PROVO — Most football fans have heard it before, nearly every year in fact: Best offseason ever.
A first day of fall camp wouldn't be complete with this annual refrain from players full of enthusiasm with what they accomplished during the offseason.
So are fans to believe them this time around? So, was this past offseason indeed the best offseason ever?
“It was the best I can ever remember having since I’ve been here,” said offensive lineman Braden Hansen.
“Yeah, I know we say that a lot, but this past offseason, there really were noticeable changes with how we did things, and we’re already seeing the results,” said Hansen. “Speaking just for us, as offensive linemen, we definitely benefited from the changes.”
After just one day, a lot of those changes among the offensive linemen was readily apparent in their weight loss. Hansen reported a 10-pound drop from a year ago, while Terence Brown dropped a full 15 pounds, and Matt Reynolds dropped almost 20, and it is result from more position-targeted workouts among the team.
Cardio was emphasized with the offensive linemen among other things in helping to develop more aggressive offensive line play.
“They were all well-attended and I think we’re already seeing the results from it,” Brown said. “We were rusty today, but we felt good. Our explosion off the line is going to be better because of the work we put in this offseason. I can already feel it, and I‘m as thin as I‘ve been in quite a while.
"Our goal is to be the nastiest, most aggressive offensive line in the country, and it started with what we did in the offseason.”
The changes in workouts weren’t with just the offensive line, however. Conditioning coach Jay Omer split up the team in three groups: linemen, skill position players, and combo players.
Cornerback Robbie Buckner, who was grouped with the skill position players, said he feels quicker and faster than he ever has.
“It gave us all more confidence in what we were doing this summer, and it made it more fun,” he said. “We focused on staying loose and agile, while increasing our bursts of speed. I feel it’s going to help us out a ton this year. They were a lot of fun to do.”
“Explosion” was the operative word used, not just by Brown, but by all other players who talked about the offseason workouts.
“I feel that we’re all going to be more explosive as a team which will obviously help us,” said Buckner. “It was a lot of hard work with squats, but we did them right, and I feel as good as I have in a long time.
"I know that we say that offseason workouts were great every year, but this past offseason, it was different, and I feel we’ll be that much better as a team because of it.”