Rookies all across the NFL have gotten their first taste of offseason action through OTAs in the month of May. For second-year players like Arizona Cardinals tight end Rob Housler, it's a first time learning experience as well.
Because teams were kept from almost all of their preseason workouts and camps going into 2011 due to the lockout, Housler was without the benefit of a real training camp until now.
"I really wish I would have had this this time last year, but I have it in front of me now, so I'm trying to take advantage of it," Housler told Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf on Thursday.
Housler finished 2011 with 12 catches for 133 yards, but saw limited playing time behind Todd Heap and Jeff King.
Housler admits he didn't realize how much of a toll the NFL season would have on him, and that he hit the ‘rookie wall' about halfway through the season.
"It's extremely demanding on your body, it's really hard to put that into words to any rookie," Housler said. "It's one thing you just have to experience. You have to know how to pace yourself, keep your body healthy and eat, sleep and just live right."
Housler is looking to veterans on the team for lessons, and hopes to make a bigger impact on the 2012 season.
"I'm feeling really good and I'm excited to get training camp started and get more experience before the season starts," Housler said. "I wasn't even a blip on the radar last year, and that's not the kind of player I feel like I am. That's not the kind of player I want to be, I want to be an impact player. I want to go in and make a big difference."