Hamdan off to different camp

Talkative by nature and a three-year NFL veteran, Bills backup quarterback Gibran Hamdan might discover a strong post-playing career when he attends the league's Broadcast Boot Camp June 22-25 in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey.

Hamdan and other camp goers will cover a wide range of broadcast areas, including tape study, editing, show preparation, radio production, and control room operations with professionals.

"This opportunity provided itself as a way to dip my toe into it, and see if it's something that I enjoy doing and that I'm even good at," Hamdan said. "I think that it's a great thing that the NFL is offering and it's a cool opportunity. This is just me trying it out, and being the novice that I am, we'll see if I'm any good."

Among the other players scheduled to attend are Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew, New England offensive tackle Matt Light and Washington receiver Antwaan Randle-El.

They couldn't have a better group of mentors from which to learn. Many NFL broadcasters, including CBS studio anchor James Brown, will be part of the staff for the camp and account for more than 400 years of experience. The program will be held at the headquarters of NFL Films.

Though only in its third year the league sponsored program already has a track record of success. Of the 40 players who attended in 2007 and 2008, 21 earned positions in broadcasting including former Bills offensive lineman Ross Tucker.

"I'm looking forward to hanging out with some of the guys that are there. From a standpoint of the lineup that will be there, I think it's a pretty impressive group of guys." Hamdan said of the boot camp instructors. "I really plan on picking everybody's brain, and seeing what they have to say."

Former NFL players bring a great deal to a broadcast. Their first-hand knowledge allows them to go deeper into the game. Having experienced different matchups themselves, they are able to paint a detailed picture for viewers and listeners. But these broadcast rookies know they don't have all the answers.

"One question I would have is, 'What's it like to be critical of certain athletes that you may have played with during your career?' Obviously part of the job is to have an up-front and honest take on the action that is going on and different opinions on different things," said Hamdan. "It will be interesting to see what guys have to say in terms of how they handle discussing players they have played with in the past."

The boot camp will give Hamdan the chance to see if this is a career path he would want to follow. His knowledge of the game and outgoing personality make him a good candidate in this field.

"More so than just what position I play, I hope I bring more to the table that everybody that's there can appreciate," Hamdan said. "Obviously I'm always working to get better so I'm hoping that, overall, that's what this provides me."

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