Rookies doing best to be ready

It's difficult to prepare for something you've never experienced, but Bills rookies will have to do just that as they get ready for their first training camp.

Helping their transition from college to the pros is the fact they participated in 14 OTAs as well as mandatory minicamp. Although the offseason workouts did not involve pads or contact, they were the first real practices that the rookies had with the whole team. This gave them an idea of what their teammates and coaches could expect of them.

"(The Bills rookie class) came in pretty close," said top pick Aaron Maybin. "We've been spending a whole lot of time together ever since the draft and since we came up to Buffalo."

Some of that time was spent at the June 28-July 1 NFL Rookie Symposium in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

"The rookie symposium was a good chance for us to spend the whole day together, eat together, go to meetings together, and discuss things, so that made us even closer," Maybin said. "That will help as we all go into training camp."

Soon the members of the Bills' rookie class will be expected to get right into the swing of things with the veterans at camp. One way to do this successfully is to set up a daily workout regimen now.

During the symposium, Jets TE Dustin Keller, a 2008 rookie, told the members of this year's rookie class that if there was anything he could change about his first NFL season, it would be setting up a workout program prior to training camp.

Many players view the several weeks between the end of offseason workouts and camp as a chance to take a vacation before the grind of the season begins. However, it is also the best time for athletes to stay in shape in order to more effectively compete during camp.

Offensive lineman Eric Wood, the Bills' other first-rounder, said he planned to return to his home in Kentucky and train with other NFL players from his alma mater, the University of Louisville.

Wood and others are comfortable going back to their college and hometown roots. Being around veteran NFL players is a great opportunity to get further advice on succeeding in the pros.

"I've been back home in Baltimore for the past two weeks working out with a friend of mine, Ray Lewis with the Ravens, and I've really been making some strides as far as that's concerned," Maybin said, adding that he planned to travel to Miami to finish his training before camp starts.

Despite extremely busy schedules, it seems as if the entire rookie class understands the importance of preparing for camp. So a strict workout schedule is imperative during their time off.
A common goal among the rookies for training camp is getting the coaches to recognize their desire to be on the field and they know being in the right physical condition will assist in doing that.

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