Warming Up For Mini-Camp 04/26/01
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The 49ers have scheduled their first mini-camp to begin this Thursday and run through the weekend. The mini-camp will offer the coaches their first look at how the team has progressed from last season. Rookies, both the drafted and undrafted will be looking to make a solid first impression on the coaches.

Mini-camps are perhaps the most over looked part of the NFL off-season. With so many players in attendance, given the largest permitted roster, many over look the mini-camp and deem it unessential. Truth be told, mini-camps are actually quite important in the making of an NFL roster.

Coaches get the first glimpse of players looking to make a transition from the collegiate level to the national level. The coaches also are able to judge whether the veterans on the team have stayed in shape during the off-season. These two aspects of the mini-camp are reason enough to deem them important. In order for a team to become or remain competitive, the team's scouting department must do tons of research. Mini-camps are a good indicator as how well the scouting department did, and how well the team will likely gel together.

The opinions formed during mini-camps by coaches aid greatly in the decision making process of putting together a roster. If players are out of shape for mini-camp, and ready for training camp, coaches will consider that - a player could be beat out for a spot by someone who stays in shape all season. The opinions of the type of players attending mini-camp, help judge whether the team will be a finesse or power team. This judgment provides coaches with the knowledge of how to tweak the playbook for the most success from the current squad.

All of the subtleties are often overlooked when it comes to building a NFL roster. The mini-camps play a valuable role in warming the coaches and players up for the season. They allow opinions to be formed - but not written in stone, but most of all coaches can evaluate if the veterans from prior seasons and players that the team scouted, and coveted, are indeed NFL material

Talk about it in the 49ers Paradise Forum

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