Bills’ Dawson Knox working with vision specialist, eyeing big leap in Year 3
Updated Jun 07, 2021; Posted Jun 07, 2021
By Matt Parrino | firstname.lastname@example.org
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While Knox was out in California he decided to cram more work into his schedule, linking up with Performance Vision Coach Ryan Harrison. He said working on his hands and his dependability as a pass catcher has been his number one focus this offseason. “I don’t want to be dropping touchdowns and I know no one wants to see that,” Knox said.
Harrison has primarily worked in baseball since he started training athletes 22 years ago, but has started to accept more football players in the last two years. He recently worked with Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and said the goal of his training is to get players’ eye muscles to fire quicker. Through repetition and various tools using balls and different objects, Harrison trains players’ eyes to work more completely and to make sure the brain is getting information from both eyes and not just one.
“We improved (Dawson’s) depth perception and his tracking ability,” Harrison told Syracuse.com. “There is some software that we use and some hands-on, manual things and he’ll do a lot of movement with his body while he’s identifying and recognizing things while he’s processing information. We do it statically and dynamically.”
“You’d feel like you’re almost hypnotized,” Knox explained. “You never understand that your eyes are muscles too so they get tired. We’d do stuff that made you feel like you need to take a nap just the way your eyes were working.”
Harrison said that when you consider that dropped passes are about focus or sight issues, it’s a skill set that pass catchers can improve. Knox showed up because he wanted to see what he was missing, and Harrison said he’s the type of athlete that is trying to find incremental ways to take his game to the next level.
“Part of it is because we’re lazy humans and we get visually lazy. So it’s really - my experience with Dawson - is evaluating how his eyes and his brain interact and his hands and his feet, and how they interact. Then what can we do to enhance that and improve those skill sets?” Harrison said. “Then how do we get tactically smart and how do we use these eyes to perform? How do we look at the ball differently and how to look at the defense differently? How to read the quickness of the game and then we talk about how to slow it down?”