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Calhoun Works to Put the "Magic" Back in T-Magic

By Huskerlocker @huskerlocker

Calhoun Works to put the

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By Brandon Cavanaugh
It’s no secret that while some partied or visited their stomping grounds during spring break, Taylor Martinez was out in California working on improving his skills for the upcoming season.
What isn’t as well-known is what the major points of emphasis were during the Corona native's return to his home state.
Martinez stopped by to work with Steve Calhoun who runs the Armed & Dangerous Football Camp, a program designed to help quarterbacks and wide receivers tap into their full potential.
Calhoun evaluates his pupils before devising workouts specific to each player’s needs and the offense they run. This was his first opportunity to work with Martinez, but he’s not unfamiliar with the Nebraska quarterback's career.
“I’ve been following Taylor since he was in high school, playing in Southern California. I was familiar with some of his weaknesses.”
The skill position guru stated that Martinez’s biggest flaws on day one were, “his weight transfer and not being balanced when throwing the football.”
There wasn’t much time to work with No. 3, so Calhoun identified the most significant issues and immediately got to work correcting weight exchange from Taylor’s back foot to the front while Martinez was sure to keep his front shoulder down.
“When he starts to throw, he tilts his front shoulder. His elbow starts low and if your elbow starts low in your delivery, then your hand position’s high. That’s why a lot of his footballs were sailing,” Calhoun explained.
The Cornhusker quarterback and his mentor only had three workouts to cram in a load of information, so a few key areas were underlined. “As far as his shoulders being level, I said ‘You have to readjust your release point.’”
Calhoun explained that he tells quarterbacks to imagine that they’re throwing to themselves with a release point at about eye-level.
“Since Taylor’s shoulder’s up so high, I was talking to him about lowering his release point to about off of his chin.”
One trademark of Martinez’s drop back in 2011 was that he would usually start hopping once he moved back into the pocket. Calhoun was asked if he could pinpoint a possible reason for this.
“I’m not sure. A lot of Taylor’s problems arise from the ankle injury and the toe injury he had. To his credit, he’s stayed in and played every game, but he started making adjustments with his throw to where he was stepping to not feel that pain.

(Taylor) started not stepping directly towards his target. He steps laterally to get his hips open and then tries to muscle the football because of that ankle injury,” Calhoun explained.
Since he was correcting some of Martinez’s most significant flaws, Calhoun was only able to impart about 50 percent of what he wanted to teach.
To ensure improvement continued, he had a conversation with Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck regarding his discoveries about Martinez.
"(Beck) asked me, 'What are some of the problems that you see?" and we compared notes. It was identical. He’s throwing off his back foot, his back shoulder’s dipping, he’s stepping laterally. We were on the same page.”
As Calhoun prepared to send Martinez on his way, he made sure the junior quarterback knew what was vital to his growth. “Working on the detail, the fundamentals and always have a plan.”
Finally, he gave Nebraska's two-year starter a mental checklist for when it’s time to perform: Balance when setting up, step towards the target and adjust your release point.
“I want you think about these three things even before you begin your setup,” Calhoun told Martinez. In footage recently reviewed by Beck and BTN’s Gerry DiNardo, it appears that the knowledge imparted on Martinez may be sticking.
The final test begins September 1 when the Cornhuskers go up against opposition using live ammunition instead of the standard friendly springtime blanks.
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