06/24/2011 11:05 AM
With 180 points on the season, WR Greg Orton is averaging over 13 points/game. PHOTO BY GARY PETERSON
Greg Orton has been playing out of his mind this season. He currently lead the Shock in receiving yards (1,311), receptions (99) and touchdowns (30). But he didn't just happend to be one of the best AFL receivers this season; he worked for it. Since the end of last season Orton has been preparing for this year to help the Shock repeat and increase his chances of one day achieving his ultimate goal: to play in the NFL.
You’re the Shock’s leading receiver. How do you mentally prepare for each game knowing you have a bullseye on your back?
I think just the biggest thing is preparing for the other team, seeing what schemes they do. How they treat other leading receivers, if they try to take them out of the offense. But really just preparing on what we did during the week, make sure we have a good practice. Paying attention to detail, all the little things.
Similar to the shape of a bulls-eye, is the number zero. Why do you wear the number?
I wear it to motivate me, to deal with the adversity in the football world. People have overlooked me so I wore it because they thought nothing of me. Now, I just wear it to motivate me more.
Last season you had a great showing in the playoffs, how did you manage to carry that over to this season?
I just wanted to be the best receiver this year. What I did was I took two weeks off after the ArenaBowl and dedicated everyday to getting better. Kyle Rowley stayed out here and we would throw everyday. I went down to Rockwood and trained my butt off. My goal is to be the best receiver here with the Shock, and then go to the UFL and the NFL. I know it’s going to take a lot of dedication to reach those goals, but I’m OK with that.
You’ve had four different quarterbacks throw to you this year, but it hasn’t stopped your production. Why?
I think practice helped, and staying late after practice. Before the game it was all about getting the timing down with them, everyone we had threw the ball pretty well. Just getting the timing down and building up the chemistry is what helped.
Last week you faced Defensive Player of the Year candidate Vic Hall. What was it like matching up against him?
It was fun. Anytime you have a guy on the other side that’s hyped up and pretty good you want to bring your best to him. We prepared well, Coach Keefe and Coach Olson had us prepared to know what his weaknesses were so we could attack him aggressively. We knew he was going to go man to man so I went out to have a good game against him.
You have had great receivers around you all season, how has that helped you succeed the way you have?
I think we’re just a close knit group. We bring a lot of energy, and have a lot of fun. It definitely makes it comfortable playing with all those guys. We have become like a band of brothers that you want to give your best for each other every week. They’re all very talented guys and it’s been fun playing with them.
How much has it helped you to have Andy Olson, a former receiver, as your Offensive Coordinator?
It’s definitely helped out a lot. He’s hard on me about my routes, and he always letts me know what I’m doing wrong. He’s helping me with my route running. He’s really being a leader out there not only in practice but in the games, too. He really holds me accountable for a lot of things I do. It’s just going to carry over to the next level.
What are you doing to prepare yourself for the VooDoo?
Really I’m just getting iced up, in the YMCA getting in the pool everyday. Around this time of the season, the body is really beat up so I’m just trying to stay in shape. Watching a lot of film. They have a good secondary so I’m making sure I’m practicing the way I want to play in the game.