Mark Thomas

Triangle players getting ready for the NFL show

Posted May 1, 2013
Updated May 2, 2013

Many college players from this area either got drafted or signed free agent contracts with NFL teams. For those players, it’s a dream come true. You’re going to have an opportunity to suit up and get paid a king’s ransom to play a kids game.

However, the road to the first week of the NFL season is a long one, paved with twists and turns that are sure to work on your emotions. My best advice is to enjoy every second of it. As much as possible.

Just understand, rookie, that you are in a business now that requires a daily pursuit of perfection in an imperfect game. The NFL is a cutthroat business that is looking for men that can withstand the pressure at the highest level of completion. NFL League Logo NFL Draft 2013

There are players from the Triangle that are going to have an immediate impact on the NFL. I think the three that will top that list are Gio Bernard in Cincinnati, David Amerson in Washington and Sylvester Williams in Denver. Other guys will have an impact down the road but probably not right away. Guys like Earl Wolff in Philadelphia and Jonathan Cooper in Arizona will get a shot to play.

I believe that work ethic always wins out in the long run. There are some things that rookies will be advised about at the rookie symposium that will help away from the field. Veterans will advise these guys on what it will take to succeed on the field.

Things like..

Getting to know your playbook.

The fastest ticket out of league isn’t getting injured, as some might think. It’s not knowing where your supposed to be when the ball turns over. There is a lot to consume. Your head will feel like it’s about to explode.

Write down everything you can and don’t get frustrated. This is the beginning of the process of coaches finding out if you can handle the mental grind of the NFL. Stay up late and study like it’s a final exam for a class. You’ll be too nervous to get any sleep anyway, so while you’re up study.

Have fun.

I know this one sounds ridiculous to fans. I mean, you're playing in the NFL. How can you not be having fun!

The problem is college players are aware of the behind the scenes work that goes into playing the game of football. But after your senior season came so easy to you, you now are getting placed back to being a freshman again.

It is a tough business. But your dreams are coming true so don’t forget to enjoy the ride. An NFL career is so short. It is over before you know it. So enjoy every minute you can.

And finally…

Always know that you have to improve your game EVERY DAY. I was watching Peyton Manning work out a few weeks ago at Duke. He was working so hard on his fundamentals and delivering the football.

In my mind, he’s already the greatest quarterback to ever play the game, yet there he was getting ready for his 16th season. It looked like a guy about to take his first snap in the league. If a football player doesn’t take every opportunity he can to get better, he will be left behind.

Get ready guys. It’s about to get real.

7 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Hokies94 May 2, 9:50 p.m.

    "The NFL is a cutthroat business." That's all I really needed to read in this one. You either learn, study, and do the work or you're sent packing. That's the way it should be.

  • StunGunn May 2, 5:58 p.m.

    Mark Thomas gave good advice about the players having to work hard, be sure to improve, study the playbook, and have fun. Playing in the NFL is a dream come true for these guys, but that dream can be very short lived. I wish them all the best.

  • Toddler10-21 May 2, 12:38 p.m.

    Agree abt Manning being the best ever in the regular season. The playoff game shouldnt have went into overtime, but it did. Manning had two drives in OT. Terrible decision, and throw! Hope the kid from Elon makes it.

  • Hammerhead May 2, 11:44 a.m.

    I think Gio Bernard will excel in the NFL. He's a great all-around player and he will be a great... View More

    — Posted by PanthersFan45

    I think he'll excel at the next level myself. I think the Bungles are turning it around....though that's been said before.

  • olivechapel1000 May 2, 11:22 a.m.

    I think Gio Bernard will excel in the NFL. He's a great all-around player and he will be a great... View More

    — Posted by PanthersFan45

    Agree, Great Player, but worry for anyone plays for the Bengals. Hopefully, he stays healthy.

  • PanthersFan45 May 2, 10:57 a.m.

    I think Gio Bernard will excel in the NFL. He's a great all-around player and he will be a great fit for the Bengals.

  • olivechapel1000 May 2, 9:58 a.m.

    "Get ready guys. It’s about to get real"??

    Really, most of the ones mentioned, mostly likely will play 3-5 years and then have to deal with a life time of injuries and "the real" life.

    "Manning the best ever"?

    I respect that he has played at top level for sometime.
    But he is only as good as his defense and kicker.

  • ACC: Clemson at NC State

    Tonight at 9:00 on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Florida

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Duke at Notre Dame

    Tonight at 7:30 on 620am

  • ACC: NC State vs. Clemson

    Tonight at 9:00 on WRAL-FM

  • SEC: Kentucky at Missouri

    Tomorrow at 9:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. St. Louis

    Friday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 4
TAM 2
7:30pm Tonight
ND
DUKE
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
CHA
 
9:00pm Tonight
NCSU
CLEM
 
9:00pm Tonight
MEM
ECU
 
Final
IND 91
TOR 104
Final
DET 95
CLE 103
Final
MIA 102
MIL 109
Final
DAL 90
MEM 109
Final
GSW 111
CHI 113
Final
LAL 92
WAS 98
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
DET
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
POR
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
SAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
BOS
 
8:00pm Tonight
ATL
BRK
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
DEN
 
8:00pm Tonight
NYK
OKC
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
CHA
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
PHO
WAS
 
Final
AKR 59
BST 47
 
Final
KSU 63
CMICH 53
 
Final
VCU 72
GWU 48
Final
TOL 70
UMO 65
 
Final
MICH 58
NEB 44
Final
BGU 56
NILL 46
 
Final
EMICH 76
OHIO 40
 
Final
VT 70
PITT 67
Final
LAS 53
STJOE 48
Final
TULA 55
TULSA 62
Final
UGA 70
VANDY 62
Final
KYST 59
WVU 65
Final
BUF 77
WMICH 71
 
Final
GEOR 53
XAV 66
Final
EVAN 89
INDST 78
 
Final
ORU 94
TABOR 53
 
Final
OKST 64
BAY 53
9:00pm Tuesday
PROV 0
DEP 0
 
Final
ALA 50
UF 52
9:00pm Tuesday
RUTG 0
MSU 0
 
Final
ARK 69
TENN 64
Final
AUB 61
TEXAM 71
Final
UTST 56
WYO 44
Final
SDST 58
FRES 47
Final
CALST 79
SDCHR 54
 
Final
NEV 62
UNLV 67
Final
BSU 82
COLST 78
7:00pm Tonight
VERM
GTDNS
 
7:00pm Tonight
NAVY
AMER
 
7:00pm Tonight
UMBC
BING
 
7:00pm Tonight
JMU
DEL
 
7:00pm Tonight
RICH
DUQ
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNCW
ELON
 
7:00pm Tonight
USB
HART
 
7:00pm Tonight
WMARY
HOF
 
7:00pm Tonight
COL
LAF
 
7:00pm Tonight
PSU
MINN
 
7:00pm Tonight
MAINE
UNH
 
7:00pm Tonight
DREX
NE
 
7:00pm Tonight
FORD
RIU
 
7:00pm Tonight
SFLA
SMU
 
7:00pm Tonight
MARQ
SHU
 
7:00pm Tonight
LSU
SCAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
UCF
TEMPL
 
7:00pm Tonight
LONG
UNCA
 
7:00pm Tonight
FSU
WAKE
 
7:00pm Tonight
CCAR
WINT
 
7:00pm Tonight
OU
WRST
 
7:30pm Tonight
ND
DUKE
 
7:30pm Tonight
GHND 0
HC 0
 
7:30pm Tonight
CSOU
RAD
 
7:30pm Tonight
OKLA
TTU
 
8:00pm Tonight
BRAD
DRAK
 
8:00pm Tonight
BUCK
LEH
 
8:00pm Tonight
WICHS
LOYC
 
8:00pm Tonight
ILLST
MIZST
 
8:00pm Tonight
PEAY
MORE
 
8:00pm Tonight
SDKST
NEOM
 
8:00pm Tonight
ARST
ORST
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
RICE
 
8:05pm Tonight
SILL
NIOWA
 
9:00pm Tonight
NCSU
CLEM
 
9:00pm Tonight
MEM
ECU
 
9:00pm Tonight
MIAMI
GT
 
9:00pm Tonight
PURD
IND
 
9:00pm Tonight
TCU
KU
 
9:00pm Tonight
BC
LOU
 
9:00pm Tonight
MISS
MSST
 
9:00pm Tonight
CREI
STJ
 
10:00pm Tonight
SJST
AFA
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARZ
OREG
 
11:00pm Tonight
WASH
STAN
 
Final
PHI 4
ARI 3
Final
NYI 4
NYR 1
Final
CLB 4
WAS 3
Final
PIT 5
WIN 3
Final
MON 3
DAL 2
Final
FLA 4
DET 5
Final
CAR 4
TAM 2
Final
NAS 4
COL 3
Final
CAL 4
BUF 1
Final
EDM 1
MIN 2
Final
VAN 0
ANA 4
7:30pm Tonight
NJD
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
WAS
PIT
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
CHI