Tricks to Playing Wide Receiver in the NFL

I want to talk about one of our receivers Marques Hagans. He was drafted last year in the fifth round. He's a former quarterback out of Virginia and he made the practice squad last year and he has a good chance to make the 53-man roster this year.

I can tell you the difference between his experience and mine when I was first coming into the league. I was drafted in the second round and was brought in to replace Henry Ellard, who had just left. What I didn't have, and looking back I really missed out on it, was someone to take me whole heartedly under their wing and teach me how to be a receiver in the NFL. I have taken Marques under my wing to teach him some of the important things about playing the position. Just yesterday we were working on what you see before you line up, before the play even starts. You have to find two guys - the safety and the cornerback. The safety, 85 percent of the time will lie to you about the coverage. The cornerback will never lie. Those are just some of the mental aspects we have been going over. It took me eight weeks into my rookie season before I knew what was going on. As a high draft pick they want you to know those things right away. I am helping Marques prepare so that it comes much more naturally.

Marques has really stepped up mentally and physically. His physical success is coming from his mental improvement. Some of the secrets I have given Marques are the three confessions. I am a big believer in that you get what you say so we verbalize our confessions. First, when the coach is teaching and we're standing there in the group you need to have "super natural discernment, comprehension and interpretation." When you go from that period to the next, maybe its route running, I always tell myself "I am the best route runner in the NFL and I get my depth in every route I run." And third, you always rise to the level of your confession. When we get ready to go head to head with the blue shirts I tell myself verbally "no one can stop me but me." No matter how the play turns out, good or bad, that standard never changes. "No one can stop me but me."

I have shared those things with Marques and they are paying dividends. You can see it on the field and you can see it on the film. You need to be consistent in the words that you speak and the way that you prepare. For me, preparation also means your eating habits, what you put in your body. I am sharing all of those things with Marques because he has a chance to be a very good receiver and I want to make sure he has some of the guidance that I missed out on.

submitted by IsaacBruce

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