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Thursday, May 17, 2007

How NFL Tells JaMarcus Russell, Brady Quinn How To Win In League - NFLMedia.com

This is part of the NFL's effort to better endoctrinate rookies into the League.

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Fresh out of college and starting their first job, new recruits tend to sit and observe in the background before building a
boardroom presence. Once NFL rookies are handed a key card to their new workplace – a 100-yard football field -- they
are to immediately boost their company’s bottom line. And that bottom line is winning games.

Says Tennessee Titans head coach JEFF FISHER: “The key is getting them past the idea that they are ‘just rookies’ and
convincing them that they can help us win games early in the season.”

Here’s how some NFL coaches get that idea through to their youngest and newest players:

Herm Edwards,
Kansas City Chiefs “I tell them that the league is ever-changing and that every player before them, at one point in their career, was a rookie. They were actually rookies – they didn’t just grow up being pro
football players. They went through the same type of situations that you are going to go
through and they were successful. As a rookie, when you come in, the first thing that you have
to understand is that your talent alone gets you here. How you work, study and prepare is
what keeps you here.”
Dick Jauron,
Buffalo Bills “We treat them pretty much like we treat everyone else on our football team. We do talk about the fact that they need to show up quickly as everybody in camp does. They need to compete
from the very first moment on and that we do not have a lot of time. There is a sense of
urgency in everything that they do and that we do. They get right to work and we treat them
like they are part of it until they prove to us or show us that they are not part of it.”
Jack Del Rio,
Jacksonville Jaguars “We work hard to let them learn what our fundamentals are, what the principles of our offense and defense are so they have a chance to let their athleticism take over. I think the one thing
that we really pride ourselves on is preparing guys to utilize what they can do. While we are
working on making them complete players, we like to find things that they can do and a role
that they can have.”

Heeding their coaches’ words, rookies blossom into contributors and 2006 was no exception. Entering minicamps as
second-year veterans in 2007, below is insight from 2006 rookies illustrating when they knew they could help their teams

WR Marques Colston,
New Orleans Saints “It was a gradual process. I didn’t have a great minicamp and realized right away that I needed to change some things and get ready for training camp. I worked hard to get into the best
possible shape that I could get in. My goal was to just keep improving and take the coaching
and apply it to the field and become someone that the coaches and other players could depend
on. I was aware that I was getting more and more reps and eventually I was in with the
starters and didn’t want to let that opportunity go. It wasn’t something that happened overnight;
rather it was a day-to-day situation that required hard work and being reliable and dependable.”
LB Clint Ingram,
Jacksonville Jaguars “I think I was ready once they put me out there on the field and I strapped on my helmet. I still knew I was a rookie as far as rank and year, but it wasn’t like the person on the other side of
the ball was going to say, ‘That’s only a rookie going against me – let me take it easy on him.’
As soon as I got on the field with everybody else, all that rookie stuff went aside and I was just
like everybody else.”
RB Jerious Norwood,
Atlanta Falcons “I came into the league feeling that I would be able to play on this level. In our last preseason game I broke a 62-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. I gained 104 yards on nine carries
and that is when I knew that everyone saw that I could contribute as a rookie.”
QB Vince Young,
Tennessee Titans “I felt like a rookie for just about the whole season, but once we started winning I knew we were building something as a team. I’d say the Giants’ game (11/26), coming back and winning that
one (overcoming a 21-0 deficit), was when it really hit.”

NFL Game in London Sells 40,000 Tickets

NFL Game in London Sells 40,000 Tickets
By Associated Press

LONDON -- The first regular season NFL game outside North America is shaping up as a hot ticket.

The first 40,000 tickets for the Oct. 28 game between the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants at the new Wembley Stadium sold in 90 minutes Wednesday.

"The speed in which such a large number of tickets were snapped up ... demonstrates the great excitement and appetite for the game in this country," said Alistair Kirkwood, managing director of NFL UK. "We know that the last few tickets available in this first batch will be gone very soon."

The first batch of tickets went to fans in Britain and the rest of Europe selected randomly from registered ticket requests.

Sales in the United States to Giants and Dolphins fans are expected to begin within a week. Further tickets will be released to fans in Britain next month.

About 10,000 fans are expected to travel from the United States, a fraction of the anticipated sellout crowd of 90,000.

Prices range from about US$90 (euro66.50) to US$180 (euro133), using a pricing structure similar to this weekend's FA Cup final between Manchester United and Chelsea.

Reggie Bush Eyes Football After Dining with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice- AP

Reggie Bush Eyes Football After Social Buzz
AP Sports Writer

NEW ORLEANS -- Reggie Bush wanted to get away from football for a while to -- as he put it -- relax and be normal. Of course, when talking about a rising NFL star who has the looks, charisma and wealth to complement his mesmerizing talent, normal is a relative term.

For Bush, it meant appearing in one of R&B singer Ciara's music videos, dining with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at a White House correspondent's dinner, filming a commercial with David Beckham in Spain, an appearance in Las Vegas during NBA All-Star weekend, partying at the Playboy mansion and otherwise enjoying life in his $5 million Hollywood home.

On Tuesday, the native Californian was back in New Orleans, where most of his teammates have been working out together for over a month.

The Saints gave their young star some leeway to enjoy the trappings of his first offseason as a pro, and Bush confidently predicted they wouldn't regret it.

"I expect to improve on last year," Bush said. "I don't have a number, but I definitely expect to be a lot better than last year and help my team get to the Super Bowl."

The Saints came one victory shy of reaching the Super Bowl last season, appearing in an NFC championship game for the first time in the franchise's four-decade history.

Bush played no small part in that. As both a running back and receiver, he gained over 1,300 yards from scrimmage in his rookie season. As he adapted to the speed and complexity of the NFL, the uncanny quickness and agility that helped him win the Heisman Trophy at Southern California began to show itself.

There was the 65-yard touchdown on a punt return against Tampa Bay in midseason, the 65-yard score on a screen pass at Dallas in December. And in the playoffs, there was the 88-yard touchdown in Chicago, during which he grabbed a short pass, outran numerous pursuers while cutting across the entire width of the field, pointed back triumphantly at linebacker Brian Urlacher, and then launched into a forward somersault across the goal line.

Performances like that only increased the attention he received during the past few months, and it wasn't always to his liking.

He said he enjoyed attending a party at the Playboy mansion, where it seemed to him that he was asked to be in more photos than many of the women there. Soon after, however, a Los Angeles publication reported he had been banned from the mansion for an unspecified conduct violation, which Bush denied.

"I don't even know where or what happened or why somebody would even ... write a story like that," Bush said. "I was at the Playboy mansion ... I had a great time and that's really all it was."

Bush chalked it up as a lesson of how difficult it can be for celebrities to control rumors.

"The story's already out there, so what are you going to do?" Bush said. "It's the way of the world and I've learned to just grow thick skin toward it and not play into it and just live my life the way I have been."

Bush, who first returned to New Orleans late last weekend, said he had one more short trip out of town planned this week before rejoining teammates here on Monday for offseason workouts leading up to minicamp in June.

It will mark the end of a lot of recent traveling. His trip to Spain also was his first trip to Europe.

Scheduling preventing him from seeing a soccer game, but he did catch a bull fight, which gave him a new perspective on showmanship and contact sports.

"Just seeing how close the bulls come to almost killing these guys, you know, it's a different type of sport," Bush said.

With a self-effacing laugh, Bush acknowledged the matadors, "didn't point at the bull."

As for the rest of his offseason, Bush said being in a music video is something he's glad he tried once, but won't be inclined to do again.

"That was a great experience but it's just something that's not for me," Bush said.

"I'm done with basketball, too," he added, a reference to his appearance in a celebrity game in Las Vegas, during which he twisted his ankle.

Bush said the ankle is fine now and he is in excellent shape because of a new workout regimen he began in Los Angeles last February. It's called fre flo do (pronounced FREE-flow-doe), which Bush described as a Chinese-inspired type of training that builds strength with exercises focused on flexibility, quickness and endurance.

Like a number of new-age physical fitness genres that seem to thrive in California, fre flo do also has a meditative and spiritual component.

Bush said he likes it because it plays to his strengths as an athlete.

"You know, some of my plays last longer than the average play, so I'm trying to simulate that ... going beyond the average time within a workout," he said.

Going into his second season, Bush already plays well beyond the level of an average running back. But when addressing his expectations for this season, he didn't want to talk about yardage and touchdowns.

"I've never been big on setting personal goals. The only thing I care about is Super Bowls," Bush said. "Your legacy is based on championships -- how many championships you win -- and you remember guys like Michael Jordan and Walter Payton and even a Tom Brady. That's the kind of caliber athlete I want to be remembered as. So that's what I shoot for when I'm training."

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