Corey Peters: Virtual learning period might make or break some rookies
Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Corey Peters is glad he’s not a rookie right now.
The veteran is entering his 10th season in the NFL, and this year, the concepts and instructions he’s receiving virtually are carry-over from last year with defensive coordinator Vance Joseph back for another season.
That’s not the case for the rookies, who are trying to make an already difficult jump from college to the NFL and doing it without any on-the-field instruction.
“I would hate to be a rookie right now because who knows what they learned in college or what the systems called for, how complicated those systems were,” Peters told the RapSheet and Friends podcast. “So to try to learn a new system that may be more difficult anyway, in this format, could be challenging.
“But the NFL is challenging. This is a situation where you can’t look for an excuse, you’ve got to look for solutions and put your best foot forward. It’s going to be unfortunate, but some guys are going to fall by the wayside because they’re going to squander this opportunity of this virtual learning period. But I think it also is going to provide an excellent opportunity for the guys that really take it serious, get into that playbook and come in prepared to go.”
This year, Arizona drafted six players, and four of them were on defense. First-rounder Isaiah Simmons from Clemson, fourth-round Utah defensive tackle Leki Fotu, fourth-round LSU defensive tackle Rashard Lawrence and sixth-round Cal linebacker Evan Weaver all bring diverse experience and knowledge.
“How I learn best, it’s kind of moving around and using the things that I talk about on paper and actually move around and be physical, because I’m kind of a physical learner,” running back Kenyan Drake told reporters Wednesday. “And that allows me to be able to create muscle memory with the actual memory that I created while writing notes down. So it kind of helps me really solidify that into my brain.”
If other rookies are like that, the amount of in-person practice time they get before their debut season could be critical.