Picture this: An NFL quarterback drops back to pass as water from a high-pressure hose blasts him in the face.
On his next throw, he stands on a foam platform while eight men lift and shake it. Then, he places a blindfold on, yet still must hit a receiver in the numbers.
That quarterback is David Fales, the former San Jose State star who reports Friday for his first NFL training camp with the Chicago Bears. His odds of earning a roster spot seem favorable and he could be either the No. 2 or 3 option behind starter Jay Cutler.
Fales, a virtual unknown until two record-setting seasons with the Spartans, credits nearly all of his success to one man: Peter Goodson.
Goodson has trained Fales for the past 10 years, beginning when Fales was an eighth grader in Salinas and continuing through his time at Palma High. The two estimate Fales has thrown a half million passes under Goodson's watchful eye.
"I don't know how I can ever thank him for putting in the time and everything he's done for me," Fales said recently before departing Salinas to head to Chicago. "Every time I talk to him, I say 'Thank you,' because every time I talk to him there's something I'm learning."
Goodson, a retired private equity investor, has spent most of the past two and a half decades working with quarterbacks.
Of his own playing career, he simply says it was "too short to remember." But the Stanford graduate befriended Bill Walsh and approached the former 49ers coach about his desire to work with quarterbacks.
Walsh was beginning his second tenure at Stanford and invited Goodson to get involved. He worked closely with Walsh and offensive quarterback Terry Shea, attending every meeting, film session and practice during spring ball.
"I really had great mentorship from two of the best, especially Bill," Goodson said. "That time that he spent with me was fabulous."
Many of the concepts Fales has learned have come directly from Walsh's teaching, courtesy of Goodson. Chief among them are the ability to read defenses and throw with anticipation.
Those happen to be the areas in which Fales excels the most. He makes up for velocity with his ability to dissect defenses and throw accurately with terrific timing, qualities that have led to high completion percentages (he led the nation in 2012 at 72.5 percent).
As for the use of the blind fold?
"We do that a lot," Fales said. "It's all muscle memory. If you can remember what that feels like, then your eyes shouldn't really matter. If you're throwing to a target and a spot, then you need it. But in terms of mechanics, we work on mechanics so much that you should be able to close your eyes and know what that throw felt like."
Toughness is another strong suit. Fales never missed a down due to injury, not even when Utah State blitzed him for 13 sacks during a game his junior season.
Think that's a fluke? It's not.
Fales' work with Goodson includes throwing while standing in front of a high jump pit with two defenders blasting him on his follow through.
Toss in the "stormy weather days" when the hose would be blasting, or dealing with "earthquake conditions" on the shaking foam platform and it may sound like Goodson is crazy, but there's a method to his madness.
"The whole idea," Goodson said, "is 'Don't tell us about weather, snow, or anything else. You've been through that. And the ball gets there. You can throw it and it's just fine.'"
That explains why Fales is never one to make excuses. He knows he's been lucky to have a person like Goodson around to help him. He's never charged Fales a dime, nor any of the quarterbacks he's worked with, a list that includes another Palma product in Brian Reader, who played at the University of Idaho and now plays in the Arena Football League.
Goodson retired with independent wealth around age 40, so he's been able to pursue his passion.
Goodson's looking for his next crop of quarterbacks, but warns he's not an easy teacher. He requires players to be serious about their craft and do well in the classroom, "because there's no point training a guy who's not going to go to college."
After being there every step of the way for Fales -- from providing advice when he transferred from Nevada, to fielding calls from prospective agents so Fales could focus on his senior season -- the humble quarterback still doesn't know of a proper way to show his appreciation.
Asked if a Super Bowl ring might do the trick, Fales said:
"Everything that I've been able to do is because of the time and commitment that he's put into me. I don't know if that would still be enough."