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Old 05-06-2008, 03:13 AM   #1
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Default Rookie injuries common in mini-camp

Rookie injuries common in mini-camp
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Rashard Mendenhall left Pittsburgh after the Steelers' mini-camp practices concluded Sunday with a thick playbook and something else he had to lug around: a balky hamstring.
Mendenhall, the team's first-round pick in this year's NFL Draft, strained his hamstring last Friday and didn't take part in Saturday's and Sunday's practices.

The running back's injury didn't surprise Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who said it's becoming more common for top draft picks to report to mini-camp in less-than-top playing shape through no fault of their own.

"Just in recent years, the guys I've been around, the guys projected to go high in the draft have a lot of obligations," Tomlin said. "Really, it throws off their workout regimen."

The visits top prospects make to individual teams leading up to the draft is the biggest hindrance to their maintaining a regular workout schedule.
Teams are allowed to have 30 such visits, and the one-on-one meetings are considered a critical part of the evaluation process. Players are given physical examinations and are asked questions that give teams more insight into the players' grasp of Xs and Os and their character.

Premier prospects are particularly in demand for those visits, given the financial investment teams make in top picks and how vital it is for teams not to make a mistake early in the draft.

"I had 24 trips," said Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons, who was the 15th overall pick in the 2007 draft. "That's hard. You want to work out, but you can't because you've got a 6 o'clock flight in the morning. You've just got be flexible and go deal with it."

Timmons hurt his groin during the mini-camp the Steelers held less than a week after the draft last year. The injury turned out to linger, and Timmons was eventually diagnosed with a sports hernia.

Linebacker LaMarr Woodley, the Steelers' second-round pick last year, was hurt during that same mini-camp pulling a hamstring.

The lull rookies sometimes experience leading up to the draft is another big reason for those nagging injuries.

They train for the NFL Scouting Combine, which is in late February, and also for the "Pro Days" in March and early April on college campuses across the country.

The gap between "Pro Day" workouts and the actual draft is frequently more than a month, and during that time, prospects are fitting in workouts whenever their schedules allow.

"It's an awkward time for these young guys," Tomlin said. "When they're in college, they spend a lot of time in winter conditioning, getting ready for spring ball. They're not really part of a team as they prepare for the draft. They miss a little bit of that, and those kind of things (injuries) happen.

"It's less-than ideal, but that's the reality of it. These are talented young people. It's nothing that they can't overcome."

Mendenhall says he expects to practice when the Steelers reconvene for the OTA sessions May 20-22 at the team's South Side facility.

Despite the injury, Mendenhall says the mini-camp practices were beneficial.

"I got a lot from the playbook and the feel of everything and being around the guys and them getting to know you and you know them and knowing how the coaches coach and everything," Mendenhall said.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_565965.html
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Old 05-06-2008, 06:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: Rookie injuries common in mini-camp

injuries are just part of the sport.
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: Rookie injuries common in mini-camp

With that said, you would also think the teams would be prepared for the rookie's increased likelihood of injury. Why not take it easy on them, or even have a training session for a few week before mini-camp?
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:46 AM   #4
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Default Re: Rookie injuries common in mini-camp

Better hurt now rather than in August when it counts.
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:54 AM   #5
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Default Re: Rookie injuries common in mini-camp

Mendenhall's hamstring doesn't sound like its one of those nasty hamstring pulls that lingers all season....Really it sounds like he just tweaked it and he should be fine...
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Rookie injuries common in mini-camp

It seems to me that if these injuries are something that teams and coaches are aware of "prior" to them happening then some preventive measures should be taken. I mean why not get these guys back up to speed instead of gambling that everything will be ok? Making the statement that these guys are young and they will bounce back is crazy! Maybe I'm crazy! I feel that if you take a guy in the 1st round you expect him to contribute in some way or another his 1st year. How is that gonna happen if he is pulling this tearing that and spraining something else?

This whole thing seems to dance around common sense!

Just my 2 cents!

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Old 05-06-2008, 07:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: Rookie injuries common in mini-camp

just our luck :(
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: Rookie injuries common in mini-camp

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Originally Posted by Dino 5 Rings View Post
Better hurt now rather than in August when it counts.


word
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:03 PM   #9
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Default Re: Rookie injuries common in mini-camp

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Originally Posted by Hammer Of The GODS View Post
It seems to me that if these injuries are something that teams and coaches are aware of "prior" to them happening then some preventive measures should be taken. I mean why not get these guys back up to speed instead of gambling that everything will be ok?
Agreed - it already affected our '07 #1 pick's development in a negative way.
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Old 05-07-2008, 02:43 PM   #10
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Default Re: Rookie injuries common in mini-camp

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer Of The GODS View Post
It seems to me that if these injuries are something that teams and coaches are aware of "prior" to them happening then some preventive measures should be taken. I mean why not get these guys back up to speed instead of gambling that everything will be ok? Making the statement that these guys are young and they will bounce back is crazy! Maybe I'm crazy! I feel that if you take a guy in the 1st round you expect him to contribute in some way or another his 1st year. How is that gonna happen if he is pulling this tearing that and spraining something else?

This whole thing seems to dance around common sense!

Just my 2 cents!

GO BURGH!

BATTLE OF KEYSTONE STATE! PENS AND FLYERS IN THE CONFERENCE FINAL! GO PENS!
I agree. Seems to me that the logical thing would be to schedule mini-camps a week or two later, so those prospects can fufill thier obligations and train a bit.
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