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Veterans give the Steelers rookies advice prior to their first training camp

When you look at what rookies have to go through as they prepare for their new careers in the NFL, it is a crazy schedule.

Once you finish your college football season, you start preparing for potential All-Star games, the NFL Scouting Combine, Pro Days, and visits with individual teams. All this before you are even drafted, if you are that lucky. Assuming the player was selected at some point in the 3-day process, they then begin the whirlwind of getting to their new home, meeting coaches, starting meetings, jumping into Organized Team Activities (OTAs), rookie minicamp and wrapping it all up with mandatory minicamp.

Then they get a break.

After all of that, you can imagine how taxed these young players are before their rookie season even begins. With the Pittsburgh Steelers wrapping up their minicamp this week, veterans had some advice for the young players on what to do, or not to do, during these five week lay off before training camp.

“Take a week off. Relax,” said linebacker Patrick Queen. “Do whatever you’ve got to do. Go on vacation. Just take a true week off and then get back to the grind before you get here.

“You don’t want to get out of shape, but you definitely need that week off, that little break because they’ve been playing year-round now and haven’t had a break. That would be my advice, take some time off, and then back at it.”

The physicality of the NFL calendar can get to even the most prepared rookie, but the mental aspect of the game is something which should never stop. If you are taking some time off from the physicality of the sport, then you have to keep the mental aspect as sharp as possible.

“It’s hard for young guys once you lose this team setting for a month,” said cornerback Donte Jackson. “What I would say is stay in the film, watch every practice from OTAs and minicamp and watch yourself and learn.”

While the veteran cornerback knows how important it is to stay sharp on the mental side of the game, he also knows taking care of your physical body is paramount.

“Most importantly, take care of your body. Everybody puts such an emphasis on hard training, hard running, hitting the ground, lifting weights. As they get ready for camp, don’t forget the massages, stretching and the yoga. Take time to take care of your body, make sure you’re taking that time to actually give your body some time to rest because once it all starts again, it’s not finished until it’s over.”

The Steelers rookies will hopefully take this advice as they prepare for their first training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA. Players report to camp on July 24th with the first official practice July 25th. Be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the team as they prepare for the 2024 regular season.


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