Rookie Diary #16: Training Camp Opens
by, 8/11/04

For training camp, weíre staying at St. Vincentís College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, about 45 minutes outside of Pittsburgh. Weíre staying in the dorm rooms. Some people got rooms to themselves, and everybody else had to share rooms. I share a room with Max Starks. We eat breakfast, lunch and dinners there, in the dining halls.

For the most part, practices in the morning are not full pads, theyíre more like the coaching clinics [from summer camp]. Itís usually an hour and a half long. So theyíre not that bad. We go through a little bit of special teams, little bit of everything in the morning practice, then go back and eat lunch. Then we have another practice that afternoon, about 3 oíclock, for about two hours. Thatís more of a full pads, do-a-little-bit-of-everything practice.

The practice isnít as hard as college actually, itís just a lot of mental stuff, trying to learn what youíre doing and things like that. Like right now I definitely have more mental mistakes than I should be doing. Just trying to get used to doing everything, and thatís slowing me down sometimes. With [fellow outside linebacker] Clark Haggans going down, theyíre also bringing all the outside linebackers in, like another outside linebacker just came in today from Cincinnati. I just found out about it today when I went in to my meeting. Alonzo Jackson is healthy now. He had strained something in his side or something like that, but heís back practicing now.

Iíve still been working with the number two unit. Iíve just been trying to stay focused, trying to do what I gotta do.

The big difference between training camp and summer workouts is the contact, and also running special teams; a lot more special teams work now is going on. Another big difference is actually seeing stuff for the first time, like you see it during the OTAs during the summer, but then seeing it at full speed and in full pads when they go through all the run plays, and they throw a lot more play action at you. That meanís Iíve got to read the run, then react and get out into coverage.

The intensity isnít different from summer camp to training camp. The coaches always bring a certain intensity to the game, they always pretty much just want you to beat the offense every time you have a chance to beat them. So that mentality doesnít ever change, really.

I think Iíve got the physical tools to play outside linebacker. Iíll be good enough to get the job done, but right now Iím not. Iím thinking so much at times, and Iíll make the wrong read or do something stupid. I guess right now Iím not really able to show anything physically because Iím thinking so much. I guess once I start really getting the mental part down, then I can start playing [physically] a lot better also.

I still think the big difference between the college players and NFL players is that the NFL guys are more technically sound. Thereís a lot better technique than in the college level. Everybody now is like playing against Miami.

Thinking too much is my biggest thing. Itís frustrating, Ďcause Iím not a person who usually makes a lot of mistakes. Iím not used to making a lot of mistakes. Learning a new position and trying to get this stuff down is tough. Just learning a whole different position, you know Iíve never done this stuff before, trying to cover people, all that stuff, itís just new. And to try to get used to it, especially doing it at full speed and then seeing certain plays on offense for the first time, Iím not reacting fast enough when I should be reacting, and it makes me look bad out there. It makes it look like Iím not going hard. Iím trying to go hard, but Iím just not reacting fast enough.

Physically, I feel fine. I donít have any injuries, just sore. Iím still kind of sore from my senior season, and Iím just trying to get through all that also, I get in the cool-down tub every day after practice.

What enters my mind during the night is that I canít lay on certain spots because something will hurt, like my shoulder will hurt so bad, I canít lay on the left side of my shoulder that night. I just iced it really, I really donít know what itís from. Maybe itís from college, maybe itís from here, I donít know. I just try to go out there and give it everything, you know, just try my hardest like the team.

Iím on all of the special teams right now. Iím on 2nd kickoff return, 2nd kickoff, 2nd punt, 2nd punt return. Iím running with the 1st field goal team, and Iím with the number 2 field goal block team.

Our first preseason game is at Detroit this Saturday. If I get to tackle KJ, Iím gonna kill him. I wonít talk to him, because Iím not a talker, but I will try to kill him.

Next Update: Adibi talks about his first preseason game

Previous Rookie Diaries With Nathaniel Adibi:

Rookie Diary #15: Adibi Signs Contract, 7/23/04
Rookie Diary #14: Adibi Working Out in Richmond, 6/25/04
Rookie Diary #13: Offseason Program Concludes, 6/11/04
Rookie Diary #12: Learning the System, 5/27/04
Rookie Diary #11: Steelers Minicamp, 5/18/04
Rookie Diary #10: Adibi's a Steeler, 4/30/04
Rookie Diary #9: Waiting for Draft Day, 4/23/04
Rookie Diary #8: Adibi Visits the Tennessee Titans, 4/16/04
Rookie Diary #7: The Second Pro Day, 4/2/04
Rookie Diary #6: A Solid Pro Day, 3/24/04
Rookie Diary #5: In Town for Pro Day, 3/17/04
Rookie Diary #4: Adibi's Time in Oakland Winds Down, 3/12/04
Rookie Diary #3: The Aftermath of the Combine, 3/4/04
Rookie Diary #2: Busy Weekend at the Combine for Adibi, 2/26/04
Rookie Diary #1: Adibi Prepares for the NFL Combine, 2/19/04

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