In Peter King’s Week 13 edition of Football Morning In America (FMIA) for NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk, buried at the “30-yard line” within discussion about the 2022 season’s biggest weekly stories was a piece highlighting a revolution in on-field protection for players.
For the last decade, XTECH Protective Equipment has designed and manufactured protective pads for players looking to gain an advantage through refined equipment under their jerseys.
While the piece immediately referenced the incredible catch by Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson against the Buffalo Bills — and how his custom XTECH pads may have contributed to the grab — it wasn’t the only mention of the Bills.
...quarterback Josh Allen has a history of using XTECH gear, dating back to his days at Wyoming...
Josh Allen wore the pads at Wyoming, and when he got to the NFL, he asked for a few fixes. One was a tight cushion, instead of the regular rubber strip, around the area of the pad that touched his neck. Another was shaving away some of the pad around his throwing shoulder so he’d have more freedom of movement when he passed. He also has a custom rib/lower sternum pad for extra protection.
The shoulder pads are lighter (3.75-4.5 pounds, versus 5.5-7 pounds for other pads), and allow more freedom of movement. This is especially true for receivers looking to get their arms up higher for a catch, and quarterbacks looking for a full range of motion in the shoulder area. The brainchild of a former NFL equipment man, Ted Monica, and co-founder Bob Broderick, this gear offers players a refined option for the protective gear that keeps them out of harm’s way on most plays.
Monica is completely hands-on in XTECH’s 12-person operation, working in a tiny building situated nearby the New York Jets’ training facility. He can often be found sitting behind the sewing machine, crafting a one-of-a-kind set of shoulder pads for football players from the pros all the way down to high school.
King’s piece offered a great peak inside just one of the scores of small businesses that play an integral role in bringing the game of football to life, and improving the way players move on the field. While it didn’t specify who else among the Bills use XTECH’s equipment, co-founder Monica estiimates nearly 80% of NFL players use their product.
Clearly, the technology is a benefit to Allen’s on-field play.