Day 1 of practice: This was the first full work day for us rookies. We woke up at 6 am and didn't get a break until we were done at 9 pm. Physicals, various meetings, and weight room introductions were all part of the day and were worked around practice and eating. After two days of preparation and paperwork, it was such a relief to get on the field and practice. That is when stats, drafted/undrafted, hype, and talking all goes out the window and the players are going show what they know and what skills they have. We had a good first practice and now have a feel for the flow and expectations of the coaches. Coach Fisher's approach is one that doesn't try and kill us in rookie mini camp. He is much more interested in if we have the skills, knowledge, execution, and production that it takes to make the team. Once that is established, they will work us into the program and get us where we need to be from a strength and conditioning standpoint. The mental part of days like these are more exhausting than the physical. Being focused that long in high tense situations and trying to learn a new defense at a high rate of speed begins to fatigue you. But nothing that we can't handle and we are used to... now it's our full time job and we must dedicate ourselves, body and mind, to perfect our craft. Speaking of which, I'm going to get off this and get back in the playbook...
Day 2 of practice: This day made us push harder and fight through fatigue and soreness. We started early again and went straight to more defensive installs. The defensive concepts are nothing new to me, this is only my fifth defense to learn in five years so there is only so much you can do. But the terminology and all of the adjustments can get difficult and start to run together. Luckily after the installs we get to walk through these defenses and get all the mistakes and kinks out before practice. No matter how much you train and are in shape nothing can duplicate the intensity and movements of a practice, much less a high pressure NFL practice. You go as hard as you can every rep and every drill but you also have to get back used to your helmets, ankle tape, and helmets. So from the combination of all that from day one we were sore and hurting but had to push through and continue to prove ourselves. Along with the defensive back drills, 1 on 1, and 7 on 7... we got the chance to do some special teams. This is where a lot of rookies and free agents make the team so I was excited to go through the drills. To finish up the day we lifted weights and worked on flexibility. Overall this weekend as been a great confirmation that I am in the right place. I like the coaches, staff, team, and city. The culture is a positive family attitude with high expectations. I have a good start and am going to keep working to make this team and help get where we want to be.
-Student of the Game