The rookie symposium is designed to help the newest members of the NFL transition into professional football. Perhaps La’Roi Glover, director of player engagement for the St. Louis Rams, summed it up best:
“Whether they be meetings on financial issues, sex, alcohol, drugs, money, branding or marketing, I think it helps to have a facilitator there to kind of add and shed some light on some of the issues,” he told SB Nation.
Two of this year’s speakers were Michael Vick and Adam Jones, who have both had high-profile troubles off the field. Robert Griffin III has made it clear that he’s been paying attention.
RGIII spoke to Andrew Siciliano of NFL.com and had this to say:
On Michael Vick
“Me and Mike had met at a signing earlier this year, so he was just saying that he saw me, and, you know, he’s a guy that guys like myself looked up to when he was playing in Atlanta, and especially the way he’s turned things around with the Philadelphia Eagles. It was good to hear him talk, hear what he had to say and he’s definitely a guy I could listen to all day.
“He’s a real guy. He made a mistake, he owned up to it, came back out made the best of the situation and he got his second chance and made the most of it. I think a lot of guys can really relate to that. Maybe not going to prison and things of that nature, but just the fact that he’s real. He made a mistake and he’s working hard now, which he wished he would have done from the beginning.
“For me it’s just good to see him the way he is now. You now, growing up when he first started in ’01, I think I was 11 years old. So to watch him play and be inspired to play football by guys like him, to see him own up to his mistake and now be where he’s at in his career, having some of the best years of his career in Philly, it’s really good to see. And to have him come talk, I think everybody in that room was zoned in, he’s a guy that everything he says holds some power.”
On Adam Jones
“That’s powerful as well ‘cause he’s a guy that’s been in the headlines a lot, and he definitely made the distinction between ‘Pacman’ and Adam Jones. Adam Jones is the guy he is every day, all day. He’s ‘Pacman’ on the field. But he wanted to get rid of that stigma because it had a lot of negative behind it.
“To see him come up and also admit all his faults and just tell guys that he’d done everything that a lot of these guys think of. I mean, 14 cars, some of the stuff he was doing, you know, taking guys to Florida, spending $400 thousand. That’s stuff that, maybe as a little kid you dream of, ‘Hey, I’ll be able to do all that stuff when you grow up,’ but it’s not something that you wanna do.”
On Brian Orakpo
“Can’t wait to get back into camp with him. I hope he’s enjoying his vacation, because it’s not gonna be pretty when we get back.”
You can watch the full video from NFL.com here.