Pro Bowl Player
Joined: April 19th, 2005, 2:10 pm
Lions Rookies Aricle
Their First Steps
Lions Rookies?Get Acclimated To NFL Life During?Springtime Orientation
By Jay Clemons
April 30, 2005?
Lions?rookie Mike Williams -- the club's No. 1 draft choice -- hauls in a reception at?last month's mini-camp. The USC standout and 21 other?rookie teammates?are in metro Detroit for an all-encompassing?orientation. (Photo By Steven?Kovich)
ALLEN PARK, Mich.?--?Making the transition from college football star to transplanted NFL rookie is seldom seamless.
This explains why the?Detroit Lions?rookies are participating in?a six-week orientation program?throughout May and June?-- specifically designed to help them?adjust and assimilate to the?multi-layered world of professional athletics.
Beginning yesterday through June 26, the Lions' 2005 rookies will glean much pre-training-camp knowledge about the inner-workings of NFL living -- from a physical, mental and financial perspective.?
For Phase One, Lions head coach Steve Mariucci?indicated that?22 rookies (excluding Stanford draftee Stanley Wilson, Oregon State's Bill Swancutt and Ohio University's Chip Cox -- who cannot attend the orientation while their respective schools are still in session) are officially under the watchful eye of Jason Arapoff, the team's strength and conditioning coordinator.
During the workouts, the rookies will get a firsthand look at how to prepare for the rigors of training camp and the upcoming season.
Strength and conditioning is critical for rookies at this point. Mariucci says they trained hard for the scouting combine, but they have not trained at the pace expected at the NFL level. This provides the rookies a chance to get acquainted with the team's training program; and it is not only for conditioning but injury prevention, as well.
In Phase Two, the rookies are participating in classroom sessions with the coaches --?essentially learning?approximately 80 percent of the Lions' overall system.?Upon arrival, they took a?"pop quiz" from Mariucci, who tested the players on?what they had retained from last month's mini-camp.
And with Phase Three, the rookies have?been tutored by?the front-office personnel on the value of?sound financial planning -- in terms of dealing with salaries, establishing credit and finding quality housing.
The rookies have already begun the process of budgeting their resources.?During the orientation, they will?learn?to get by without weekly paychecks and?with?limited monies (per diem) for dinner. Of course, the?Lions do provide the room and board and serve?breakfast and lunch at the team's headquarters