Taking Small Steps
During the 2006 NFL Rookie Symposium in San Diego earlier this week, Jets tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson took some time away from the hot sun and various professional development seminars to sit down and chat with NFL Network's Rich Eisen. Ferguson, along with the other 254 draft selections, was out West for the 10th annual seminar that focuses mainly on the education of off-field lifestyle management for first-year NFL players.
Eisen and Ferguson touched base on many of the fourth overall pick's experiences during his first few months on the professional level. Like the majority of fans in Jets Nation, Eisen was curious to know about the coaching style of Eric Mangini and his expectations for the club's first draft selection.
"He is a real focused coach who is very good at what he does," said Ferguson of Mangini. "I really feel that he's an excellent coach, and I'm glad to be a part of this program. He tells me just to work hard, pay attention, know what to do and just be dependable."
Ferguson, a Freeport, NY native, feels both fortunate and excited to be returning home to perform in front of his friends and family. He cites the guidance and instruction of his fellow veteran teammates as the catalyst for a speedy and pressure-free transitional phase. The weight of playing in his own backyard – as well as in front of a national audience – has been far less intense due to their insightful leadership.
"The people on the line, they're just good guys all around. There are experienced guards and experienced tackles all with a wealth of knowledge," said the 6'6" tackle from the University of Virginia. "I just try to pick up what I can to get a little bit of knowledge that these veterans have."
Though the serene Southern California weather made for a peaceful and a relaxed atmosphere for the young professionals, Ferguson kept a focused approach on personal growth. With a composed demeanor, he indicted there's still much work to be done to make an impact in this league.
"I'm taking small steps. Everyday it's a mater of working on your craft," Ferguson said. "Whether it's studying film or actually being out on the field or in the weight room - you make gains and strides anyway you can to be a better overall player."