Before I jump in the car and drive to Owings Mills for Ravens rookie mini-camp, I just wanted to mention one thing that stuck in my mind from my trip to St. Louis on Friday. It was, by all accounts, a successful experience for the participants.
But what does that mean?
Basically, that they only began the methodical process of figuring stuff out. Seriously, I was reminded once again how far these rookies are from being ready. And it has nothing to do with talent, obviously. It’s just that being in the NFL, and thriving in the league, takes so much.
Coach Jeff Fisher pointed this out when describing what he achieved following the first session.
“We had a meet and great, got physicals, got equipment,” Fisher said. “We got a lot done. We had to teach them how to stretch, show them the facility and explain them what we wanted to get accomplished. I crossed out ‘mini-camp’ and I put ‘orientation’ (on the grease board) because mini-camp is running around full-speed in great shape. They’re not. But for a first day was good.”
Yes, they were taught how to stretch. Fisher mentioned that one of the goals was to teach rookies that it’s OK to ask questions and make sure things are right. In describing one of the successes, he said there was no quarterback-center fumbles. The small things.
Now, they are learning on-field stuff. As Fisher said, “We’re installing football.” But there is so much more. I was struck by how they start at the beginning.
“How to eat, be in the training room, the weight room, getting to know each other — it’s a lot of information they’re getting in addition to football,” Fisher said. “The most important thing is they realize because of the process, they are way behind the veterans. It probably takes two or three weeks to get them caught up.”
Second-round CB Janoris Jenkins explained the tutelage.
“(Fisher) just talked about coming in as a rookie,” Jenkins said. “Things you’re going to go through, facing adversity and play books.”
Long way to go for a lot of these guys…