An injury-filled 2015 season has led to changes in the offseason.
Under the direction of strength and conditioning chief Adam Beard, the Cleveland Browns have instituted a new wellness program to avoid an injury-prone 2016 campaign.
The Browns promoted Beard in the offseason to direct the wellness initiative. Sleep evaluation and new workout regimens for each position group are only a couple of the new ideas Beard and his staff have implemented in Berea.
"It's all about getting to know your player groups and your coaches and getting the formula right," Beard told cleveland.com. "It takes time to understand a player's thresholds. I'd love to say I have the magic ferry dust, but that's not the case.
"The more things we can track then it becomes about what we can do get better performances for the players. Obviously, injury prevention is huge."
Beard has a diverse background, working on four different continents, including as the high performance director for the Welsh Rugby Union. The Australia native joined the Browns last year in an observational role before taking over in early 2016 and hiring seven new staffers.
Thanks to his wide range of experiences, Beard is open to an analytical approach and trying unconventional ways of doing things.
Whatever the methods, the early results seem to be positive. Several media members have praised players' offseason improvements.
Head coach Hue Jackson approves, too.
“We are not having the soft-tissue issues that we have had before,” Jackson told ESPN.com. “We have players on the field that are practicing every day, and we are not getting as much of the pulls. We get the normal tweaks that every football team gets, but at the same time, for as hard as I think we push them, Adam and his staff are doing a tremendous job of getting our team into the best shape that we can be.”
Tracking the players' sleep and other habits seems to be working well. Just ask Browns' safety Jordan Poyer.
"I like what these guys are doing," Poyer said. "I like how they are tracking us throughout the day to see how we are feeling."
Hopefully for Poyer and the Browns, the methods keep working. Beard's approach will face its first major test in August during training camp.