One of the pieces of news that we often hear about during OTAs and training camp is how a certain player has gained or lost weight. Weight is such a big issue in the NFL given the importance of speed for some players, power for others, and a combination of the both for even more players. As more and more players become bigger, faster and stronger, weight remains a big deal.
"I needed to, just to take those hits, blocking, different things like that," James said. "I needed to get a little stronger. I really worked hard towards that this offseason."
James stands 5'8, and speed has been the name of the game for him. We'll want to keep an eye out to see how that impacts his speed. James told the media today that he feels much more explosive.
This is a big offseason for James because of the work he gets to do with the coaching staff. Due to his late graduation date at Oregon, James could not take part in the 49ers offseason workout program last year. He has had a full offseason with the coaching staff, which bodes well for a boost in production this coming season.
Just as important as his running back work is his practice as a punt returner. He is sounding confident about it, and confidence really is a big first step in becoming a big time punt returner.