Learning curve: With three practices under their belt, Coach Tomlin has had an opportunity to see a good bit from the team's 2014 rookie class. One of the main things he said he looks for during this time, when information is coming at them fast, is how they learn and adjust in different settings.
"I think you gather information about people as much as you evaluate them," said Tomlin. "How they learn, how they learn in classroom settings, how they learn on the grass. Are they capable of learning from others mistakes? What do they do with the reps that they get? Really it's a blank slate from that standpoint. We are just gathering information about any and all of the guys both individually and collectively."
Surprise, surprise:** After evaluating the rookies for months before drafting them, Tomlin said that although you know a lot about the players, when you hit the football field there are always surprises.
"I think every time the ball is snapped you are capable of being in for a surprise," said Tomlin. "There are surprising things that occur, but more than anything I look for a pattern of behavior that is either attractive or unattractive. There has been a lot of that."
- Setting the pace: With 52 players attending minicamp, including the rookie draft picks, free agents, those in for tryouts, and some first year players, much of what is being taught is new to the majority of them. Tomlin said it's important to provide the players with a lot of information in meetings before they take the field, but you have to make sure you don't overdo it.
"We change the pace on them," said Tomlin. "The big thing is you want to challenge them, but at the same time you don't want to overwhelm them. That means changing the pace from time to time with what it is you ask them to do or what it is you teach them."