Jets players report to training camp this week.
Before practices begin, you will hear about players passing their conditioning test. Players need to pass this test to take the practice field.
As the name would indicate, this is a test to make sure the players are in proper physical condition.
The specifics of the test vary from team to team. The test also might vary by position. Each coach has his own criteria.
I wasn’t able to find any information on the specifics of the test Robert Saleh gave Jets players last year. Years ago the details of Rex Ryan’s Jets conditioning test were published in the New York Times.
The Jets’ conditioning test consists of three types of interval sprints for linemen, the so-called mids (linebackers, tight ends and quarterbacks) and skill players (receivers, running backs and defensive backs).
The linemen run 20 40-yard dashes, and each must be under six seconds. There is a 30-second rest between each 40, and the sprints are split into two sets of 10 with a three-minute break in between.
The mids must run 20 50-yard dashes in under seven seconds, and the skill players need to run 20 60-yard dashes under eight seconds with the same 30-second rest between sprints and the same three-minute break between sets.
Players must run a total of 900 yards in six legs. Each set consists of 25 yards out and back three times. They must finish that heat of 150 yards under a designated time — 32 seconds for the offensive and defensive linemen, 29 seconds for the tight ends and linebackers and 27 seconds for the wide receivers, running backs and defensive backs. If you go over that time in any of the six legs, you flunk the test and have to take it over.
The break between each set is 64 seconds.
A few years back the specifics of the Patriots conditioning test became public.
“We’ll [skill position players] run 60 [yards] in eight seconds. Tight ends, running backs, they’ll run 50s in seven seconds and then linemen run 40s in like seven seconds,” cornerback Eric Rowe said. “It’s getting the same amount of work, and everybody’s still got to push, they’ve just got less yards. If you’ve been running it should be no problem.”
Players who fail the test go onto the physically unable to perform list. To get off the PUP list, a player has to pass the test.
You might remember ten years ago the Jets traded for Carolina tackle Jeff Otah. Otah was unable to pass the team’s conditioning test in multiple tries. The trade was voided, and Otah was returned to Carolina.
Over the course of the offseason there is a tendency for fans and the media to become breathless over how players are training. It frequently takes on melodramatic tones. Is a player who skips OTAs going to be ready for the season? How about the amazing workout video another player posted to social media?
In reality every player in the NFL who takes the field passes one of these conditioning tests. As it turns out, everybody in the league is in phenomenal physical condition.