Lower than 4 months into 2021, Jon Feliciano already has 17 million the reason why it paid to by no means hand over on 2020.
If any athlete had an excuse to close it down final 12 months, the Buffalo Payments proper guard might simply increase his hand — however Feliciano might barely carry both of his arms final 12 months resulting from a pair of debilitating accidents.
The anchor of the Payments offensive line started 2020 by present process underwent left rotator cuff surgical procedure in January. Together with his rehab going effectively and his power rising by the week — the 6’4’’, 340-pounder was even 20 kilos lighter getting into camp — all indicators have been pointing to having the perfect season of his six-year profession.
Heading into camp in the perfect form of his profession, his worst-case state of affairs grew to become a actuality final August — Feliciano suffered an excruciating Grade 3 tear of his proper pec throughout a freak bench-pressing accident. His early ideas have been that the damage was a season-ender.
“I’ve had a lot of bumps and bruises with soccer, however nothing ever made me throw up from the ache,” Feliciano recalled. “I used to be telling my spotter to not contact the bar, and as I used to be pushing, I felt the ligament in my pec snap. It felt like gradual movement, though it occurred quick.”
Two days later, Feliciano underwent surgical procedure and was positioned on Injured Reserve in September. It additionally meant practically two months away from weight training.
Profitable, nonetheless, is a good motivator, and with the Payments turning into the shock group early within the NFL season, profitable 5 of their first seven video games whereas Feliciano was struggling to choose up a 10-pound weight throughout rehab. The group’s quick begin — and the rising likelihood of constructing the playoffs helped Feliciano focus even more durable to get again on the sphere. Not totally recovered however sturdy sufficient to contribute, Feliciano made his manner again to the lineup forward of schedule in Week 8 in opposition to the Patriots.
“It undoubtedly helped when the group began off sizzling,” Feliciano says. It’s like, ‘Thank God the group is profitable.’ I’m right here doing my work to get again on the sphere they usually’re dealing with their enterprise proper now. There’s a possible for me to be in much more video games than I initially thought.”
With Feliciano again within the lineup, the Payments received eight of their final 9 regular-season video games, making it to the championship sport earlier than being defeated by the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, 38-24.
Due to his working his manner into the lineup, Feliciano was awarded the group’s Ed Block Braveness Award. And this previous March, Feliciano re-signed with the Payments for 3 years, $17 million. Now completely wholesome he says, his low season objective is to strengthen his upper body again to pre-injury ranges. Feliciano says this requires an low season routine of excessive reps on the bench press with the intention to regain his vary of movement. His exercises have additionally included loads of offensive line work, together with a lot of ladder drills for developing foot work, together with a heavy dose of heavy bag pounding.
“I nonetheless really feel like I’ve rather a lot to show,” Feliciano says. “I didn’t really feel wholesome in any respect until now. I’m nonetheless. Like till the until now I’m nonetheless doing rehab for my circumstance, you realize, getting that proper. Uh, so I’ve rather a lot to show. I need to show what sort of participant I’m once I’m, once I’m wholesome.
Along with explaining the mindset it took to get again on the sphere final 12 months, Feliciano shares on this installment of Muscle and Health’ Profitable Technique sequence his rules which have led to his profitable NFL profession, an AFC East title, a brand new contract, and what’s in retailer for him after life within the NFL.
1. STOP DWELLING, START WORKING (AGAIN)
I used to be already rehabbing my left rotator cuff, which I had surgical procedure on in January 2020. Due to COVID-19, all of the gyms have been closed, I spent a ton of cash on building a great home gym in my storage. I switched my weight loss plan up, went from 340 all the way down to 317 for camp. I felt lean and powerful. Then I tear my pec. In any case this, from working into the perfect form of my profession to having a season doubtlessly taken away from me — and in a contract 12 months — I cried for a second.
The damage occurred on a Wednesday, however by Friday I used to be already having surgical procedure. They initially informed me it about 16 weeks to get well — that will have been Week 12 — so figuring out I’d be capable of get again on the sphere final season was nice motivation.
It took about six weeks earlier than I used to be in a position to choose up a dumbbell. We began with a ten kilos on my dangerous pec, and 90 with the opposite. That went on for about two weeks. About eight weeks then I began doing like six, 50 kilos, 60 kilos. However actually, I didn’t really feel very sturdy the entire season.
2. WORK YOUR BRAIN AS WELL AS YOUR BRAWN
Without any consideration guard, the offense depends on me to do quite a lot of issues. We get the play from [Bills quarterback] Josh [Allen]. We break the huddle, and as I’m strolling as much as the road, I’m attempting to assist our heart by attempting to diagnose what the protection is attempting to do. If it’s a run play I’m letting them know who we received, generally I’m making the calls in go safety as to who the working again has.
My calls set the entire deck for the whole offense, so my job is as a lot psychological as it’s strength and agility. In the course of the offseason and through rehab, my trainers have me attempt to preserve my mind sharp by going by a bunch of drills. Whereas I’m doing an train, they’ll throw out sure phrases or phrases that I’ll have to recollect and repeat throughout the exercise. There are additionally quite a lot of instances I’m going over performs whereas rehabbing. I’ve finished it a lot for thus lengthy it’s now develop into second nature for me.
3. NEVER JUDGE THE BOOK BY ITS COVER
I’m 6’4” and weigh over 300 kilos. As an offensive lineman, individuals assume we’re simply fats and don’t have any athleticism. We now have to be athletic, as a result of we’re going up in opposition to the perfect athletes on the sphere — guys who’re 6’6’’, 290, even 315 kilos who can run a 4.4. We now have to dam them on each play.
Put it this fashion: When you’re on protection and also you get a sack each sport, that’s a reasonably good 12 months. When you hand over 16 sacks, you’re out of the league very quickly.
Guys don’t assume I can transfer the way in which I can. I’m actually good at basketball — I used to be a basketball participant first in highschool — and I feel that helps my athletic ability rather a lot. At Payments camp, we do quite a lot of impediment course strikes, and guys are actually shocked on the manner I transfer. We even have dodge ball video games, and I can dodge the hell out of dodge ball.
4. KEEP MOVING YOUR ‘GOAL’ LINE
Proper now I’m doing quite a lot of boxing/MMA work to assist my punch in soccer. It’s principally the identical factor — I’m “punching” a dude on each play. However being UFC heavyweight champion of the world appears like a good time.
I began hitting the heavy bag over the last 12 months for conditioning on an upper-body day. It’s normally 5 three-minute rounds — it’s the toughest conditioning I’ve been doing. After that I’m dying.
The heavyweight division within the UFC solely goes as much as 265 kilos. Proper now, I’m strolling round at round 330. For one factor, getting my weight beneath management will set me up for a more healthy life after soccer. However I’m tremendous aggressive, and I fell in love with MMA. My good good friend [UFC welterweight] Miguel Baeza retains inviting me to return practice with him, I simply haven’t gotten off of my toes but to do it.
5. THERE’S VALUE IN BEING VALUABLE
Being versatile not solely makes you a greater athlete, it makes you extra helpful for a group. For the primary 4 years of my profession, I used to be the backup swing man in Oakland. I needed to play all three inside positions in case somebody went down. So once I transitioned to Buffalo, it was simply second nature for me to do it. And actually, it’s the identical routine, you’re simply flipping your hips to the opposite aspect. In soccer, simply be taught to maintain your flexibility — I do quite a lot of yoga to maintain my physique free — and simply apply every little thing on each side. It would assist.