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Marques Colston

The New Orleans Saints wide receiver is on a tear

In his last four games, Colston has 32 catches for 365 yards and all four of the touchdowns that he's caught this season. Despite suffering plenty of injuries on offense (to running backs Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas, as well as tight end Jeremy Shockey), the Saints continue to solidify themselves as a legit contender in the NFC. On Nov. 21, in a 34-19 win against the Seattle Seahawks, Colston had eight catches for 113 yards and two TDs, looking every bit the number one option on a playoff team. For the year, Colston now has 62 catches for over 700 yards receiving.

We featured Colston in our October issue to find out how he was dealing with his Super Bowl hangover. Apparently, he's doing just fine.

Plenty of NFL receivers hog the spotlight with their mouths. There's no need to name names. New Orleans Saints wideout Marques Colston isn't one of them. And he lets you know that by the tattoo on his left shoulder: "The Quiet Storm." "That's just me," he says. "I've always been an under-the-radar type of guy, but I go to work every day and try to get better.

When we talked with him, the 6'4", 225-pounder was still dealing with the after-effects of the Saints' Super Bowl XLIV win. After all, no one parties as they do on Bourbon Street, and Colston says the celebrations went on so long they cut six weeks out of his off-season training. "It's tough to manage something like that because [winning] is a lifelong dream," he says. "But you've got to stay focused."

Colston certainly is. His off-season program centers around lifting four times a week with strength coach Aaron Sistrunk, co-owner of Balance gym in Chestnut Hill, Pa. Every two weeks, the pair change up his exercises. "We don't want his body to plateau," Sistrunk says. "You want to keep shocking it."

True to his demeanor, Colston approaches his workouts without flair or drama. "He's strictly business," Sistrunk says. "He just does what he needs to do."

Much of Colston's workmanlike attitude may come from the fact that he isn't really supposed to be in the NFL. He played his college ball at tiny Hofstra University (which has had only a handful of players reach the NFL), and he wasn't selected until the last round of the 2006 NFL draft. Last round. "Subconsciously, I think it drives me."

Last year, Colston caught 70 balls for 1,074 yards and nine TDs, but he's still obsessed with getting better.

In addition to lifting, his workouts emphasize plyometrics and unilateral training. Sistrunk will often put Colston on a Bosu ball for one-legged squats while throwing a medicine ball at him to simulate game play.

At the time we chatted, he also had to drop eight pounds before training camp. His strategy: No bread, no pasta, no rice. "Just lots of fruit and vegetables," he said.

When the Saints take the field to defend their title, he's confident the work will pay off. "The weeks before training camp are crucial," he says. "You've got to learn to work smarter, rather than just going harder."

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