In part 1 of our feature on Sport Science, we looked through the eyes of science and biomechanics at ball striking sports such as baseball, softball, and golf. Today, in the second part of the feature, we will look at a sport where the target being struck, is the athlete himself.
American Football is often considered the most demanding sport there is, both physically and mentally. Football players are incredibly strong and athletic, performing feats most of us could only dream of. At the same time they play under immense pressure, where the outcome of each play could be the difference between victory and defeat.
Every Sunday, millions of viewers gather in front of their TVs to watch these amazing athletes compete. And often we find ourselves wondering, do we have what it takes to be a professional football player? Lucky for us, Sport Science is here to answer just that question. And in order to do so, they have recruited stars like Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Chad Johnson, Ray Lewis, and Jerry Rice, the best of the best of the NFL.
We will look at each position on the football field and find out just what it takes to become a premier football player, using science and the study of bio-mechanics.
The Offensive Lineman
Offensive linemen are the biggest men on the football field. They are in charge of protecting the Quarterback, and also creating running lanes for the Running backs. However, very little focus is paid to what these men actually have to deal with. This episode takes us into the line of scrimmage to see what the offensive linemen have to deal with on every play of the game. You think you can handle Kris Jenkins? Just watch.
It is amazing to see the amount of technique that it requires to be an effective lineman. Not only are these guys big and strong, they also have solid fundamentals which help them use their strength to its maximum potential.
These guys are the secondary line of defense. They are fast, aggressive, and are a nightmare to Quarterbacks in a blitz or Running backs in the open field. In this episode we look at one of the best Linebackers in the game, Ray Lewis, and see just how much power he can hit with.
There we have it, Ray Lewis hit harder than a battering ram. Now imagine him running at you full speed on a football field…
The Running back
This is the blue collar grunt work position on the football field. It requires extreme toughness to carry the football and run straight into the teeth of the defense to gain those precious yards. The fear of any running back is the fumble. Therefore running backs are required to have great strength in order to hold onto the ball. But just how strong is their grip? Rudi Johnson steps up to the challenge, and the results are shocking.
Running backs do not only use their strength, but also great technique to make sure the ball is secure. Using the four point harness and keeping the ball tight will go a long way to reduce the number of fumbles of any aspiring running back.
The Wide receiver
The wide receiver is one of the more glamorous positions on a football team. They are the ones running full speed down field, and making spectacular catches for touchdowns. Our previous list looks at the best 10 catches in football, and will give you an idea just how athletic these guys really are. In this episode of Sport Science, two of the best wide receivers to have ever played the game, Chad Johnson and Jerry Rice, steps into the laboratory to demonstrate their athletic abilities.
Great lessons for wide receivers out there. Increase your range to become a bigger target, and use your fingertips to pull in those tough catches.
He is the leader, the field general, and sometimes the heart and soul of a football team. Great Quarterbacks can lead a team to greatness, and poor quarterbacks can doom their team to mediocrity. A quarterback has the most responsibility of anyone on the field. They have to call the plays, read the defense, make adjustments, and when that’s all done, they have to throw the ball accurately with defensive lineman and linebackers charging him at full sprint. No wonder even the best quarterbacks only complete 60% of his passes.
Drew Brees is one of the best passing QBs in history. He is the 2nd QB ever to throw for 5000 yards in a single season, and is the 2008 offensive player of the year. If anyone can hit a bulls eye, he can. Drew attempts to hit a bulls eye from 20 yards. And the results are astonishing.
Drew’s accuracy is unbelievable. Proving that professional football players are truly amazing athletes, and their multi-million dollar contacts are probably worth the work they have put into the game.
We saw a great defensive lineman, and we saw a great quarterback. But what if we put them against each other? Ben Roethlisberger and Luis Castillo go head to head to tell us the answers.
As Al Pacino says in his pregame speech, it really is a game of inches.
We’re getting to the heart of the football season. The games are starting to get intense and the rivalries are heating up. And what’s a better way to get more football action than to watch some of the best videos of football?
Some people prefer the running game. They love to see the running back blast through a hole and juke defenders out of their cleats. But I would bet that most people love to watch the long passes. When that ball leaves the QB’s hands, anything can happen. It could get tipped by a lineman, it could get intercepted by a corner, but best of all, it could result in an amazing catch that makes us wonder if we should trust our eyes. Because what we saw was unbelievable.
The reason professional sports are such a big draw is because of that potential of a great moment, when we see something that goes beyond ordinary human capabilities. When a moment like that comes, we just have to say WOW and admire the athletes for their amazing gifts.
And that is why this list has been created, to remember all those great moments in football history.
Some of these catches you might have seen, but most of them are probably relatively unknown. They are taken from both NFL, CFL, and NCAA football games. For the most part the timing of the games (Superbowl, playoffs, bowl games) did not play a part in the selection. They were mostly selected for the pure athletic abilities of the players making the catch.
Without further delay, here are the best catches in football.
This catch required an insane amount of coordination. For anyone who plays sports, it is incredibly tough to be running facing one direction, and then suddenly change momentum and turn. Harrison not only does that, but jumps to reach for the ball. He manages to make enough contact to stop the ball’s motion, essentially tapping it to himself, and catches it with both hands while falling and still keeping both feet in bounds.
Bonus points for spiking the ball and getting flagged for it.
There are some great one handed catches, but this one must go down as one of the best. He goes up, catches it one handed over the defender, then is able to maintain grip on the ball while falling and cradle it to his body before making contact with the ground. The timing required on the grab itself is incredible, not to mention being able to hold on to it while falling.
It was so good it didn’t get reviewed.
Great WR are great for the speed, agility, and balance. But what if your defender is as tight as possible, you have no room to maneuver, and you’ve lost your balance? Well, you just gotta reach out with one hand and make an incredible grab.
Does this catch beat out Reggie Wayne’s catch? That would be a tough call, but I think it does.
It’s up, it’s going, the corner back has it in his hands, oh wait! The corner just got posterized. Kevin Curtis jumps over the defender, scoops the ball with his right hand, and takes away what would have been an interception.
This catch makes the list because Curtis was out of position and boxed out for the catch, but uses his athletic ability to out jump the corner and also make an incredible catch.
Johnson probably doesn’t even need two hands to play football. He cuts across the middle, stops on a dime, jumps backwards, and hauls in a bullet with one hand.
This is one of the best. He’s running left, he looks up at the ball and sees that it’s over his head. He turns 180 degrees to his left, jumps in the air and grabs the ball one handed, and is up so high that he rotates another 180 degrees before making contact with the ground.
He would have made a great gymnast.
The “Helmet catch” All Giant fans will remember and love this one. It’s the Superbowl, it’s 4th quarter, the Giants are down, and it’s their last drive. Manning almost goes down, but manages to escape. He launches a 40 yard prayer, to David Tyree well covered by Harrison. Tyree and Harrison both go up, Tyree gets his hands on it but one arm is pulled away, so he uses his helmet as the other hand to stabilize the ball before getting both hands on it again.
Okay, the timing of this catch did play a small part in the selection. It’s still an amazing catch.
It’s a hug! It’s a catch! It’s a touchdown!!! This will remain one of the best catches of all time. The defender is literally on top of him, between him and the ball. There is no other possible way to make this catch than to put your arms around the defender and catch it on his back. Not only that, he is able to hold on to the ball as they both flip over into the endzone.
The great thing about the catch is that he loses sight of the ball right before the catch as it goes behind the defender’s back.
Some say it’s the best, some say it’s the luckiest. Whatever it is, I bet you will not see another catch like it, EVER. He literally uses every part of his lower body to make this catch. It can’t be explained, just watch.
The amount of focus you need to be aware of the ball while you’re turning and the ball is bouncing off the back of your legs is just insane. Even Sport Science, the show that studies sports with the latest in technology could not recreate that catch.
No doubt the most athletic catch EVER. It’s so good you might think it’s fake. Baptiste is facing the QB, but the ball is over his head. What do you do? You jump straight back, catch the ball one handed, and go down in history as one of the greatest catches ever.
It’s so good it deserves to be watched a dozen more times. Maybe then you’ll believe it happened.
Wow, now those were amazing. The only thing more amazing would be to watch all those catches live. It takes dedication and so much hard work for these athletes to get to where they are. They have honed their bodies and minds to such a degree that they can perform feats that can be said to be super human. I am glad to be able to turn on my TV on Sunday and watch these athletes go to work creating unforgettable moments right in front of my eyes.