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Rookies chew on a whole lot at symposium

Attendance at the NFL's Rookie Symposium is as revealing as it is mandatory.

CARLSBAD, Calif. -- Attendance at the NFL's Rookie Symposium is as revealing as it is mandatory.

Since the NFL kicked off its symposium, four notable players have either reported late to it or left early over the years: quarterback Ryan Leaf, safety Sean Taylor, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones.

Each has encountered varying degrees of controversy or adversity.

But the encouraging news this year is that no rookie reported late to the Rookie Symposium at La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, Calif. No rookie left early, either. In fact, the only incident that NFL officials reported was a toothache that one player incurred on the symposium's opening night. No problem there.

Throughout the symposium, various speakers -- including such luminaries as New York Jets running back Curtis Martin, Cleveland Browns defensive end Willie McGinest and former Houston Texans general manager Charley Casserly -- preached to the rookies about the choices they make and the consequences they have.

But it seems as if this rookie class knew a thing or two about it before the lectures even kicked off.


Aside from listening, rookies did a whole lot of eating.

From the time they reported to the symposium Sunday night to the time they exited Wednesday afternoon, rookies ate as if they were trying to put on weight for next month's training camp.

The 254 rookies consumed 1,400 pounds of chicken wings, 1,400 hamburgers and 1,500 pounds of fried chicken, according to NFL officials that organized the symposium. All told, that was over two tons of meat -- a whole lot of meat.


Martin passed along two notable bits of advice to rookies that he once learned:

"Discipline is the bridge between thought and accomplishment."

"Don't sacrifice what you wish for most for what you wish for right now."

Wise man, Curtis. Very wise.

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