As exciting as this weekend’s rookie minicamp is for the players, it’s just as big a deal for the men coaching them.
“I think any coach worth their weight likes to be on the grass and on the field coaching,” Head Coach John 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.”
Not only is it a chance for the coaches to get back to running organized practices before OTAs and training camp kick off, it’s like a reward for all the hard work that went into the draft process. The teachers finally get a chance to see their new pupils.
“Having these draft picks and free agents come in and join this rookie class, you get started with them and kind of find out what you have,” Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio said. “It’s like opening a present at Christmas time. You want to see what the present is like. We’ve added some talent, we’ve added some players that will come in and compete for spots and for roles. I definitely look forward to this time of year.”
This weekend, in particular, is a little different than the rest of the season’s practices. It’s reserved solely for rookies and first-year players, so the atmosphere on the practice field is tinged with more anxious excitement. As impressed as the coaches have been in the rookies’ desire to get right to work, it’s still obvious that they’re rookies.
“It’s an interesting deal, because you see guys come in, and they’re just so big-eyed, because it’s so different than what they’re used to,” Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase said. “The hunger for these guys as far as getting after it for really three real practices — it’s good to see that kind of passion out there.”