What are the rookies doing in Cali?


Nate Haber, an agent at the PlayersRep firm that represents Patriots first-rounder Devin McCourty, tweeted this last night … Times must be changing at the rookie symposium. Client told me he was actually having “fun.”

I don’t think the idea of the annual Rookie Symposium is to kill anyone’s enthusiasm about joining the NFL. But it is to educate them about what’s ahead, and that stuff isn’t always going to “fun” to hear.

We mentioned earlier in the week that Tedy Bruschi will be joining Marco Coleman, Lorenzo Neal and Tony Richardson in leading one seminar. SI.com writer and former NFL writer, and all-around good guy, Ross Tucker will be chipping in there as well.

Want a real inside look? Well, gregarious Falcons LB Sean Weatherspoon lets the NFL Network cameras ride shotgun with him as he goes through the experience. And if you want a broader view of the whole thing, check out this piece from veteran agent Jack Bechta over at the National Football Post. Bechta writes …

I commend the NFL for doing this, and I would even recommend they
lengthen and expand the program to more live workshops and a follow-up
seminar after the season. I believe players want education and want to
be empowered to make good decisions. However, I’m not sure how
effective a three-day crash course is for an energetic group of 22- and
23-year-old young men who now have some money and a few weeks of summer
left to burn before camp. Regardless, it’s better than nothing, and I
have witnessed its positive impact on players.

It’s a pretty cool thing for the NFL to put its draftees through. The Patriots’ dozen picks are there in attendance, so they’ll be soak in the lessons like the rest of them. The real challenge for the league, of course, is getting the kids to listen and learn. But that, I guess, is the hard part for anyone trying to teach.


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