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Rookies Heading To NFL Symposium

Posted Jun 21, 2013

All members of the 2013 draft class are headed to Ohio for the annual rookie symposium.

The offseason program has come to a close for the rookies, but the 2013 draft class still has one official activity before getting a chance to head home.

All draft picks will attend the NFL’s four-day rookie symposium in Aurora, Ohio, next week to give them advice on adjusting to life in the NFL. The 16th annual symposium will focus on the legacy and tradition of the NFL, and also include presentations about making proper decisions as a professional athlete.

“The great thing about the symposium is that the rookies get to see that the issues and topics we’ve been discussing aren’t just specific to the Ravens,” Director of Player Development Harry Swayne said.  “It affects all rookies across the board.”

AFC rookies will attend the symposium June 23-26, with the NFC players attending June 26-29.

The symposium will reinforce many of the same topics – financial education, relationship advice, media training – the Ravens covered during the rookie development program that Swayne teaches.

“I hope that they see there is consistency and continuity at the symposium with how the Ravens do things,” Swayne said.

As part of the program, rookies will hear from several current and former players about their experiences in the NFL. Some of the players scheduled to speak this year include Vernon Davis, Adam “Pac-man” Jones, Chad Pennington, LaVar Arrington and Maurice Clarett. 

The players will sit on various panel discussions for topics including, “Self Regulation,” “Staying In The Game,” “Expectations of an NFL Player” and “Are You Bigger Than The Game?”

“It always helps when they get to hear other players say what we’ve been telling them all along,” Swayne said. “It’s a little bit like when your parents tell you something, it goes in one ear and out the other. But when someone else says the same thing, then it connects. When they hear one of their own say it, it takes on a whole new meaning.”

In addition to hearing about the importance of decisions off the field, the rookies will also get a history lesson from some of the game’s all-time greats. Hall of Famers Jim Brown and Richard Dent will lead a history session at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.

The players will also get a tour of the building.

“I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the Hall of Fame,” third-round pick Brandon Williams said. “I’ve never seen it, so walking through there will definitely give you some motivation.” 

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