With no offseason programs, the fresh talent was handed a playbook, given a locker and a number, and told to get out there on the field -- not much time for digestion.
It became an ongoing storyline during the championship season as their progress ebbed and flowed. But now with a season to reflect and a real offseason to compare it to, the current second-year players appreciate it that much more.
“This camp my head is not spinning,” said offensive tackle
“It makes it a lot easier to go and have a training camp this year,” Jernigan said. “We had OTAs and rookie minicamp and stuff like that this offseason that we didn’t have when we came in. It helps us tremendously. So now you’re not out there thinking that much. You know what to do, and you’re just reacting to the defenses and the coaching. When we came in, they just threw us in the fire, like, ‘Learn this, do it now.’”
The expedited offseason, however, didn’t wash out the class by any means, especially on defense.
If their predecessors could accomplish all that – and a Super Bowl championship -- on the fly, we’ll see how the 2012 crop stacks up.
“They’re learning and they have the benefit of the OTAs,” Brewer said. “So I think this class of rookies is a lot further ahead than my class was last year.”