Few experiences can truly prepare rookies to make the jump from college to the NFL.
But when Matt Elam and Arthur Brown officially begin their NFL careers later this week, they'll have a slight leg up on their counterparts.
Elam and Brown both have brothers currently in the NFL. Elam's brother, Abram, is also a safety who spent last year with the Chiefs, and Brown's brother, Bryce, is a running back for the Eagles.
"I feel like it can give me an advantage because my brother has a lot of experience, and he played in the league, and he knows what it takes," Elam said.
"I think it gives me insight in regards to just how to approach [the transition]," Brown said.
Abram is an eight-year veteran who has played for the Cowboys, Jets, Chiefs and Browns. He has a relationship with a number of coaches currently on the Ravens staff, including Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees and Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg. Pees was Abe's head coach at Kent State, and Rosburg coached special teams when he played for the Browns.
That familiarity between Elam's family and the Ravens made Baltimore a natural fit.
"My brother has great ties," Matt said. "My mom has great ties with Rosburg and my brother playing with Pees."
Bryce is actually 11 months younger than Arthur, but he is entering his second NFL season with the Eagles. He was a seventh-round pick out of Kansas State, so Arthur was recently able to see him go through the professional transition during his rookie season.
"Being able to watch and observe and listen to him and going through his experience definitely has given me insight into how I need to approach this coming year," Brown said.
Despite being a late-round draft pick, Bryce earned his way onto the roster and ended up getting a chance to start by the end of the season. Arthur, who is expected to compete for a starting inside linebacker job, also hopes to quickly make his presence felt in Baltimore.
"[My brother has given me insight into] just investing a lot of time [in]to being the best that I can be, making the impact initially, not waiting but really willing to make an impact," Brown said.
Abram is at a different place in his professional career, and he's been able to give Matt a veteran's perspective. Abram has been a starter every year since 2007, and Matt has watched his professional career unfold to get a better idea of how to have success at the NFL level.
"He has been giving me a lot of advice like covering and the way to train and the way to take care of my body and just being a pro – that's what he taught me the most and maturity," Elam said. "I think that gives me an advantage."