History 101

History 101

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All of the players selected in April’s National Football League draft enjoyed a visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The Hall tour was part of the NFL’s 16th Annual Rookie Symposium. The league’s four-day orientations, most of which were held in nearby Aurora, Ohio, concluded with stops at the Hall of Fame.

The rookies from NFC teams wrapped up this year’s event on Saturday morning while the AFC rookies enjoyed their Hall of fame tour on Wednesday. The draftees received a unique crash-course on the history of professional football during private guided tours by Hall of Fame staff. The sessions then wrapped up with riveting talks from Hall of Fame players. Former Chicago Bears great Richard Dent gave an inspirational talk to the NFL hopefuls on Saturday. Hall of Fame cornerback Mike Haynes addressed the AFC rookies on Wednesday, June 26.

The NFL’s 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.

{GALLERY_rookie}“These meetings that they’ve (rookies) gone through all week are spectacular,” said Haynes, the Class of 1997 inductee who starred for the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Raiders. “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.”

The rookies began their program at the Hall of Fame with a welcome by the Hall’s President/Executive Director Steve Perry and Vice President Joe Horrigan before embarking on the museum tours. The clubs posed for team photos in front of the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The trophy is the actual one that will be awarded to the Super Bowl champions in New York next February.

Dent shared advice with the young players about what it takes to achieve success at the pro level.

“It's okay to have an ego, just don't smell the place up with it,” stated Dent who was enshrined into the Hall of Fame in 2011 in recognition of his spectacular career with the Chicago Bears (1983-1993, 1995), San Fan Francisco 49ers (1996), Indianapolis Colts (1996), and Philadelphia Eagles (1997).

Aside from providing 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, Haynes and Dent also shared their passion for the Hall of Fame.

“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.”

Rookie tweets from Canton

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.

Had a good time at the @ProFootballHOF this morning. Time to make these dreams come true. – Washington Redskins DE Brandon Jenkins out of Florida 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.

Its humbling to be here at the @ProFootballHOF and to see at the great players that came before me. #blessed - St. Louis Rams LB Alec Ogletree out of Georgia.

Photo Galleries: AFC Rookies | NFC Rookies

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