Going Back To School
May 3 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
Just as colleges and universities are finishing up their second semesters across the nation, and the months are turning from April to May, rookies across the league are going back to school. It wont be algebra, biology or economics that they are studying though, actually they will only have one text book. Rather the rookies will be studying their teamsí respective play books, and in the 49ers case, they will be preparing for an all rookie mini-camp in mid May.
The 49ers rookies have been give the 49ers playbook already, but simply knowing the books is not enough, it must become second nature to them. To aid in the process the 49ers incorporate multi-media platforms allowing the players to better visualize, and understand the playbook.
Everything from viewing game film along side coaches to reviewing plays on CD-ROM with animations, the 49ers take full advantage of technology to aid its players - particularly the new ones to the team in learning the playbook. These players are already at a disadvantage joining the team so late in the off-season, the rookies need all the help they can get to adapt to pro level. Itís for that reason that lately the 49ers have been looking for mature college players with lots of game experience. These players typically have an easier time adapting to the pro-level and are less overwhelmed when playing in front of large audiences.
Certainly the 49ers have had success with that type of player and with its training methods as of late. Ahmed Plummer, Jason Webster, Andre Carter, Julian Peterson and Kevan Barlow are all players who fit that mold. The team hopes this years draft can generate more players along those lines, and they will give the rookies every possible advantage to make the jump.