Pro running back Chad Spann evaluates Ameer Abdullah and imparts advice on transitioning to the league.
I have learned a lot of valuable concepts about running back play from Chad Spann. Sigmund Bloom was my first guest on the RSP Film Room, but it was the 2010 MAC Offensive Player of the Year who, four years ago, spent a few hours with me over the phone from his campus apartment trying to study the same game with dueling televisions.
Spann’s generosity with the blog continued was he earned a training camp invitation with the Colts. He shared stories about his transition from college star to pro athlete and provide unique insight to the process.
This morning, Spann and I watched one of my favorite prospects, Ameer Abdullah. I didn’t tell Spann that I saw similarities in their games until he mentioned it (within the first few minutes of the video), but both players are explosive, aggressive, intelligent, and versatile.
Spann, does an excellent job showing Abdullah’s strengths and weaknesses as well as discussing running back play and the transition to the NFL that Abdullah can expect:
- Why the pistol is a more difficult scheme to run from than how coaches often portray it.
- The drill a running back can use to develop a better use of his hips for changing direction, but staying down hill.
- The importance of play inside and outside the structure of a play.
- Nuances of pass protection, specifically punching, cut blocking, and angles of approach.
- What is stair-stepping and why is it helpful?
- Specifics about stiff-arms, cutting, and one cut that isn’t generally taught by coaches.
- Why fellow players are so important to the development process?
- Specific advice Spann offers Abdullah and other backs when it comes to transitioning to an NFL practice/camp?
- Training with Minnesota running back David Cobb and sharing lessons that he was able to pass along.
It’s an excellent show featuring a talented guest who, in my opinion, isn’t with a team right now because of turnover with the previous two coaching staffs of the teams that signed him (Pittsburgh with Todd Haley’s arrival and Houston with Bill O’Brien).
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