Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Danny Shelton is not one to rest and relax much during the team’s downtime, whether it be prior to the start of workouts in the spring or, like this year, in the weeks leading up to training camp.
The third-year player spent last year’s offseason reducing his weight by 30 pounds, a way to avoid the struggles he had as a rookie (36 combined tackles in 15 starts) and to prepare him for a greater role rushing the passer. And this year, as a tackle in coordinator Gregg Williams’ four-man front, there will be an even greater emphasis in Shelton using his athleticism as both a run-stopper and pass-rusher. In preparation for this, Shelton has spent the summer in Samoa, and not only for a family reunion.
No, he’s been working with former NFL defensive tackle Pene Talamaivao, who played for nine years in the league and is presently a defensive line coach and head of strength and conditioning at Riverside City College, in California. Shelton said in late June that, “I think it's going to be awesome because just being out with the family and being in a different environment and training out there, it will help me focus in more. Being in an uncomfortable place and trying to train football-wise is going to be different. I'm excited for what I have planned.”
Shelton is expected to—or at least being trained to—work on both the left and the right side of Williams’ defensive line this year, and the workouts with Talamaivao have been geared to making that adjustment more smooth. Further, Shelton’s new assignment means that, according to Browns defensive line coach Clyde Simmons, “he's got to demand double teams... [and play] more aggressively and violently.”
Check out some clips of Shelton’s training sessions in Samoa below.