NFLPA Rookie Premiere: 7 things we learned
By Dan Hanzus
Around the League Writer
Published: May 17, 2013 at 10:09 a.m.
LOS ANGELES -- Life is good for a rookie in the NFL. Especially right now.
We're less than a month removed from the 2013 NFL Draft, and the new-car smell still is present. Many players haven't signed contracts yet, but the paycheck that comes with attaining a lifelong dream is promised. Wealth and an NFL career all are right there. It's like Christmas Eve on high levels of HGH.
That giddy sense of anticipation is palpable when you share a room with these guys. On Thursday, Around The League tagged along with some other NFL Media folk at downtown L.A.'s Sunrise Elementary School to check out "Rookie Premiere," an NFLPA event that promotes active lifestyles.
It's neat catching these guys in a collective sweet spot in their lives. You're not getting any quotes about being unhappy with teammates, coaches, playing time or contracts. Everything is ... cool. It won't always be that way, but it is right now.
Here are seven takeaways from the event (video plus more here
Geno Smith may or may not be the answer for the New York Jets at quarterback, but he seems to get it. This is the second time I've spoken to him in the past month, and both times he was engaged and provided thoughtful responses. Contrary to anonymous sources, Smith hardly seems aloof. Does that make him loof? Geno Smith is fully loof.
I asked Smith if he thought the Jets had enough players on offense to allow him to succeed when if he takes over for Mark Sanchez this season.
"We gotta see," Smith replied before catching himself. "I do, I do believe we do. We've got a great bunch of guys. We've got Santonio (Holmes) coming off injury, (Jeff) Cumberland, who's a really good tight end. Stephen (Hill)'s in his second year, he's ready to blossom. Defense has always been strong, so it's about me being a good quarterback."
Smith just cited Santonio Holmes (possibly walking with a limp right now)
, Jeff Cumberland and Stephen Hill as weapons to get excited about. I admire his ability to keep a straight face ... or not cry.