Forget the rookie minicamps that just went down over this past weekend. Those are basically teaching sessions designed to walk these first-year players through basic alignments and the structure/schedule of a pro practice.
That will change when the vets take the field.
The rookies will make (multiple) mistakes and struggle with their technique, and their conditioning level can be exposed after months of training to run the 40-yard dash, short shuttle, three-cone drill, etc.
But it’s still an opportunity for rookies to start transitioning to the NFL as they spend extra time with their position coaches on the field and in the meeting room before they head to camp to compete for a starting job or a roster spot when final cuts are made.
Leadership, work ethic, ability to learn and adjust...all will be under a microscope over the next couple of weeks. While training camp trumps all, performances now help shape the coaching staff's view of your future in New England.
Here are five rookie situations to watch closely during OTAs.