Danny Shelton’s offseason was better than most
By Thomas Moore
Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Danny Shelton had an interesting offseason workout routine, which should pay dividends come Sunday afternoons this fall.
The Cleveland Browns have invested considerable assets into their defensive line in recent years.
This year it was Myles Garrett (the No. 1 overall selection), Larry Ogunjobi and Caleb Brantley in the 2017 NFL Draft. Last year brought Emmanuel Ogbah, the first pick of the second round, and Carl Nassib.
But it all started in 2015 with Danny Shelton, the club’s first-round pick and the No. 12 overall selection in that year’s draft.
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Shelton has been solid at times while playing nose tackle under two of the worst defensive coordinators in the NFL. He has also been inconsistent and struggled to keep his weight at a productive level during the course of the season.
That all may be in the past, however, thanks to some innovative offseason workouts and the arrival of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
Shelton returned to Samoa, where he spent time as a child, earlier this summer and trained with Pene Talamaivao, a former NFL player and current college coach. Talamaivao forget to pack a few workout essentials, however, so the duo had to improvise by substituting lava boulders for medicine balls, he told ohio.com:
"“We caused a slow traffic jam because they were watching us training and they didn’t understand what we were doing out there. I mean you see this big guy with a hulky body, with long hair, running around doing drills they’ve never seen before. It caused a slow down.”"
Heading into his third NFL season, Shelton has lost the weight he gained last year and is gaining an appreciation for what it takes to succeed at the pro level.
He is also quickly feeling the influence that Williams is having on the defense, according to clevelandbrowns.com:
"“Coach Williams did a great job of getting into our minds and changing our mentality, making us think aggressive, think gritty, think nasty and just thinking like a dominant defense. That is what really helped me out as a player, and I can see it in the rest of the D line as far as our effort and as far as how we are working and competing against each other.”"
The defense should be better this season – it certainly can’t get any worse than it was last year under defensive coordinator Ray Horton – and the defensive line will play a major role in that improvement. If the Browns can bring a consistent pass rush, the secondary will improve by not having to cover opposing receivers for so long.
He may only have played two years, but depending on what happens with Desmond Bryant, Shelton will be the elder statesman of the defensive line. Ogbah and Garrett may get the headlines, but that will be in part because Shelton will be doing the dirty work in the middle of the line.
Next: Browns defensive front seven long on potential
After spending time throwing lava boulders on the beach, moving a few offensive linemen out of the way should be no problem.