The Jay Butler Interview, Part I

Jay Bulter is in his 11th season as the head of strength and conditioning for Rutgers football, and he sat down with for a lengthy interview. In the first part, Butler talks about tailoring worktouts to suit each player, and teaching the freshmen how to do the proper workouts.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Putting together the workout regimen for the Rutgers football program is a big task, especially since setting up a program for an offensive lineman is markedly different than one for a defensive back.

Jay Butler, in his 11th year as Rutgers football's strength and conditioning coach, oversee the workout program, and tailors the weight lifting and conditioning programs according to each player, and the position they play.

"There's a lot of things in football that everybody needs to do," Butler said. "The power is the same, being able to produce force. The strength is the same, but there are nuances to how we run (workouts) by position, some of the flexibility things, some of the bend things that are needed by position.

"There are some general things everybody is going to do, like some basic core work. Everybody is going to bench, everybody is going to squat, everybody is going to (power) clean."

However, when it comes to specialized training, the methods are as different as blocking at the line of scrimmage and reading a quarterback's eyes while playing free safety.

"There are some different supplemental things we're going to do by position, and a lot of different running based on position," Butler said. "Do they play against resistance? Are they a line of scrimmage guy or a skill guy? We get into our conditioning, in what we call metabolic conditioning, and our linemen condition with resistance. Whether that's pulling sleds, or using something called a tread sled …it's how they're going to play vs. defensive backs and receivers.

"Everybody has a lot of change of direction, but defensive backs have a little more top end speed with a change of direction. We do that in our conditioning."

By the time players finish their freshman season, the weight lifting and conditioning techniques are refined since some players enter school more advanced than others when it comes to working out.

"It's a learning process, for sure," Butler said. "It's funny. There's a wide range of what kids are exposed to in high school. Some have done a lot, some have done a lot of incorrect things, some have been trained pretty well.

"We had 28, 29 freshmen here during the summer, and you get a lot of different ranges of what guys have been exposed to. We basically go back from scratch and teach it all the way. It's a process, and just the intensity level and the duration of some of the things we do are a little different than what they're used to."

Even players heavily involved in weight training, like freshmen defensive tackle Al Page, running back Savon Huggins and linebacker Quentin Gause, are shown the Rutgers technique when it comes to training.

"Some of the nuances on how we do things, and how we teach things, are probably a little different," Butler said. "We go back to basics as far as teaching, and then everyone is going to have different levels; different strength levels, different conditioning levels, different things you need to work on when we analyze each individual.

"I like guys coming in who are trained, who are stronger. It just puts them farther ahead in the curve to where they start. Ultimately, they'll be farther along."

Part II of the Jay Butler interview will appear Friday

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