Rookies learned to expect the unexpected

Expect the unexpected.

That could be the same saying every year when it comes to a rookie season in the National Football League.

Players come in not fully knowing what it’s going to be like, what’s going to be asked of them, what is going to transpire.

By the end of the season they are accustomed to it all. They understand it.

It’s that early on, though, that can be a challenge.

Several of the Steelers 2018 rookies shared what was the biggest eye-opener for them during their rookie season.

Linebacker Ola Adeniyi:
“The level of competition. Everybody at this stage is good. You have to have something about you that sets you apart. Coming in as an undrafted rookie, not the easiest thing to do to make the team. But when you have that urgency and will, when you see around you, what the level of competition is, what you have to each day, it becomes a lot easier.”

Offensive lineman Chukwuma Okorafor:
“I just learned to take the ups and downs. Whether we win, lose or tie, keeping it moving toward next week. Stay even keeled.”

Quarterback Mason Rudolph:
“Just the time spent here during the week. It’s important to get your rest, make sure you are energized and ready to go so you can give your best to the team. The amount of extra time you get to watch cutups with your offensive coordinator here, when in college you were watching those cutups on the couch on your iPad. There is that much more time to prepare because your job is football. That was fun for me to talk stuff out. There is extra time and that is so valuable.”

Running back Jaylen Samuels:
“Just seeing how serious it is. It’s like a business now. How serious each game is. The preparation for every game, you have to be 100 percent because everyone in the league is smart. If you want to outdo someone, you have to be smarter than them. That is the most eye opening thing. Everyone is smart.”

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