The Jets' rookie transition program doesn't officially kick off until Tuesday, but the club celebrated a soft launch with its Play 60 Character Camp as approximately 350 children visited the team's training facility for some football training.
"We're all from different places, so to be able to interact with the community is a great thing for us to be able to come together and do something that's outside of football," said fourth-round pick Juston Burris. "This is having fun, we're having a great time and getting to interact with people and signing cell phone cases and everything."
Jets Rookies Teach Young Fans the Value of Good Character
While the camp was attended by hundreds of predominantly Hispanic boys and girls ages 9-13 with little or no football experience, the NFL's first transition rookie program will commence this week as the Jets and the Giants will conduct a joint session at each team's facility.
"Our 22 rookies know each other pretty well now," said Jets director of player development Dave Szott. "They've been together for eight weeks, but they get that dynamic of another rookie class and some of those conversations that occur. That dynamic is important and we're trying to replicate that with David Tyree's group."
The NFL's rookie symposium formerly was held in Canton, OH and only the draft selections were invited to attend. But the new transition program, which will cover topics including social responsibility, mental health, financial and lifestyle choices, will include the Jets' seven-player draft class along with their 15 undrafted free agents as well.
"We gain in the fact that all the undrafted players are part of it," Szott said. "Previously only the draft picks who traveled to Ohio were able to participate in the symposium. In the rookie transition program, we have the draft picks and the undrafted players. The league has noticed over time that a very large number make rosters in addition to the draft picks. And that group of players was missing the training that occurred in Ohio."