National Football League rookie draft picks from all 16 AFC teams received a unique crash-course on the history of professional football during a tour of the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
Nearly 130 draftees visited the museum and participated in guided tours as part of the NFL’s 16th Annual Rookie Symposium. The league’s four-day orientation, most of which was held in nearby Aurora, Ohio, concluded for the AFC with this morning’s stop at the Hall of Fame. The annual symposium provides drafted rookies with information based on the four principles of the NFL; history, total wellness, experience and professionalism.
The symposium includes presentations, videos and workshops focused on the principles stated above as well as other topics, including player health and safety, decision making, successfully identifying off-the-field challenges and transitioning from college to the professional level.
Great time in Canton Ohio visiting the @ProFootballHOF. Got to see a lot of the NFL history. – Jacksonville Jaguars CB Jeremy Harris out of New Mexico State.
Today changed my outlook on what it takes to be the best. What hard work really means to me. How bad do I want to be in the Hall of Fame. – San Diego Chargers OT D.J. Fluker out of Alabama.
The rookies began their program at the Hall of Fame with a welcome by the Hall’s President/Executive Director Steve Perry. The NFL hopefuls then embarked on personalized tours led by Hall of Fame staff and volunteers.
The day’s program ended with Class of 1997 enshrinee Mike Haynes who provided the rookies with advice on how to prepare for life after football and how to represent themselves and the NFL in a responsible and respectful manner. The former New England Patriots and Los Angeles Raiders cornerback closed the program with a sincere address about the impact of the symposium and shared his deep passion for the Hall of Fame.
“These meetings that they’ve (rookies) gone through all week are spectacular,” Haynes said. “They bring in some former players and current players to tell their stories to try and help these guys have a picture in their minds of different situations that they might find themselves in. And they (the NFL) do a fantastic job of doing that and providing information about the resources that guys have.
“When you come here this is where the history is,” Haynes added about the rookies visit to the Hall of Fame on Wednesday morning. “This is where you get a chance to see the great guys and get a chance to learn about them.”
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