Some players are pulling out all the stops to get up to speed. It was suggested to Denver Broncos second-round pick Rahim Moore during his introductory news conference that he contact first-round pick Von Miller to get a look at the Broncos defensive playbook.
“That would be a great idea,” said the UCLA safety. “A playbook is very important to get so we won’t come in with nothing on our minds. You know we would get to have some type of (introduction) to the team. But, that’s a great idea. I’m going to try to get in contact with him and get his number immediately.”
Ponder said he would start contacting his new teammates right away, trying to forge a bond and chemistry with some of them during the time off.
“It’s tough, especially with the uncertainty,” Ponder said. “We have no idea what’s going to happen and I’m praying I’ll be back here in two weeks for minicamp or whenever we’re allowed.”
While many veterans are welcoming the extra time away from what they perceive to be offseason busy work, the rookies are eager for the orientation to get under way.
“With the lockout situation right now you don’t know when you’ll be able to talk to your coach again, when you’re going to get to the facility,” Panthers third-round draft pick Sione Fua said. “For me, I’ve just got to take care of business on my end. Stay in shape, stay on track to graduate and when I get the call to come in, just be ready to go and be in shape.”
It’s not much easier for coaches, who believe they need as much time as they can get to start molding the youngsters and preparing them for an increase in competition many aren’t ready for when they leave school. They also cannot sign college free agents to fill out their summer rosters, which keeps hundreds of prospects out of work for now.
“We’ll just be fluid,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “We’ll react to what’s going on. We have to play by the rules and until we’re told otherwise now, I guess those will be the rules.”
AP Pro Football Writers Barry Wilner and Arnie Stapleton and AP Sports Writers Josh Dubow, Teresa M. Walker, Joe Kay, Tom Withers, Steven Wine, Rick Gano, Mike Cranston and Stephen Hawkins contributed to this story.
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