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Beyond The Visor: Saints Strength & Conditioning Coach Dan Dalrymple

We're going to keep Hans' series of "Better Know a Saints Coach" posts going today by learning a little more about S & C coach Dan Dalrymple. You can read Hans' first two posts of the series here and here.

After 17 seasons of working in a similar capacity at the University of Miami, Dalrymple came to the Saints in 2006. He usually doesn't get much recognition from Who Dats until the team suffers a spate of injuries, and then the resounding cry is "Off with his head!" Should those injuries be attributed to Dalrymple's coaching or to just plain old bad luck?

Make the jump to read more about him and decide for yourself.

Here's a little bit on Big Dan from the Saints' official website:

By designing extensive workout programs – crafted to the needs of every player as well as the demands of each position group – strength & conditioning coach Dan Dalrymple has been a key member of the Saints organization since arriving in 2006. His responsibilities and influence both in the weight room and on the field remain constant throughout the entire year.

The efforts of Dalrymple and his staff have played a key role in the club’s success over the past five seasons. His routines, focused on building and maintaining strength and stamina, while minimizing injuries have paid dividends for the Saints. Since 2006, New Orleans has put together six winning streaks of three games or more, including a franchise-record 13-game win streak in 2009 and a six-game run in 2010. Ten players have been selected to the Pro Bowl during his tenure, seven for the first time in their careers.

In 2009’s Super Bowl XLIV Championship season, evidence of the conditioning of the club was their stamina throughout games, as they outscored opponents 139-48 in the fourth quarter, finishing first in the NFL in both points scored and allowed in the final period. He was named as the recipient of the Cybex Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year by the Professional Football Strength and Conditioning Coaches Society and the Samson Strength and Conditioning NFL Coach of the Year award from American Football Monthly.

Despite losing several players to injured reserve during the championship 2009 season, those who did survive were pretty effective late in games. Dalrymple deserves some credit for that. Maybe the special "Pure Power" mouthpieces they wore had something to do with it too. The Saints were reportedly the only team wearing those in 2009. I never heard more about them after that season. Did the rest of the league catch on and use them too in 2010?

Here's a little more on Dalrymple being named the recipient of the 2009 Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year Award by the Professional Football Strength and Conditioning Coaches Society:

The award was based on a vote by Dalrymple's NFL peers in the strength and conditioning field.

"While I'm honored to receive this award, I regard it as an achievement by our team as a whole," Dalrymple said. "First I would like to thank Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton for providing me with such a high-character and hard-working group of players to work with. Our entire roster gave us an outstanding effort in the weight room and in conditioning from the start of the offseason program through our final game. I would also like to recognize the hard work of my assistants, Adam Bailey and Charles Byrd."

Highly active in his field, Dalrymple has been certified by the National Strength & Conditioning Association since 1991. He's been a finalist for their coach of the year award five times. He's one of only two NFL coaches in his field to be certified by the Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches Association as a Master Strength & Conditioning Coach, also earned two certifications for USA Weightlifting that designates him as qualified to work with athletes in Olympic weightlifting and as a sports performance specialist.

So, how does Coach Dalrymple approach trying to avoid player injuries? Here's another site with some information on that:

The quest to prevent or manage injuries has become the "Holy Grail" of the sports performance industry. Like most professionals, Dan has studied this issue in detail and has earned nearly every certification available in the strength and conditioning field. Every possible solution raised more questions. One of the biggest ones is why do athletes get injured? As a coach, he does his best to put together the perfect program, seeking balance, tweaking different routines and exercises. Bigger, stronger, faster, and better conditioned athletes are less likely to get hurt. Or so it would seem....

Dr. Joe LaCaze introduced Dan to his revolutionary machine "The Rotex", which targets rotational joint stability and strength to radically improve performance and injury prevention. Since then a new paradigm has became clear. Compensation patterns developed over a lifetime of activity greatly contribute to poor performance and athletic injuries. These weaknesses can ultimately create inefficiencies and injuries. Therapy and conditioning have been the traditional course of action to bring the body back to health. But, this course falls short of correcting the initial problem.

Bang it here for more info on "The Rotex."

Bang it here for a podcast featuring Coach Dalrymple.

Bang it here to check out his two part video series on pro strength and conditioning.

Now that we're done banging, what do you think of Dalrymple and his effectiveness as the S & C coach for the Saints over the past five years? I remember being one of those Who Dats during this time asking what the f*** is this guy doing and why are so many Saints players going on the IR? After learning more about him and his obvious great supply of knowledge and experience in his field, I'm a little more inclined to chalk all of that up to bad luck. Of course, once injuries start piling up again, I may change my mind and go grab a torch and pitchfork. What do you think of him?