The life of a rookie in a veteran world is difficult. Everyone of the rooks has come from a background as a BMOC (big man on campus) just a short time ago. Therefore, coming to a new team loaded with vets can be a humbling situation. It’s all about learning your place.
Just look at Dallas WR Dez Bryant and all the dust he kicked up when he refused to carry a vets shoulder pads off the practice field. Earning your spurs is a process where a rookie transforms into an accepted teammate in good standing, that being a proven player. And in the eyes of the coaches, it’s about earning the right.
My rookie year I was told point blank that I would be treated differently than my veteran teammates by my offensive line coach at the time, Rollie Dotsch. He would overlook certain things from the Mike Websters, Jon Kolbs, and Larry Browns that I could never hope to get away with. Boy, he wasn’t kidding. He rode my back like I was a donkey going down the trail of the Grand Canyon.
Rookie Jason Worilds, out for a breather during 11-on-11 practice this week, took a seat on the water cooler (a no-no for rooks). The likes of Aaron Smith and Casey Hampton are known to frequent the water cooler seat. So it came as no surprise when Steelers defensive line coach John Mitchell spied him out and barked;
“Take a knee nine-seven! You haven’t earned the right to sit on that cooler! ” Jason jumped up and took a knee immediately. Just another day in the life of a young man earning his spurs and learning rookie etiquette on the practice field.
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READ Craig’s “Training Camp” blog stories (Link)