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Veterans welcome rookies to life in the NFL

Posted by Kevin Bowen on July 30, 2012 – 6:55 am

Around every NFL training camp this time of year there is a sort of a ritual going around between the veterans and the rookies.

A welcoming to professional football is upon 26 rookies in Anderson over the next few weeks.

The fun-loving started early for the first-year players as quarterback Andrew Luck did his best, or in some people’s opinions worst, impression of John Denver’s ‘Country Roads’ on Saturday evening at a team meeting.

“Yeah it was awful,” Pagano said of Luck’s rendition. “I’m glad he’s not doing that for a living, because the signing wouldn’t have been like the one he got. Great effort though. It was a great effort.”

Luck won’t be the only one taking part in the good-nature ribbing at training camp.

Veterans across the roster have had their fair share of initiation into the NFL and at the end of the day everyone will have a story to tell.

“It’s just another way of bonding,” cornerback Jerraud Powers said. “Rookies are kind of wide-eyed right now, kind of not knowing what to expect. Their first time at training camp, first time in the same room as a Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, you kind of get star shocked a little bit.”

“The rookie traditions and all that stuff kind of humbles them and make everybody feel like they are the same as everybody else after they hear the stories the other guys were sharing.”

In April’s NFL Draft the Colts made 10 selections and with a number of other first year players on the roster, it is almost a certainty that rookies will play a vital role in the regular season.

Entering his fourth season in the league, running back Donald Brown might only be 25 years old but he knows he is looked at as a veteran.

It wasn’t long ago he was the one standing up in front of the veterans for his arrival to the NFL and now he’s the one knowing just how important making those young guys feel a part of the team will help them out in September and beyond.

“It doesn’t matter what happens outside of this facility, as long as we take care of what is inside of here and get better everyday, every meeting, every practice, things will take care of itself,” Brown said.

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