DK Metcalf is a warrior on the football field. A physical phenomenon equipped with a dangerous combination of strength and speed, Metcalf can burn past any coverage thrown at him and toss aside any defender that gets in his way.
But Metcalf’s superhuman abilities weren’t just given to him. In fact, the road to becoming the athlete he is today was filled with bumps and potholes, including a career-threatening neck fracture he sustained in college that left him wondering if he’d ever play football again.
While rehabbing from the injury, Metcalf had to dig deep and harness the strong work ethic instilled in him at a young age by his father Terrence, who was an offensive lineman for nine years in the league.
“My work hard mentality came from my dad,” Metcalf said. “He taught me to never stop working and to never quit. Even when I feel like quitting, I know I’ve still got more left in the tank because of that.”
Once fully healthy, Metcalf immediately became a major problem for the rest of the league. During his first professional season, he racked up the third-most receiving yards of any rookie (900) and had the second-most receptions for a rookie in Seattle team history (58).
“I came in and I worked that first year,” Metcalf said. “I didn’t want to be labeled as a rookie and I didn’t want to make rookie mistakes. I wanted to come in and be a vet, act like a vet, and play like a vet. That’s how I went about my business.”
Metcalf also learned a lot from some of the vets he strived to emulate every day. He prides himself on being a student of the game and took notes from some of the best to ever do it.
“I watch and study other receivers like Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones, and Odell Beckham Jr.,” Metcalf said. “Those guys are very successful in the league so I’m just looking to see what they do well and try and implement every little aspect of their game into mine.”
And even after a successful rookie campaign, Metcalf knows his business is far from finished. He wants to be one of those wide receivers to be in the “best ever” conversation. So, he’s setting his goals high and expectations for himself even higher.
“I’ve got big dreams and aspirations. I want to make a Pro Bowl. I want to win a Super Bowl. I want to be top three, top two, no, top one of the league in every receiver category,” Metcalf said. “I want to be great and I want to be remembered as one of the best to ever do it.”
DK Metcalf is determined to reach the pinnacle of his sport. And with his unmatched physicality and unwavering mental toughness, heaven help anyone who tries to get in his way.
Shop our collection of Under Armour football products that DK uses to elevate his game to an otherworldly level here.
It may be hard to believe, but during the 2011 NFL Draft, receiver Doug Baldwin was passed on 254 times. Every single team had numerous chances to draft the future go-to wideout but they went a different route again and again. Obviously hindsight is 20/20, and he’s a much better player today than he was at that time, but going undrafted is a key page in Doug’s story. Heck, it could probably be its own chapter. It has been his greatest motivation, the fuel he’s used to overcome every career high and low.
“My teammates used to joke about that when I first got to Seattle,” Doug explained. “I would constantly talk about going undrafted and they’d say how tired they were of hearing about it. But that’s my passion.”
The moment you have been waiting for all year is finally here: it’s football season! Diehard fans and fantasy fanatics, as you await kick off, take a look at our break down of the top 5 teams favored to contend for a Super Bowl this season (in no particular order).
The Panthers made it look easy last season. They lost only one game during the regular season, and Cam Newton became the coveted star quarterback Panther fans hoped he would. Many people also seem to forget they were missing their No. 1 receiver in Kelvin Benjamin the entire season due to an injury. The 6-foot-5 Benjamin broke out during his rookie campaign in 2014, with 73 catches for over 1000 yards and nine touchdowns. With a healthy Benjamin joining a 15-1 team from last season that didn’t lose many players to free agency, the odds for another strong season in Carolina are high.
Year in and year out, the Seahawks boast one of the toughest defenses in the NFL. Add that to one of the best dual threat quarterbacks in the league in Russell Wilson, an aggressive but successful coach in Pete Carroll, and one of the toughest home venues to play at in the league, and you have a recipe for success. If the young running backs can step up to fill the void of the loss of Marshawn Lynch, and Wilson continues to improve his young receiving core, expect the Seahawks to once again be playing ball late in the postseason.
Despite continuing to get older offensively, with Carson Palmer turning 37 in December and Larry Fitzgerald recently turning 33, the Cardinals continue to be a powerhouse in the NFC. Boasting one of the quickest and hardest hitting defenses, led by safety Tyrann Mathieu, and an offense that likes to score via the big play, the Cardinals were an easy pick. As long as Palmer can stay healthy and gets the ball to his strong receiving core—including Fitzgerald, John Brown, Michael Floyd—as well as his young and talented running back, David Johnson, you can pencil in the Cardinals as a contender once again.
New England Patriots
Yes, Tom Brady is suspended for the first four games of the season. But life will go on in New England as long as Bill Belichick is at the helm, and that’s for sure. The Patriots defensive and offensive lines once again are rock solid, and Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman continue to put up big numbers year after year as pesky slot receivers for Brady to throw to. Along with this, If Rob Gronkowski can avoid injury for another season, he is just another huge asset for Brady on offense. Look at it how you want, but the Patriots haven’t won less than 12 regular-season games in seven years, so don’t expect that to change this year with the AFC wide-open.
Green Bay Packers
One of the best pitch-and-catch combinations in football, Jordy Nelson and Aaron Rodgers, will be reunited in 2016 after Nelson tore his ACL in 2015. The injury allowed defenses to focus on the rest of the Packers’ targets and slow Rodgers and the passing attack down. With a healthy Nelson back as a No. 1 receiver, and a slimmed down Eddie Lacy in the backfield, Rodgers should have no shortage of weapons. In addition to the offense, the defense also looks poised to have a strong season as Clay Matthews moves back to his natural outside linebacker position with more opportunities to rush the quarterback. To add on to the other positives, a young defensive secondary returning with more experience should only help put the Packers in position for a playoff run once again.
As the 2016 season gets underway, there is no way to truly know what will happen. Maybe a sleeper team steps up and makes a playoff run, or maybe the teams you expect to be there in the end will be there after all. No matter who you are cheering for this season, make sure to rep them the right way all season long with our biggest and best selection of fan gear at eastbay.com.
words // Brandon Richard
And then there were two.
Following one of the most anticipated Conference Championship weekends in NFL history, we now have our two participants for Super Bowl XLVIII. The league’s top-ranked defense will square off against the top-ranked offense when the Seattle Seahawks face the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium on February 2.
The Broncos became AFC Champions by getting the best of an old rival — Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Denver thoroughly outplayed the Patriots for most of the game, holding off a late rally to win 26-16. Peyton Manning led the way for Denver by completing 32 of his 43 passes for 400 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Things were a bit more chippy in Seattle, where the Seahawks continued their home dominance with a 23-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. ‘Beast Mode’ Marshawn Lynch racked up 109 yards rushing, but it was Richard Sherman and the Seattle defense that forced two late-game turnovers to seal the deal.
Now the stage is set for East Rutherford. The former AFC West foes were arguably the two best teams in football all season long and will now go head-to-head for all the marbles. Russell Wilson will attempt to put his name among the game’s elite, while Manning will be looking to add to one of football’s greatest legacies. What’s your early prediction for the big game?
Before the showdown, and this weekend’s Pro Bowl, check out some of the football cleats that hit the field during this year’s Conference Championship games in today’s NFL Watch.
Vernon Davis // Under Armour Nitro III
Michael Crabtree // Air Jordan 12 Low PE
Colin Kaepernick // Nike Vapor Carbon 2014 Elite
Anquan Boldin // Nike Super Speed Low
Russell Wilson // Nike Lunar Superbad Pro
Marshawn Lynch // Nike Vapor Talon Elite
Earl Thomas // Air Jordan 6 PE
Richard Sherman // Nike Vapor Carbon 2014 Elite
Tom Brady // Under Armour Football Cleats
LeGarrette Blount // Nike Lunar Superbad Pro
Julian Edelman // Nike Lunar Superbad Pro
Demaryius Thomas // Nike Lunar Superbad Pro Low
Knowshon Moreno // Reebok Zig Blaze
Wes Welker // Nike Alpha Pro
Peyton Manning // Reebok Zig Blaze
images via Ronald Martinez, Jamie Squire for Getty Images; Matthew Emmons, Kirby Lee, Joe Nicholson, Mark J. Rebilas, Kyle Terada for USA Today Sports; Jack Dempsey for AP Photo
words // Brandon Richard
When trying to single out the best team in the NFL at this point, it would be difficult to overlook the Seattle Seahawks, who made their most impressive statement of the season at home against the New Orleans Saints last night.
In front of a raucous crowd that set a Guinness World Record for noise, the ‘Hawks outplayed the Saints in every way imaginable en route to a surprisingly lopsided 34-7 victory. Quarterback Russell Wilson led the way (and threw his name in the MVP discussion) by completing 22 of his 30 passes for 310 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also was the team’s leading rusher with 47 yards on 8 carries.
Equally as important was Seattle’s vaunted defense, which simply shut down one of today’s most potent offenses. In the first quarter, Cliff Avril strip-sacked Drew Brees, which led to a 33-yard touchdown return by Michael Bennett. Brees passed for just 147 yards, his lowest total of the season.
This Sunday, the Seahawks travel to San Francisco, where they’ll play the 49ers in a marquee game with all kinds of playoff implications.
In other Week 13 games, the Detroit Lions took control of the NFC North after beating the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving; the Denver Broncos put some distance between themselves in the Kansas City Chiefs after a win in Arrowhead; Nick Foles continued his hot streak in an Eagles win over the Cardinals; the Carolina Panthers eased by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their eighth-straight win; Tom Brady and the New England Patriots rallied again in Houston; the San Francisco 49ers slowed down the St. Louis Rams in Michael Crabtree’s return; the Dallas Cowboys edged by the Oakland Raiders to maintain their NFC East lead; the Cincinnati Bengals topped the San Diego Chargers to remain ahead of the pack in the AFC North; and the New York Giants kept their playoff hopes alive with a win in Washington Sunday night.
Take a look at some of the football cleats that hit the field in Week 13 in today’s NFL Watch.
Russell Wilson // Nike Lunar Superbad Pro
Marshawn Lynch // Nike Vapor Talon Elite
Reggie Bush // Nike CJ81 Elite TD
Lance Dunbar // Nike Alpha Pro TD
Joe Flacco // Nike Huarache 4
Rob Gronkowski // Nike Zoom Hyperfly
Ace Sanders // Nike Zoom Vapor Carbon Fly 2
Darius Heyward-Bey // Nike Lunar Superbad Pro
Greg Jennings // Nike Super Speed TD
Brian Hartline // Nike Vapor Pro Low
LeSean McCoy // Nike Lunar Superbad Pro
Steve Smith // Under Armour Mercenary 2
Matt Ryan // Nike Zoom Code Elite Turf
Michael Crabtree // Air Jordan 12 PE
Rey Maualuga // Under Armour Nitro Icon
Andre Brown // Nike Alpha Pro Low
images via Yahoo / Getty Images (Al Bello, Stephen Dunn, Jonathan Ferrey, Hannah Foslien, Grant Halverson, Bob Levey, Andy Lyons, McClatchy Tribute, Patrick McDermott, Maddie Meyer, Gregory Shamus, Rick Stewart, Matt Sullivan) / USA Today (Matthew Emmons, Kyle Terada)