Coach Mo Knows NFL Draft Preparation

These days Dale Robinson is participating in the NFL combine as he starts his journey towards playing on Sundays. Time will tell how high the co Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year will be drafted, but one thing is for sure – he would have been trained by one of the best in the business. Coach Mo, who also trained former Sun Devils and current NFL players Shaun McDonald and Terrell Suggs, talked to Devils Digest about his program and Robinson's training regimen in specific.

"We really work on track and field technique," said Coach Mo. "ASU and (strength and conditioning) Coach House have a great weight training program. So when players come out of the school and into their draft, their bodies are almost ready for the NFL. I work with the players on their 40 (yard) time, shuttle times, cone drills and things like that. They are all football players and they know how to do it. My job is just to make them do it faster." Coach Mo added that he employs the same techniques that were used by sprinters like Marion Jones and Maurice Greene. Former and current NFL players such as Aeneas Williams and Simeon Rice have used the program, as well as MLB player Tony Womack.

The old sports saying ‘you can't teach speed' still applies in Coach Mo's program, but there's nothing that states that you can't get faster through the proper training. "A faster player in a more lethal one," he claimed. "That's the mentally I had after I got out of the military (13 years in the Air Force). Getting someone to be well-trained – you can use different approaches. Shaun McDonald was a track and field guy in high school and after playing football for a few years I had to get back that track and filed rhythm in him. With Terrell Suggs, I harnessed his strength to train him not to run so recklessly and run more like a track guy. But I'm not trying to turn football players into track athletes, but I want them to have the track mentality. No scout wants to see a player run pretty like a track guy, they want to see them run like a football player and run aggressively."

Coach Mo has known Dale Robinson from his days at Glendale Community College, and that friendship led the linebacker to put his trust in the coach and use his program for the pre-draft preparations. In Robinson's case, the correct approach was vital since he wasn't 100% healthy at season's end. "I had to let his body get in running shape again and get rid of all the bumps and bruises, but at the same time start using my sprint technique," Coach Mo stated. "He reminds me of (wide receiver) Roddy White who ended up with the Atlanta Falcons last year – very raw and aggressive and not a track type of guy. Once he bought into the technique, without taking away from his tough New York mentality (smile) – he was OK. When you're a linebacker, you're running and analyzing the offense at the same time, so your running style will probably not be pretty. Now he's running more efficient."

Coach Mo's program utilizes the hilly terrains around Phoenix, as well as the more conventional tracks for the running exercises. Thus, home cooking allowed Robinson to excel in the program and should also help him in the vital Pro Day coming up on ASU's campus. "Scouts tell me all the time that they put more value in the Pro Day than they do the combine," claimed Coach Mo. "They want to see how well you do at home. That worked very well for Shaun and Terrell because they did do better in their Pro Day than the combine, and I think that will be the case with Dale too." And come the end of April, Robinson should be another success story for a program that has benefited so many players trying to realize their professional career dreams.

For more information please visit Coach Mo's website

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