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Get in the playbook! It’s another training camp hurdle to deal with

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It is a destination of sorts, even a starting point, a place some are told they have to go, have to get in and stay in. It is the foundation, what Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. calls “everything.”

It is routinely still called a book, except it isn’t for most. But how quickly, how efficiently, how thoroughly an NFL player can dig in and master his team’s playbook can determine how their careers begin. And as training camps around the league pound their way to the day when rosters are cut by some 41 percent, the way a player commits his playbook to memory can go a long way toward getting a first chance, let alone a second.

“Biggest mistake a young guy makes? Not putting the time in,” said Broncos coach Vance Joseph. “And if they fall behind early, most never get that back, most never catch up. If you get a rookie in and he struggles all year to learn and to study, even if he makes that next year, he’s a year behind, he never catches up. And a lot of the time he doesn’t even get that second year.”

While it might not doom them, sometimes the same learning curve applies to free-agent signees, notably quarterbacks.nike nfl jerseys for cheap

Signal-caller Case Keenum, who signed with the Broncos in the offseason after stops with the Texans, Rams and Vikings, has created what he calls “my process.” For Keenum, it involves a combination of the old school and the new school.4

“Just saying it [the playcalls] over and over again, that really gives me the foundation, to actually go through the words, every play,” Keenum said. “My wife still quizzes me, she still helps me get it done … it’s one thing for me to read it and learn it, but to hear it and visualize it, that just helps me. I say it and picture it, like from above.”

Gone are the days, at least for the most part, of three-ring binders, jammed with sheets several inches thick of plays and diagrams, of $100-a-page fines for the inevitable one or two binders that got lost each summer. It’s all on tablet devices now — practice video, game video, play diagrams, notes, bullet points. It’s all there.

“And the bottom line is everybody learns differently,” Joseph said. “You’re not teaching one way to one person; your goal is to get everybody the information so they can be their best and you can see their best. And you can’t do it until you know it.”

Keenum, like many of the team’s coaches, including Joseph, also still uses a paper playbook in addition to the electronic version.

“… I guess I’m just not millennial enough to go all the way in,” Keenum said.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“I can draw on the paper, put my notes; you’re not worried about keeping it charged, and I make notes to myself of things I want to remember about a lot of what I’m looking at.”

But the search for the learning plan that works is always on, it seems. Joseph said that over the past four years as an assistant, and now as a head coach, he has found the use of the tablets has enabled coaches to give players a head start. Coaches can electronically put in bullet points — things to remember — in each play diagram and deliver all of the information electronically in one motion.

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