CLEVELAND, Ohio — Only a month after the season ended, Browns wide receiver Amari Cooper can be found in the boxing ring.
Video of Cooper sparring at a gym emerged recently on Twitter. But what is it between football players and boxing in the offseason?
For starters, football players use boxing during the offseason to help develop hand skills that can translate onto the field. When boxing for a certain period, this increases the stamina, which football players can never get enough of.
Next is the quickness, or the sudden reflex in this case to block and hit in boxing. It translates on the field to creating separation from the defensive player on the line scrimmage after the snap, because the physical contact is always in play.
Lastly comes the hand-eye coordination, because the same way a boxer has to keep an eye on their opponent’s hands, receivers watch the football when battling a beaming sun, snow flakes, or the hands of their opponents.
It’s the type of endurance workout that tests your toughness while giving low impact on your lower body. It’s no surprise former players such as Le’Veon Bell and Adrian Peterson partake in boxing events after retiring from football.
If you kept up with the daily posts during training camp last summer, you likely read the story published by Dan Labbe on Sept. 6. During this 15 minute interview, Cooper not only spoke of his technician-like mindset when it comes to his routes, but even moved his feet the entire time as though he was on the field.
The four-time Pro Bowler went on to finish his 2022 season top 10 in total touchdowns (9), top 15 in receiving yards (1,160) and yards per reception (14.9).
It all connects to what makes Cooper one of the best route runners in the league, and why he is such a valuable asset for the Browns.