Rookie draft picks from all 16 NFC teams learned about the illustrious history of professional football during a tour of the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
Hoping to one day return as Hall of Famers, nearly 125 draftees visited the museum and received personal tours as part of the National Football League’s 15th annual rookie symposium.
Among the players on hand for the morning program was Washington Redskins
first-round pick Robert Griffin III, who briefly spoke to media about his willingness to succeed in the NFL.
“Everybody's goal should be to get to the Hall of Fame because if that is truly your goal, you'll work to get there,” he said.
“All of the guys who have given us testimony have told us how hard you have to work to get to that point,” Griffin shared. “So if you're willing to say, 'Hey, that's my goal; I want to be a Hall of Fame Player,' then you're going to go through every day and make sure you seize the most out of that day.”
The core teaching principles of the symposium are NFL history, experience, player expectations, and professional and social responsibility. The four-day orientation, most of which was held in nearby Aurora, Ohio, concluded with this morning’s stop at the Hall of Fame. The symposium included presentations, videos, and workshops focused on these important principles as well as other topics, including player health and safety, decision making and maintaining positive relationships.
The rookies began their program at the Hall of Fame with a welcome by the museum’s President/Executive Director Steve Perry before embarking on in-depth guided tours led by Hall of Fame staff and volunteers.
Then, Class of 2004 enshrinee closed the program with a heartfelt address to the NFL hopefuls. He also 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.
“This is where the great ones end up,” said Eller, wearing his Hall of Fame gold jacket.
“One of the problems with greatness is that it ends all too suddenly,” continued Eller, who received a standing ovation from the rookies at the conclusion of his talk. “Many players are not prepared for that moment. That’s why it’s important that you realize that you need to start protecting the NFL shield and building your brand now.”
Several members of the local and national media who have been covering the symposium, held in Ohio for the first time, covered today’s tours.
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