We're several days late to this, yes, but it's worth highlighting the lengths both Tyson Jackson and Ra'Shede Hageman are going to in order to improve.
The two are training with NFL reporter and mixed martial arts guru Jay Glazer, who is known for his punishing training regimens and his utter lack of regard for whatever training methods NFL players were using before they met him. Jackson and Hageman were apparently impressed by what Glazer did at minicamp.
Dan Quinn’s Falcons asked Glazer and several members of his staff to work with players on MMA technique during minicamp in Atlanta, and two defensive linemen followed him back to Hollywood—Ra’Shede Hageman and Tyson Jackson.
"This is the hardest s— I’ve ever done," Hageman said between speed and weight training on Thursday. "I’m here to make football easier."
As Vaughn McClure notes in his most recent piece, Jackson's being considered for a defensive end role in this defense and needs all the quickness and quality footwork he can gin up. Hageman, meanwhile, is trying to harness his considerable physical talent into a major role and potential dominance over the rest of the puny mortals in the NFL, and getting into great shape is an excellent start.
I did caution you the other day to be careful of the "best shape in his life" story line, and I'll repeat that here for Jackson. T-Jax has long been an effective run stopper, but asking him to drop weight, shift to a new position and deliver as more of a pass rushing threat is a major change, and while Glazer's training is going to help, it's a question of whether it'll be enough to vault Jackson into success in that new role. I'd keep expectations low for that, though of course I'm rooting for him to do well.
Still, though, it's always encouraging to see players take their futures seriously and seek genuine improvement, and Glazer's focus on greatness is particularly appealing for Hageman. We'll see what dividends this training pays.
Hat tip to reader fazaam and moderator illusiveflaw for bringing this article to our attention.