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CeeDee Lamb is training to be a “YAC merchant” in his fourth season with the Dallas Cowboys

has been improving as a receiver both statistically and observably since the day he became a Dallas Cowboy.

Coming out of college, he already had such a tremendous set of skills that it seemed almost criminal to fans that he was still available for the Cowboys to take with the 17th pick of the 2020 .

Still, Lamb's first few years as a pro came with a few disappointments. Nevertheless, he's worked steadily and consistently to earn the position of WR1.

And he continues to work towards elite receiver status.

Fans of the Cowboys star have watched Lamb improve his agility, route running, and ball security over the years. His workout videos have served as annual foreshadowing for how he'll win against coverage in the each year.

Now, going into his fourth season with America's Team, he's looking to add another weapon to his arsenal of abilities — an increase in his yards after catch (YAC).

On Tuesday, Nick Hicks, co-owner and director of performance at Per4orm in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, shared a of what fans can expect to see from CeeDee Lamb in the coming season.

The caption of his Twitter post read, “The first day I met [CeeDee Lamb] he said: ‘I'm trying to get that open field work like you do with RBs bro, not just routes.' — And that was music to my ears. My guy [is gonna] be a [YAC] Merchant this year.”


Only so much can be gleaned from a 45-second . But fans of CeeDee Lamb certainly extracted whatever information could be pulled from this clip.

Hicks's highlights of Lamb's workouts quickly climbed up the ranks as some of the most viewed content ever posted to Hicks's Twitter page.

The video he shared features CeeDee Lamb executing drills that would, rather than completely change his footwork, make use of his adroitness in a different way.

CeeDee Lamb has become quite good at making defenders miss.

We've seen him use hesitation, direction changes, and spins to his advantage.

However, it seems as though Hicks is aiming to improve Lamb's footwork efficiency and escapability.


Let's use the above video of CeeDee Lamb losing Jaire Alexander as an example. If we compare it to the earlier video shared by Hicks, we can see the benefits of Hicks' training.

It's a before-catch scenario vs an after-catch scenario, but let's just focus on the footwork.

When CeeDee “shook Jaire Alexander out his cleats,” as Kevin Gray Jr eloquently stated, he made contact with the ground five times from when he faced Alexander to when he completely broke away from him.

Also, even though his feet were moving quickly, his vertical velocity slowed down. It essentially paused until he moved laterally. Then, he took off down the field again.

In the drills performed with Hicks, we see CeeDee making contact with the ground only twice before taking off vertically. This is important for a couple of different reasons.

First, two-foot contacts — as opposed to five — make for more efficient maneuvering.

He's choosing his new direction quicker and maintaining more vertical velocity.

I'm stating the obvious when I say statistical yards in the NFL are only counted in one direction. So, when it comes to establishing himself as a “YAC merchant,” the ability to maintain speed and get more distance up the field will be essential.

The other reason foot contact efficiency is so important is because less ground contact means less wear and tear on the body.

Two or three contacts — as opposed to four or five — may not sound like much, but the difference will add up over the course of a season.

Additionally, escaping defenders faster could even mean less contact with other players.

All of this could potentially equate to a healthier CeeDee Lamb. It could even mean an increase in the amount of time he's able to spend on the field each game.


Both types of maneuvering seen in the above videos are useful skills to have in different situations. We'll probably still see CeeDee shake dudes out their cleats to get open. The same concept with more efficient movements could be beneficial, too.

Focusing on yards after catch, though, might be particularly useful in the coming season.

No official details about the offensive scheme have been shared, yet. However, those familiar with 's play-calling have predicted that the Cowboys will be running a West Coast-style in 2023.

In other words, the ball will come out of the 's hands quickly.

We'll also see a lot of short, horizontal passing routes.

Receivers in the West Coast Offense have to be able to get separation and get open quickly. They need to be able to make catches in traffic. It's also imperative that their timing is coordinated with the quarterback.

There was even a time when the West Coast Offense was described as a scheme where running backs and tight ends are used as receivers.

In this style, efficient footwork and quickly escaping multiple defenders are vital skills.

Also, yards after catch will be crucial for helping the offense convert first downs and get in the end zone.

So, for CeeDee, whether he takes off vertically or he's on a horizontal passing route, his work on efficient lateral movement should serve him well.

Lamb is already known for doing damage as a . His role in Mike McCarthy's offense shouldn't feel very foreign. What he's working on with Hicks will ensure that he continues down the path from good to great to elite.


According to , CeeDee Lamb's average yards after catch per reception were 4.2, 5.5, and 4.6 yards in 2020, 2021, and 2022 respectively. For comparison, Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings averaged 4.9 YAC in 2022.

CeeDee ranked 6th among other NFL receivers in both total yards in 2022 (1,359) and total touchdowns (9).

CeeDee Lamb is training to be a "YAC merchant" in has fourth season with the Dallas Cowboys

As a professional, CeeDee Lamb is a two-time Pro Bowler. He was also named a second-team All-Pro in 2022.

Obviously, he's established a reputation as one of the best receivers in the game right now. Judging from his work ethic, however, CeeDee is nowhere near satisfied with his stats or accolades up to this point.

Lamb has sent one consistent message over the past couple of years: He won't rest until he helps the Cowboys win it all.

And even that might not be enough to slow him down.

If the footage from Nick Hicks is any indication, should expect to see even more catches, touchdowns, celebrations, and jaw-dropping plays from CeeDee Lamb in the coming season.

Jazz Monet
Jazz Monet
Sports culture analyst. Sports competition enthusiast. Host of Bitches Love Sports podcast. Personal trainer. Roller derby athlete and trainer.

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