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NFL 101: Rookie English
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The last couple of weeks have been really hectic, but at the same time they’ve been really good. The day after the draft, I flew to San Diego for my introductory press conference. I did some interviews Monday morning and then flew back to Chicago for the week. On Thursday, I turned around and headed back to San Diego for minicamp, which went really well.
It was nice that the minicamp was mandatory for our veterans. A lot of teams have a minicamp for just rookies, and I don’t think those guys get a true feel for what this level is going to be like. We got a chance to get acclimated to the speed, the schedules, the routine and got to see how the veterans go about their business. It was great to be around all the guys.
There wasn’t anything that really surprised me last weekend. It was camp. I guess you never really get used to camp, but you know what to expect. It was good from a teaching standpoint. I learned a lot and got a good feel for the defense, for how Coach Turner runs practice and runs meetings.
The weekend went by really quick. I flew back to Chicago Sunday evening after our last practice. I’m just working out and making sure that I’m ready for OCS’s (Offseason Coaching Sessions). I graduated in December with a degree in liberal arts, but even though I’m through with classes, rookies aren’t allowed to work out at their team’s facility until their school is out for the summer. I’m just working out and studying the defense. I’m keeping it pretty low key and spending a lot of time with my family.
I’m happy with where I’m at physically. It's football, a game I’ve been playing my whole life. My biggest goal is to mentally get the defense down. That comes with seeing things on the board and taking the reps in practice. I took a lot of notes in meetings last weekend and I brought them home with me. I also brought some tapes of last year’s games so I can watch them and get a feel for the defense.
I feel blessed that I was drafted to a team with so many quality veterans. It’s a great locker room. Shaun Phillips and Shawne Merriman have both been really helpful to me, showing me the ropes. Kevin Burnett is another guy who helped me out last weekend. I’m going to benefit from playing with those guys.
I’ll be back in San Diego on May 18 for the start of OCS’s. I’m really looking forward to those practices. With the repetition, the comfort level is going to increase and really allow me to play at my best. OCS's are going to help me tremendously as I get ready to try to help this team win games. Read