A.J. Neibel, who holds 17 years of NFL experience in the sports performance and strength and conditioning realm, enters his fourth season as head strength and conditioning coach of the Silver and Black
A.J. Neibel, who holds 17 years of NFL experience in the sports performance and strength and conditioning realm, enters his fourth season as head strength and conditioning coach of the Silver and Black.
Neibel oversees all elements of the Raiders' strength and conditioning program, developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy for all position groups throughout the roster. Neibel directs all strength training, manages the team's performance data and works closely with the athletic training staff to transition players back from injury into participation.
Last season, Neibel and his staff's work with the team helped the Raiders earn a 10-7 record, clinching the club's first postseason berth since 2016. Under Neibel's guidance, the Raiders produced four first-time Pro Bowlers in P AJ Cole, DE Maxx Crosby, LB Denzel Perryman and WR Hunter Renfrow. Renfrow set career highs in catches (103), receiving yards (1,038) and touchdowns (nine), while Cole averaged a league- and career-high 50.0 yards per punt, a mark that ranks eighth all-time in NFL history. Additionally, Crosby and Perryman anchored a defensive unit that ranked sixth in the AFC with just 337.2 yards per game allowed.
In 2020, Neibel and his staff helped field a team that produced two offensive Pro Bowlers in RB Josh Jacobs and TE Darren Waller, while also seeing numerous other veteran players establish career highs in appearances, starts and statistical milestones. Jacobs appeared in a career-high 15 contests, setting personal bests in carries (273), rushing touchdowns (12), receptions (33) and receiving yards (238).
In part due to Neibel's strength program, Waller was once again able to compete in all 16 contests for the second consecutive campaign. He put together one of the most prolific campaigns by a player in Raiders history, compiling 1,196 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, while breaking Hall of Famer WR Tim Brown's single-season receptions record by tallying 107 on the year, fourth-most in the NFL and most among all tight ends. Waller became just the sixth tight end in NFL history to surpass 100 receptions in a single season, while also hauling in at least five passes in an incredible 13 contests and tallying five 100-yard contests.
In his return to the Silver and Black in 2019 after previously spending six seasons with the Silver and Black from 2003-08, Neibel helped produce two Pro Bowlers in T Trent Brown and C Rodney Hudson. The two paved the way for rookie running back Jacobs, who became the first-ever 1,000-yard rookie rusher in team history, while helping the club surrender just 29 sacks on the year, good for eighth-fewest in the NFL.
Neibel and his staff also excelled in helping the 2019 rookie class make the transition from college to the NFL, as the Raiders rookies combined to lead the NFL in scrimmage touchdowns (17) amongst their rookie peers. The Raiders rookies also ranked first in sacks (14.5), yards after the catch (676), rushing yards (1,167), rushing touchdowns (seven) and rushing first downs (60), while ranking second in receptions (107) and receiving yards (1,112).
Neibel's return to the Raiders came after spending the previous two seasons (2017-18) with the Jacksonville Jaguars as the club's athletic performance specialist/physical therapy assistant. In his role with the Jaguars, Neibel assisted both the medical and strength and conditioning staff transition players from injury back into participation, while helping manage performance data for the team's coaching staff. The team garnered eight Pro Bowl selections over two seasons under Neibel's guidance.
Prior to his stint with the Jaguars, Neibel spent six years (2011-16) with the Atlanta Falcons in a variety of roles. Over his five years with the club, the Falcons earned 21 total Pro Bowl selections under Neibel's direction, including four from WR Julio Jones (2012, 2014-16), and three apiece from TE Tony Gonzalez (2011-13) and QB Matt Ryan (2012, 2014, 2016).
In 2016, Neibel was tabbed as the club's athletic performance manager after serving as the team's head strength and conditioning coach during the previous three seasons (2013-15). In his first two seasons (2011-12) with the Falcons, Neibel was on staff as strength and conditioning assistant. Before joining the club, Neibel spent time working for the Atlanta Falcons' Therapy Center in Snellville, Ga.
Prior to Atlanta, Neibel also worked in the Bay Area with the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball and their affiliate, the San Jose Giants, as a strength and conditioning consultant from 2009-10. In his first tour with the Raiders, Neibel helped train athletes as a strength and conditioning/sports medicine associate.
PERSONAL: Native of Cupertino, Calif. ...Earned a degree in sports psychology from Long Beach State in 1996…Earned a second degree in physical therapy from Cerritos College in 1998…Also earned a master's degree in advanced exercise science from Concordia University in Chicago…Notable qualifications include being USA weightlifting certified, level one, Olympic lifting coach, a certified strength and conditioning specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association and certified in Russian Kettle bell training.