When linebacker Martrell Spaight reflects on his tenure with the Redskins, he stops and smiles. Entering his fourth season with the team, there are still plenty of moments that make it seem like his rookie year.
“It really has [gone by quickly],” Spaight said. “It’s just been flying.”
Part of that feeling might be attributed to his full bill of health, something that hasn’t always been in strong supply since he entered the league three years ago. Between lingering shoulder issues and an ankle injury that cropped up last season, Spaight hasn’t been able to put together an entire year on the field. It’s part of what prompted a change in his offseason habits.
Here’s photos from the Washington Redskins OTAs practice that took place Wednesday, June 6, 2018, at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park, presented by Loudoun Economic Development.
Specifically, that’s meant a change in diet. Spaight watched and heard how his teammate D.J. Swearinger treated his body – how he became a pescetarian, cutting out red meats and fatty foods and learning how that decreased inflammation. He took that into account and then watched a Netflix documentary “What The Health?” that provided similar information about the impact of the food he was eating.
“I noticed that a lot of food had me feeling a certain way,” Spaight said. “If I eat a lot of steak my body will feel kind of sluggish and if I eat a lot of dairy the mucus it grows into your body and kind of messes with your brain functioning.”
So, a little before OTAs began, Spaight switched to the same pescetarian diet and has felt great over the last month. Instead of slowly rolling out of bed, he feels like he’s received a bolt of energy when he wakes up.
“My weight’s good. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, fluid when I move, just feeling great,” Spaight said. “Now just fine tuning all the stuff out there on the field.”
Spaight said it hasn’t been too hard to order differently than his teammates when they decide to eat out. He hasn’t been put into the predicament of not finding an alternative on the menu, opting for fish at steakhouses most times.
“But if they don’t have fish, just give me the rolls,” Spaight said laughing. “I’m going to eat the bread and the water.”
His discipline and his expertise regarding what to eat come from his own experience working at Feastros, a restaurant which his parents own in Sherwood, Ark. As a kid, Spaight helped his father in the kitchen and washed dishes, clearing off American cuisine each day.
“I was aware of what to eat, what to stay away from, what made me feel certain ways,” Spaight said.
In January, Feastros caught fire and has been shut down for the last five months. Spaight says his family has been slowly renovating it and hopes it will be back up and running in the next month.
“Right now they’re working on remodeling back home on the restaurant,” he said. “We still cook everything fresh for the buffet, so it’s a lot of hard work, man.”
Spaight hopes this lifestyle change will continue to pay dividends into training camp, where he knows competition at inside linebacker will remain tough even after losing Will Compton. With newcomer Shaun Dion Hamilton and Josh Harvey-Clemons entering his second year, Spaight believes the group, led by Mason Foster and Zach Brown, will be exceptionally strong.
“I think a lot of players are up to par so as far as position room goes, I feel great about it,” he said. “Everyone knows both positions, so a lot of times it helps us communicate better on the field. Everyone’s athletic, everyone goes out there and makes plays, so it’s really just everyone’s going out there, if you’re on the field, go ball out. Everybody’s just on the same page and everybody’s been working hard. The atmosphere of this offseason, of this OTAs has been great.”