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Chargers rookies make it to Canton

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Blue Bolt, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

    Oct 28, 2009
    CHARGERS: Draftees working through NFL rookie symposium
    June 28, 2012 9:22 am • BY SCOTT BAIR sbair@nctimes.com


    The NFL rookie symposium began on Sunday, but the Chargers didn't join the proceedings until Wednesday. That's due to subtle changes in the symposium format, which separates attendees along conference lines.

    The NFC draft picks went first ---- thanks to the New York Giants' Super Bowl victory ---- and the AFC went through the league's annual crash course in professional football life beginning on Wednesday. Chargers draftees traveled to Aurora, Ohio, with director of player development Arthur Hightower for a series of seminars and classes that run through Saturday.

    Hightower acts as a team leader for a Chargers group that numbers seven, and helps guide them through the information being given during this mandatory event.

    "It's an important step in the life of an NFL rookie," Hightower said on Wednesday evening. "The league does an excellent job presenting the information, especially with the panels run by young players who can speak firsthand about the complications of NFL life."

    Hightower believes the NFL's panels emphasize what is taught by the team throughout the course of the offseason. The Chargers offer several seminars on varied off-field topics like financial planning, real estate and nutritional supplementation. All Chargers rookies, not just the draft picks, attend those sessions over summer before training camp begins.

    The draftees, who have to deal with higher expectations and bigger paychecks, get extra tutelage from the league on how to deal with newfound fame.

    "I've found that rookies generally take symposium seriously," Hightower said. "This is for their benefit, and it builds a foundation of knowledge for experiences they're about to have."

    The NFL is holding the symposium in northeastern Ohio for the first time and reportedly for the foreseeable future, which allows the draftees to tour the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.

    "It's a nice addition," Hightower said. "It gives young players a better understanding of the game's history and what it means to be truly great. Anything that prompts the players to buckle down, work at their craft and take their job seriously is a good thing.

    The new location means it won't be held locally anymore. The rookie symposium typically alternated between La Costa Resort and Spa and West Palm Beach, Fla.

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