When this year’s crop of incoming rookies heads to Indianapolis next week and shows up for their effort to bench-press 225 pounds as many times as they can (or, in the case of Fred Smoot, to do it once), a familiar face won’t be there, straining and yelling and screaming at them to get one more.
According to the Cardinals, strength and conditioning coach John Lott won’t be attending this year’s Scouting Combine. Instead, he’ll be staying in Arizona to work with rehabbing players and supervise any players in working out on their own, according to the team.
Still, Lott has been barking at the bench-pressers for 16 years, and every year the Cardinals have players rehabbing and working out on their own. It’s unclear why a new approach is being used now.
Lott’s antics have in the past prompted complaints regarding the fact that he pushes the players beyond their comfort zone, risking injury with that last rep or two.
“Who cares if my guy gets 24 instead of 27 reps?” one agent told PFT last year. “No one has ever won a football game because of how many times a guy can lift 225 pounds with his arms.”
While there still may be someone else pushing guys to push the bar up an extra time or two, the guy who’ll be doing it won’t be John Lott.