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Sports

May 13, 2013

Rookies get first taste of NFL

(Continued)

“The disadvantage they have is that they might be competing against guys that have been doing this for four or five years. So, it’s hard to play fast when you’re thinking and you don’t know what you’re doing,” Fox said. “So this is a great opportunity, even though it’s a short opportunity. We bombard them pretty hard in each meeting.”

The weekend was beneficial even to a guy like Lerenetee McCray, a linebacker from Florida who went undrafted after tearing his left rotator cuff last fall and who won’t be able to participate in team drills until next month.

“It definitely taught me some of their system, how the coaches operate, how they’re going to coach me in some of the stuff that we’re going to do once camp comes,” McCray said yesterday. “I’m behind the guys who have been practicing and the veterans, but I’m definitely ahead of where I was four days ago.”

Coaches appreciate the rookie weekend, too. It’s their first chance to see how well their offseason wish lists were fulfilled. Sometimes, they have to, as Fox says, use the reins instead of the spurs to slow down the greenhorns.

“Yeah, a little bit. But it’s kind of neat. That’s the fun part. They’re excited,” Fox said. “You know, they’ve waited their whole lives for this. So, it’s a great privilege and really a great accomplishment to have a seat in one of those rooms.”

It’s also the first chance for coaches to get back outside and do what they do best.

“I think any coach worth their weight likes to be on the grass, and on the field coaching,” Fox said. “It’s the fun part of coaching. That’s really why most of us do it. There’s no doubt it’s an excitement level, even though it’s just the rookies, at this point. To be on the field with them is great.”

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