Joe Defranco's Training...

I was hesitant when I first read about him from some of you guys, but he sounds a little like I do when talking to my athletes. I disagree with him on some points but overall, he seems pretty good.

What did you disagree with him about?
I liked how he adapted the Westside template for athletes and is always looking to improve and change. He uses alot of variations depending on if the athletes is a beginner or advanced, and his results speak for themselves. His attitude is no BS. Plus he’s another coach that just doesn’t talk, but puts up the weight as well.
Did you hear his interviews he put on his site?

I don’t disagree with him so much as I have different philosophies. I do think it is necessary to modify depth for taller athletes both in the squat and on the olympic lifts. I do like his attitude and no nonsense approach, I swear he has some of the exact same answers to questions that I do!! But I think he’s used some not so intelligent people’s questions to put himself on a pedestal. I’ve talked to several NFL scouts and I’ll see some more when I go to UT’s Pro Day later this month and I know that they want these athletes to perform at their absolute best when they show up to these combine tests so it is not in fact considered “cheating”. The bottom line is that there are scouts and coaches who make way too much of these tests, and these scouts and coaches incompetence shows when a guy like mike mamula gets drafted high just on “potential”. I always tell my athletes that having “potential” just means you haven’t done anything worth mentioning yet. But I think he’s an outstanding coach.

Yeah, the combine’s importance is way too much in some cases, but it is sort of necessary when you look at mid-major kids dominating against weak competition. It’s a yardstick although a very weak one.
I doubt DeFranco would complain considering he probably makes a ton of $ off the combine. I don’t really know what tests they could have outside of position skill tests though.
It’s obviously unnecessary to have lineman running 40s, but what tests do you think would be better? Caber toss, medicine ball throw?

I would separate the 225-pound bench press into a position-specific lift. The heavier athletes, it’s not even a measure of strength because when you weight 300+ pounds and you’re pressing 225, that’s not even a large % of your bodyweight. I would probably keep the skill positions at 225-pound bench press, then have the tight-ends/linebackers, etc. press 275, and have the lineman pressing 315 pounds for reps. But if it was up to me, I would probably remove the bench press altogether. The combine is not a bad thing, it’s just very overrated. If I were to take the combine test right now, i’d probably be ranked as an early-to-mid round pick (weight 185 pounds, height 6’0", press 225 for 18 reps, 40-yard dash is 4.5 electronically timed, vertical jump is 31", and pro agility is 4.2-4.3) but I haven’t played competitive football since high school.

my bro is a D1 kicker and we’re going to see joe sometime next week when my brother is home for spring break. i’ll let everyone know how things go, but so far everything i’ve heard about him has been nothing but positive. i talked with him a few times via email and he seems like a great guy, very receptive to my questions and extremely knowledgeable as well.

good luck to you and your brother. keep us informed.

I have DeFranco’s video. It’s very cheaply made, but contains a lot of very useful tips on the various aspects of the combine. Though I am not a footballer, I learned some interesting aspects of start technique, bench pressing and running.