/ AFC East / NFL Caretakers: Carlisle, NFL Officials Emphasizing Physical Health To Enforce The Rules

The Combine Report: Week Six - Dunbar Filled Large Shoes, Hall Scored His First TD

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Filling in for a Pro Bowl caliber player in the NFL is a blessing… and a curse.

The blessing is that a player gets the opportunity to perform, but the curse involves the high expectations to excel. If the player succeeds, all parties involved are rewarded.



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Quinton Dunbar/Redskins.com

The Combine Report: Week Six Preview: Rams WR Mike Thomas Returns, RC Pioneers Will Clash

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

After being suspended for the first four games of the 2017 season due to violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances, wide receiver Mike Thomas returns to the field with his spirited Los Angeles Rams teammates and looks to add to the explosiveness the receiving corps already has offensively.

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Mike Thomas/Google Images

The Combine Report: Week Five - NFL Regional Combine Veterans Played Their Roles Valiently

All NFL Regional Combine pioneers play a role. And no matter their role…large or small…these players execute their duties well enough to make their teams competitive. Week Five of the NFL was no exception.


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Cody Davis/therams.com

The Combine Report: Week Five Preview - A Combine Series Tandem Brewing In Jacksonville

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Week Four of the NFL was totally owe by the kicking specialists from the NFL Regional Combine. Kicker Greg Zuerlein kept the Los Angeles Rams up right after nailing seen field goal attempts through the uprights, while Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus help to keep the game out of reach for the Oakland Raiders.

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The Combine Report: Week Four - Rams' RC Veteran Kicking Specialists Are Special

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Kickers are like life preservers. Life preservers can’t run the ship, but they can save the people on the ship. Punter Johnny Hekker and kicker Greg Zuerlein, Los Angeles Rams kicking specialists and NFL Regional Combine …

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Rams Kicking Specialist/therams.com

The Combine Report: Week Four Preview - Browns Rookie LB B.J. Bello Earning More Time

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Unfortunately, it has been the same old song for the Cleveland Browns, especially when it comes to defense. They play hard to keep contests close, but fizzle at the end. Evidently, there is talent in “the Land” on the defense side of the ball from the likes of linebacker Jamie Collins Sr., cornerback Jamar Taylor and safety and return specialist Jabrill Peppers to name a few.

Rookie linebacker B.J. Bello could be in the mix too.

Bello is a hybrid linebacker with a combination of athleticism, speed, aggression and patience. After his under the radar collegiate career at Illinois State, following a transfer from Illinois, he burst onto the NFL Regional Combine scene at the Minnesota-held trials in February.

The 6-2, 229-pound linebacker never lacked confidence, just opportunity. When the Browns signed him as an undrafted rookie, Bello excelled during camps and his progress showed in the preseason as he registered four tackles and a sack.

The Browns recognized Bello’s efforts and made him part of the 53-man roster. He was primarily on special teams and earned three tackles. Against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3, Bello made it onto the field with the defense and was close to bringing down ball carriers twice.

“Since the age of six, playing in the yard, I wanted to play in the NFL,” said Bello via conversation. “To actually be here now is a dream come true.”

In Week Four, assuming he will fill some spots defensively, Bello could register more numbers.

“This is a great opportunity, man. To be with this organization, the only thing I can do is get better,” voiced Bello.


The Bears gave up nearly double-digit yards in punt returns. Packers return specialist Trevor Davis returned a punt for a touchdown in Week One of the preseason and had a return for 33 yards in Week Three.

Davis is getting close.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Combine Report: Week Three – RC Talents Were Radical In Protest And Played Ball


Will Thursday be the night that the second year-man from California and the 2016 RC session in New Orleans take it to the house?

One thing for sure, Bears defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris is looking to get his hands on some Packers, as he has two tackles and a pass defense this season.


Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is bringing havoc to opposing quarterbacks with his furious pass rush. Fellow defensive end Benson Mayowa is causing problems as well.

Mayowa is nearly on every play when the Cowboys defensive front bears down on quarterbacks. With five tackles already this season, Mayowa should bring his total to double digits against the Rams.

Field positioning will be the key for the Rams.  They have one of the best punters in the NFL in Johnny Hekker to assist and kicker Greg Zuerlein to help keep things interesting.

Hekker is fourth in the league in net average yards with 44.6 per attempt, while Zuerlein is tied at the top of the NFL with 12 field goals and remains perfect.

Rams defensive back Cody Davis is quietly becoming known for his hard hitting. Against America’s team, in front of a national audience, Davis will have another stage to show that trait.



  • After a controversial week of standing for the national anthem against the team’s plan, Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva is looking to steam roll over some Baltimore Ravens, create lanes for the backfield and give quarterback Ben Roethlisberger the time he needs to lead the club. Punter Jordan Berry will keep the Ravens deep in their territory, and the Steelers will need him to.


  • Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen is on pace to earn his first 1,000 yard season. The Detroit Lions’ defense will key on wide receiver Stefan Diggs, and Thielen will burn them.


  • As rookie wide receiver Keelan Cole continues to prove his worth, the Jacksonville Jaguars will continue to make him a target, as they will fullback Tommy Bohanon who is exploiting his catching skills this season. Against the New York Jets, they will continue their growth. Nevertheless, either player may meet linebacker Julian Stanford, another RC brother.


  • Oakland Raiders wide receiver Seth Roberts has been quiet for the past two weeks. He should make some noise against division rival Denver Broncos.

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The Combine Report: Week Three - RC Talents Were Radical In Protest, And Played Ball

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Week Three of the NFL was…well…interesting, to say the least.

While many more players knelt during the National Anthem, one player in particular, although sensitive to the issues, proudly stood because his heart would not allow him to bow to controversy.

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Alejandro Villaneuva/Google Images

The Combine Report: Week Three Preview - Offensive RC Pioneers Look To Get Back On Track

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Week Two of the NFL was exciting as defensive players from the NFL Regional Combine stole the show with huge hits and many stops. This week, the athletes on the other side of the ball will be expecting to be let loose.

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Seth Roberts/Raiders.com

The Combine Report: Week Two - Defensive RC Talents Aggressively Attacked

The NFL Regional Combine talents were sharp on the defense in Week Two. Several squads wanted to make amends for Week One. Many put their “best foot forward” via their shoulder pads as hitting was the name of the game for the RC defensive standouts.

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Cody Davis/therams.com

The Combine Report: Week Two Preview - Will RB Penny Elijhaa Get To Face Regular Season Action?

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

The Week Two of the NFL is shaping up to feature some solid intrigue among the NFL Regional Combine pioneers. Several players turned out and had strong performances in Week One. And Week Two should be no different.


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Elijhaa Penny/Google Images

NFL Caretakers: Carlisle, NFL Officials Emphasizing Physical Health To Enforce The Rules

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By: Barry Barnes, Founder

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – The NFL rule book is massive with instructions of do’s and don’t’s, almost biblical in a sense. Knowing the what to do and enforcing the league’s boundaries is half the battle. Unlike the bible where a spiritual aspect is needed to execute its purpose, enforcing the NFL rules can be more of a challenge, physically.

This is why the NFL Football Officiating Mini-Clinic is imperative for the NFL Caretakers.

“Man, it takes a lot to be in shape, just to keep those guys (NFL players) in check (laughter). Boy, I tell you,” said one veteran officials during his workout session at the New York Giants Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

The NFL had their fourth installment of the officiating mini-clinic Saturday and Sunday. Accompanied with their personal work regiment, the NFL officials came into their sessions motivated with excitement. Fortunately, their self-preparation was for their benefit because – their exercises went fast as they hit the ground running.

May 20, 2017 – East Rutherford, NJ – NFL performance and wellness consultant for officiating Duane Carlisle at the 2017 NFL Football Officiating Mini-Clinic. (Photo by: Locker-Report.com)


“There are four components to the mini-clinic,” said NFL performance and wellness consultant for officiating Duane Carlisle. “One, performance workshops. Second, fitness assessments, Third, comprehensive physicals, and fourth, team building.”

Carlisle has been a physical trainer for over 20 years, spanning his talents from the San Francisco 49ers as the head strength and conditioning coach to founding Lightning Fast Training System, LLC. Carlisle was introduced to the NFL Caretakers four years ago. NFL Football Operations has expanded Carlisle’s role as they embraced his techniques and training program, and the officials feel a physical difference.

“After games, I was like, man it’s rough, but I love it. This stuff (mini-clinic) really helps,” stated one veteran NFL referee.

The officials were broken down into four groups, according to their titles. Nutrition and mental preparation is a key factor for their discipline, which was detailed from the beginning of the sessions with tests and interaction.

The goal for the clinics is to not only introduce new methods of workouts to stay in shape, but to install practices and enhance strategies to limit physical exhaustion during and after contests.

May 20, 2017 – East Rutherford, NJ – NFL line judges Julian Mapp (left) and Kevin Codey (right) executing ankle mobility exercise at the 2017 NFL Football Officiating Mini-Clinic. (Photo by: Locker-Report.com)


To tackle that approach is by maximizing efforts with less and proper movement. The brisk drills the officials had to exert were ankle mobility, deep squats, push-ups, T-tests and 40-35 yard sprints.

Ankle mobility helps to use ankles properly to reduce weight on the knees for complete body control.

Deep squats builds strength in the legs, taking pressure off the hips, while push-ups strengthen the upper body.

The T-tests are essential for the officials as they must know how to move with the fast and furiousness of the NFL players. Sliding, stop-start-go and shuffling at different speeds was a primary target during the sessions.

And the NFL referees had tons of fun encouraging, and laughing at each other while executing their assignments.

“Come on Walt (Coleman)! Dig baby, dig (laughter),” yelled from the gallery of referees.

Coleman has been officiating for nearly 30 years, since 1989, and is light on his feet as he back pedalled briskly on his toes.

One of the younger officials, however, fell backwards during the T-test, and like all concerning colleagues would do, they erupted the facility with laughter.

May 20, 2017 – East Rutherford, NJ – NFL referee Walt Coleman getting ready for his T-test at the 2017 NFL Football Officiating Mini-Clinic. (Photo by: Locker-Report.com)


“You got to pace yourself, man,” shout one caretaker.

Clearly, rules are needed to bring stability for any thing in life. In terms of officiating, the officials can not enforce the rules on the field without proper physical training. If their mobility, stamina and other physical techniques are used improperly, the players’ safety will be in jeopardy unnecessarily, and the officiating occupation will be a revolving door for replacements due to major injuries.

Not to worry. Carlisle and the NFL Caretakers will not let that happen.

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