight room. It's big enough, but the windows need a good wash, and the rubberized floor kind of squishes beneath your feet. Yes, the Gatorade machine is nice, but other than that, it's like pretty much every big-time collegiate gym.

 

 

Except in the offseason when it's the center of the universe for many top NFL players.

 

"Look around here. See all this?" Denver Broncos defensive end Kenard Lang says. He makes a sweeping motion toward a collection of athletes that includes Washington Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss, New York Giants defensive tackle William Joseph and Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams. "They come here to see Mr. Wizard. He'll get you right."

 

"Mr. Wizard" is Andreu Swasey, the University of Miami's strength and conditioning coach. Since 2000 he's overseen offseason workouts for such superstars as Edgerrin James, Clinton Portis, Willis McGahee, Reggie Wayne, Sean Taylor and Ed Reed.

 

But despite the results, some players have come under heat for laboring here.

 

James didn't see the workouts, but he saw the results firsthand. (Related story: Cardinals need to throw Edge a line)

 

While he was sweating in Miami, sticking to his workout regimen, teammates Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison worked on their timing in Indianapolis. Their long hours of private work made them one of the most prolific duos in NFL history.

 

Giants coach Tom Coughlin had a Manning of his own — Eli. Only there was one problem. His top two receivers, newly acquired wideout Plaxico Burress and tight end Jeremy Shockey, were in Miami with James.

 

Manning, 25, had a nice second season, passing for 3,762 yards and 24 touchdowns. But his completion percentage could have been much better (52.8), and that's where timing comes into play. Even though Shockey arrived at training camp last season in terrific shape, Coughlin wasn't happy.

 

"I don't question that part of his workout," Coughlin said at this year's NFL Combine. "I just think the important thing is for the players to be together."

 

If his receivers join him for the upcoming voluntary sessions, Manning said he might trek to Miami for three or four days.

 

He'd be more than welcome. "The only thing we're missing here," Wayne says, "is a good quarterback who can throw us the ball."

 

Swasey says people get a bad perception of Miami because they envision players partying in South Beach instead of focusing on football. "You (got to) have fun, but you need balance," he says. "You never hear about guys down here getting in trouble. The atmosphere is very safe. It's private; people can't come in and hang around. There are a lot of plusses to training here."

 

In 2001, James felt the pressure. "There was the big thing about me not going to Indianapolis for the voluntary workouts," he says, "but I was working out harder here. The main people around the building weren't really trippin'. It was more just certain people. It was a dead time of the year. And people just ran with it. It got blown out of proportion and became a big story."

 

That season James had 855 total yards in six games before tearing up his knee in the Colts' sixth game. He credits his offseason regimen to his comeback; in his last three seasons, he's averaged 1,438 yards and 11 touchdowns.

 

"If I stick to this sheet, I'm straight," says James, who starts his regimen in February. "All I have to do is complete my day."

 

Not everybody, Swasey knows, is enamored with players skipping their NFL club's voluntary workouts to be with him. "Sometimes I sit back and think, 'Man, I hope I don't cause any major waves,' " he says. "But in my heart of hearts, my mind-set is the best for the athlete. I know people said of EJ, 'Oh, he's down in Miami; he doesn't care about the team.' But he's down here working probably harder than anybody."

 

James, who is single but has three daughters, also says he needs the time to decompress.

 

"From the first day of training camp to your last game, you're doing the same routine no matter what. I need to get totally away from it," he says.

 

"In the offseason I spend time with my family, with my grandma, everybody. I get to be a dad, and I get my workout in. I kill two birds with one stone."

 

After signing a free agent contract with Arizona, he asked the Cardinals to mail him their playbook. He also wants quarterback Kurt Warner to fly to Miami for workouts. He doesn't see any reason to be in Arizona, "sitting in a meeting room when I'm not about to play anybody. That's the coach's job. That's what they're getting paid for."

 

Some of it, James believes, comes down to the controlling nature indigenous to many coaches.

 

"There are coaches who would rather you come and just look them in the face every day," James says.

 

"But some people don't need babysitters, man. I guess the people who need babysitters make it bad for the people who don't."

 

When James first arrived in Indianapolis as a rookie, he experienced a mild case of culture shock. Swasey, a Hurricanes assistant strength coach from 1997-98, had worked the team hard, but they had fun. They'd hang out, talk trash and compete. "Then I went to the pros, and it wasn't like that," James says. "I was 20 years old. In the pros you had older people, they'd go in, feel like they did what they had to do and that was it. So I came back here and kept working out with these guys."

 

Swasey, 34, returned to Coral Gables in 2000, and the thing grew from there. While former Hurricanes such as Michael Irvin and Vinny Testaverde had returned to campus before, it was never as organized as it is under Swasey. Even New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, a Miami native, has his own cabinet in Swasey's office to keep his gear, a shelf above James'.

 

The NFL players who flock here do it for the camaraderie, yes, but also because Swasey drives them hard and talks to them honestly.

 

"These athletes trust me with their careers," Swasey says. "They're counting on me to help them reach the next level. But I'm not going to sugarcoat it for them. I tell them that up front. We're going to have fun, but we're going to get the work done. It's not going to be a goof-off session."

 

He doesn't make his point by screaming; instead he presents the facts in a simple, matter-of-fact manner. And he's not above a little taunting. A former cornerback, Swasey, 34, lettered at Baylor from 1992-93.

 

Swasey makes them do the hard stuff first in the workout: the running and the abdominals. The easy part, the players say, is the weightlifting.

 

"Part of it is they know somebody is going to be on them," Swasey says. "Great athletes want to be driven. People think these athletes are prima donnas. But Santana, Reggie Wayne, Edgerrin, Willis McGahee, these guys keep coming back. They want to do the work."

 

Moss points to those windows. "Look outside. It's beautiful," he says. "I could be doing anything else today. But I'm in here."

 

Some of the players compensate Swasey for his time but not all. "This isn't about trying to make a dollar," he says. "That's not my mind-set. From the beginning, I was just happy to see them. It's for the (undergraduate) kids. That's my whole thing. If I'm a player here and I see Edgerrin and Portis come around, all these major guys, I (got to) think, 'This program must be working.' It helps me with my motivation."

 

The weather is conducive to exercise, and Swasey is there to push the players to work harder. But there's something else going on here. It's that "U" thing, a feeling of brotherhood. Some of the players refer to the workouts as "Club Swasey."

 

"When you walk through those double doors, it's a different mind-set," Swasey says. "The players know it's not about one guy. You're not the greatest we've ever had — that's been preached. So when you think you're the best, we let them know, 'We've had a lot of them now.' There's something they have to live up to.

 

"It's like going from a Chevy dealership to a Mercedes dealership. You're going to dress a little different, carry yourself a different way."

 

The fraternal feeling is thick here. Sometimes the players might go directly from the gym, shower and meet for lunch or dinner.

 

To James, the workout is sacred; the sheet doesn't lie, and if he sticks to it, he knows he's going to be fine.

 

"My chart is always on the incline, so if I do the work, my body can't help but get stronger. I know I could probably wait until June to start working out and still get away with it. But this system works for me."

 

That system includes quite a bit of recreational basketball, which probably isn't sending the Cardinals into cartwheels of happiness.

 

James says there's nothing to worry about. "My knee is stronger than ever," he says.

 

"You're playing with people who have the same mind-set. You're not trying to kill each other; nobody wants to get hurt. If you see somebody going up for a dunk, you're not going to contest them."

 

In the end, the overriding factor in why this whole thing works is simple.

 

"You look forward to this, man," says Wayne, relaxing in Swasey's office.

 

Look forward to it? To running, sweating and grunting in the heat?

 

Wayne grins. "I know. Don't get me wrong. It ain't easy now. It's hard work. Coach Swasey pushes us to the limit.

 

"But we have a great time together, and when you look in the mirror and see the results ... It has brought my game up so much.

 

"Look at my stats; I'm improving every year. Ninety-five percent of that is this. Going against Ed Reed and Mike Rumph, man, pushing yourself against all these great players?

 

"That can't help but make you better."

 

Pretty nice, eh?

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Guest Carbo

If I didn't know any better I'd swear the article was written by Shockey. Talk about putting a sugar coated spin on a bitter situation! Let me ask you TO Lite and TO White apologists this: just how does lifting weights in Miami help these two clowns work on their timing with their QB? Seems to me that was the biggest problem last year.

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If I didn't know any better I'd swear the article was written by Shockey. Talk about putting a sugar coated spin on a bitter situation! Let me ask you TO Lite and TO White apologists this: just how does lifting weights in Miami help these two clowns work on their timing with their QB? Seems to me that was the biggest problem last year.

Typical FAG 4 response by Shit for Brains. I expected nothing less. Evidently, the author is a Shockey apologist without knowing it. :LMAO:

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Guest Floyd The Barber
If I didn't know any better I'd swear the article was written by Shockey. Talk about putting a sugar coated spin on a bitter situation! Let me ask you TO Lite and TO White apologists this: just how does lifting weights in Miami help these two clowns work on their timing with their QB? Seems to me that was the biggest problem last year.

 

 

correct...i dont care how "hard" or "serious" they train down there...when the timing between your QB and WR's is off, there is no fix for it except repetition...

 

when i read the part about Willie Joe being noted down there, i nearly vomitted...it sure does him a hell of good, if his production is the end result of these Miami workouts, all potential athletes contemplating heading down south to train should look at the good its done for him... :drool:

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correct...i dont care how "hard" or "serious" they train down there...when the timing between your QB and WR's is off, there is no fix for it except repetition...

 

when i read the part about Willie Joe being noted down there, i nearly vomitted...it sure does him a hell of good, if his production is the end result of these Miami workouts, all potential athletes contemplating heading down south to train should look at the good its done for him... :drool:

Sorta like the good the education system has done for an ignorant, hateful fool such as yourself. I love the irony. :TU:

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Guest Lockhart

The Same USA article was printed last year and was garbage - just as this one. Shockey and Willie Jo both got hurt again in 2005 and Shockey ran out of gas - a sure sign of being out of shape. Shockey's only two season's training down in Miami resulted in two pitiful playoff performances - While Shockey is sitting poolside in Miami, his teammates are working out in NJ - some silly article only fools those with little or no sense. It was no coincidence that Toomer was the number 1 Giant receiver the last halfo of the season he was in shape, while Plaxico and Shockey had run out of gas.

 

Now the whole cycle is starting over.

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The Same USA article was printed last year and was garbage - just as this one. Shockey and Willie Jo both got hurt again in 2005 and Shockey ran out of gas - a sure sign of being out of shape. Shockey's only two season's training down in Miami resulted in two pitiful playoff performances - While Shockey is sitting poolside in Miami, his teammates are working out in NJ - some silly article only fools those with little or no sense. It was no coincidence that Toomer was the number 1 Giant receiver the last halfo of the season he was in shape, while Plaxico and Shockey had run out of gas.

 

Now the whole cycle is starting over.

Like your "cycle of ignorance" begins again here every morning, huh? :LMAO:

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If I didn't know any better I'd swear the article was written by Shockey. Talk about putting a sugar coated spin on a bitter situation! Let me ask you TO Lite and TO White apologists this: just how does lifting weights in Miami help these two clowns work on their timing with their QB? Seems to me that was the biggest problem last year.

 

If I didn't know any better I'd swear the post was written by an Eagles fan. Talk about putting a dumb stamp on a meaningless situation! Let me ask Carbo and Floyd this: just how does posting hatred on a message board help you two clowns work on getting a girlfriend or out of the house? Seems to me that would be a bigger concern for you.

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Guest Carbo
If I didn't know any better I'd swear the post was written by an Eagles fan. Talk about putting a dumb stamp on a meaningless situation! Let me ask Carbo and Floyd this: just how does posting hatred on a message board help you two clowns work on getting a girlfriend or out of the house? Seems to me that would be a bigger concern for you.
Good one, Snitch. How are you today, by the way?
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Guest Lockhart
Good one, Snitch. How are you today, by the way?

 

 

The funniest part is that some actually believe this "workout" story that Shockey tells - yet every season he tires and gets hurt. I guess some people wil believe anything.

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Guest Carbo
The funniest part is that some actually believe this "workout" story that Shockey tells - yet every season he tires and gets hurt. I guess some people wil believe anything.
I don't think any of these Shockey buttboys really believe this stuff. I mean, 420 and his pack of rats can't be that naive. . .can they??
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The funniest part is that some actually believe this "workout" story that Shockey tells - yet every season he tires and gets hurt. I guess some people wil believe anything.

 

And the real Snitch replies to the post.

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.... Shockey's only two season's training down in Miami resulted in two pitiful playoff performances -.....

 

It could also be said that the years Shockey DIDNT go down there the Giants finished with losing seasons :TU:

 

2 years shockey goes to Miami = Playoffs

 

2 years he doesnt go to Miami = losing seasons

 

Yeah I see your point :confused:

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I don't think any of these Shockey buttboys really believe this stuff. I mean, 420 and his pack of rats can't be that naive. . .can they??

 

I don't think any of these Fab 4 buttboys really believe this stuff. I mean, Carbo and his pack of rats can't be that stupid. . .can they??

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While the Faux Four pull out their butt plugs, I applaud Shockey for working out at a place known for it.

 

if the Faux Four knew football, perhaps they'd consider the problem with people (universally) trusting the Hurricane's strength program and not the Giants.

 

Perhaps the appropriate target of all this cry-baby, bullshit would be our own program and why it's not where people flock to?

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While the Faux Four pull out their butt plugs, I applaud Shockey for working out at a place known for it.

 

if the Faux Four knew football, perhaps they'd consider the problem with people (universally) trusting the Hurricane's strength program and not the Giants.

 

Perhaps the appropriate target of all this cry-baby, bullshit would be our own program and why it's not where people flock to?

 

Interesting perspective.

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Thanks 420 and happy holidays, your big day is upon us in just over a week.

 

I realize that other pro teams won't be visiting our weight room per se, however it's interesting that our own players find it so much more competitive.

 

I have to wonder what that means for the way that things are done. In Fassel's era (all the nautilus machines and heavy injuries). Now our injuries are down, but still the off-season banter goes on.

 

My thought is that it's fine, yes Marvin Harrison and Peyton are great, but they haven't won the big one by just being together. Also, with all the Faux Four's blubbering, did Ben win because he and Hines Ward spent every minute of the off-season together? My thinks "no."

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Thanks 420 and happy holidays, your big day is upon us in just over a week.

 

I realize that other pro teams won't be visiting our weight room per se, however it's interesting that our own players find it so much more competitive.

 

I have to wonder what that means for the way that things are done. In Fassel's era (all the nautilus machines and heavy injuries). Now our injuries are down, but still the off-season banter goes on.

 

My thought is that it's fine, yes Marvin Harrison and Peyton are great, but they haven't won the big one by just being together. Also, with all the Faux Four's blubbering, did Ben win because he and Hines Ward spent every minute of the off-season together? My thinks "no."

 

Yes, 4/20 is once again around the corner.

 

I've wondered this a few times.

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Guest Floyd The Barber

when you have an area that needs addressing you do what you have to do to address it...

 

our area of concern is timing, and QB WR tendancies on the field...

 

as of today, April 13 2006 , our QB Eli Manning is doing what needs to be done in order to become a better football player...

 

as of today, April 13 2006, our TE Jeremy Shockey and WR Plaxico Burress are "working out" hundreds of miles away from our QB, uniterested and not understanding that TIMING was and is the issue from 2005 and heading into 2006...

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when you have an area that needs addressing you do what you have to do to address it...

 

our area of concern is timing, and QB WR tendancies on the field...

 

as of today, April 13 2006 , our QB Eli Manning is doing what needs to be done in order to become a better football player...

 

as of today, April 13 2006, our TE Jeremy Shockey and WR Plaxico Burress are "working out" hundreds of miles away from our QB, uniterested and not understanding that TIMING was and is the issue from 2005 and heading into 2006...

 

How obscene... and dramatic!

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Guest Lockhart
when you have an area that needs addressing you do what you have to do to address it...

 

our area of concern is timing, and QB WR tendancies on the field...

 

as of today, April 13 2006 , our QB Eli Manning is doing what needs to be done in order to become a better football player...

 

as of today, April 13 2006, our TE Jeremy Shockey and WR Plaxico Burress are "working out" hundreds of miles away from our QB, uniterested and not understanding that TIMING was and is the issue from 2005 and heading into 2006...

 

 

While McNabb, Bledsoe and Brunnell are already throwing with their receivers, Shockey and Plaxico are attending fashion shows and cast parties in Miami - Thanks a lot guys!

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