Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Look Back at Rookie Training Camp

     Training Camp, after four weeks of build up the big stage is finally here and the show waits for no one.  Everything we do is being examined and the result will either help us or hurt us with one goal in mind, make the team! Us rookies arrived Sunday afternoon to check into the hotel, our new home for the next six weeks. The suitcase life continues! As we caught back up with all our rookie teammates one thing was obvious, everyone was worried about weigh in and the conditioning test... with good reason!  Each player was given a 6 pound weight range that we had to meet when we reported.  If you don't, you could be fined up to $400 per pound... per day! The conditioning test is two 300 yard shuttles, going to the 25 yard line and back six times in under 56 seconds for the skill players.  These both had consequences, but even more it was something that could be held against you and look bad in the coach's eyes. I was finally able to put on some muscle and gain a little weight, but that put me at the top of my weight range that I had to be at when I reported. I was a small bit worried, so I focused on not eating quite as much and at night. The plan almost went too good as I weighed in one pound away from the low weight range, but I was happy to get that out of the way.  The conditioning test lived up to the hype and the heat and humidity didn't help the situation.  The first rep is hard, but the trouble comes between the reps when your legs lock up from all the cutting you have to do.  I was able to survive and make my times on both, but not many were as fortunate.  I went from my hips cramping to bending over to taking a knee until i slowly but surely ended up on the ground from exhaustion.  Someone commented that it looked like a battlefield out there after we were done.  It was definitely one of the hardest and high tense conditioning i have been a part of. What a way to start off training camp!

     That afternoon and the following day, we were able to get two practices in to get back into the flow before the vets reported to camp.  The heat and humidity welcomed us again as we pushed through a practice with our legs dead from the conditioning test.  I had a great start and came up with an interception on the first team period.  I still have plenty to work on and a long way from where I want to be.  Getting back into the playbook and practice flow payed off as the practices went off a lot smoother than the OTAs.  We now have a better understanding of the playbook and you can tell on the field that it is starting to click with all the rookies.  We also got a little break on the nights, getting off after dinner, but the intensity and difficulty is about to turn up when the vets report.  Now as the vets have arrived, the 7-9 grind is about to start and the pressure is on to make every rep count.  Already another safety behind me has gotten cut and another one is brought in.  Every time it is eye opening and all the rookies kind of tense up when it happens.  Like I have said before, you never quite know where you are in the coaches eyes, but one thing I do know is that nobody is safe and there is always someone snapping at your heels.  I am excited to get out there in training camp and prove I have what it takes to be an NFL special teams player and safety.

-Student of the Game

*Check back soon for future updates, I will try and post every couple of practices looking back at the previous day's highlights*

No comments:

Post a Comment