Rigors of minicamp are tough on rookies

Rigors of minicamp are tough on rookies
May 13, 2012, 6:43 pm
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Stories are already coming out from around the league about how rookies are getting broken in by their respective team's mission statement. Stories range from coaches screaming at young draft picks to some rookies having to be removed from practice. This was the case on Friday at the Bears minicamp when second round draft pick wide receiver Alshon Jefferys work day was shortened due to leg cramps.

Jeffery is not the only wide receiver dealing with the rigors of how to practice like a pro. On Friday, former scout, coach, and general manager Pat Kirwin and I talked to 49ers first round wide receiver A.J. Jenkins on SiriusXM NFL Radio who explained, I have ice bags on both my hamstrings right now.

Many have questioned Jefferys conditioning because he played close to 240 pounds last season at South Carolina. The real crux of the matter is young players coming out of college just arent used to the volume of routes performed during an NFL practice.

Yes, part of it is conditioning and getting acclimated to the tempo and intensity of how NFL practices are conducted, but the sheer volume of routes run during a rookie minicamp is enough to tire the most conditioned athlete.

A.J. Jenkins added, There were only four wide receivers in minicamp.

Only four wide receivers for practice which normally includes Pat & Go drills, individual period, 1 on 1s, 7 on 7, and then finishes with a lengthy team period. No wonder Jeffery and Jenkins were struggling, especially with the added special teams work. Plus, both Jeffery and Jenkins are the top picks at wide receiver by their respective clubs. They will be forced to receive more snaps than anyone else during practice.

It is a good eye opener for any rookie, but not uncommon.