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and on about him.”

Washington Redskins rookie Derrius Guice is learning there is plenty to learn about his new professional football life.

In the days since selected late in the second round of last month’s NFL draft [url=http://www.saintscheapstore.com/garrett-grayson-jersey-cheap]Garrett Grayson Jersey[/url] , the running back attended the team’s rookie minicamp and the four-day NFLPA’s Rookie Premiere event in California. The latter is designed to help players understand the business and marketing side of their new career.

”It was very tiring. A lot of long days,” Guice said. ”In the end, a lot of it will pay off. Something all the rookies need going into the NFL.”

Guice already went through plenty. Various controversies- some over maturity concerns for the 20-year-old player, others possibly mere unfounded rumors – caused a draft slide to the 59th overall spot. That hasn’t kept Guice down nor kept him from maintaining focus.

”I’m handling everything, man. I’m just ready to get to the season,” Guice said.

Other parts of his football education come from his new teammates, such as quarterback Alex Smith and tight end Vernon Davis. The two veterans are each 34 years old, which means they began their career when Guice was in elementary school.

The three were among players and team officials at the Army-Navy Country Club for the annual Redskins Charity Golf Classic on Monday morning. As the former LSU standout finished his session with local reporters, Guice spotted Davis.

”How old was I when you got in the league?” the rookie joked.

Standing a few steps away, Davis laughed and responded, ”Six? Seven?”

The tight end might have the timeline wrong – Davis was selected sixth overall in the 2006 draft when Guice was 10 – but the age-gap point remains. Guice and the other first-year players have already been around the veterans for some informal workouts. Three weeks of Organized Team Activities (OTA) begin Tuesday.

”Just getting out there with the vets. It’s always different than just practicing with the rookies,” Guice said. ”When you’re out there with the guys who are out there like Vernon [url=http://www.chargerscheapstore.com/craig-mager-jersey-cheap]Craig Mager Jersey[/url] , who is 34, has been in the league since I was 10. Just getting out there with those guys and seeing how they help their bodies stay clean and young throughout the years. Them training you how to be professional inside and outside the building.”

Guice isn’t the only one on the roster learning about Smith. Washington acquired the 13-year veteran in a stunning trade with Kansas City in January.

”He’s a very smart guy,” Guice said of Smith, who led the NFL with 104.7 QB-rating last season. ”He’s willing to help the rookies. He’s not one of those guys who, if the rookie messes up, is like get him out of there. He’s willing to help you and work with you.”

As for the passing part, Guice said, ”(Alex) has an arm, yeah.”

The bar was set high for Brian Urlacher when he joined the Chicago Bears as a first-round middle linebacker back in 2000.

Few teams are as closely identified with one position as the Bears are at middle linebacker with players like Bill George, Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary personifying the Monsters of the Midway on the way to Hall of Fame careers.

Urlacher lived up to that lofty standard and will join that talented trio in Canton when he is inducted into the hall on Saturday.

”It wasn’t even on my mind when I played,” Urlacher said after getting voted into the hall on his first try in February. ”I didn’t think this would ever be a possibility. So many things have to go right. You have to stay healthy, you have to play well [url=http://www.falconscheapstore.com/blidi-wreh-wilson-jersey-cheap]Blidi Wreh-Wilson Jersey[/url] , you’ve got to win some games, do some things. This is the summit of playing football right here.”

Urlacher did not make himself available for interviews leading up to inductions.

Urlacher was a different type of middle linebacker than his predecessors in Chicago, the perfect piece in the NFL of the 2000s with the speed and coverage skills that allowed him to play safety in college. That helped him match up against running backs and tight ends and roam sideline to sideline.

He also had the ability to drop deep into coverage, making him the perfect middle linebacker on coach Lovie Smith’s Tampa 2 defense that Urlacher helped make so stout in Chicago on the way to a Super Bowl appearance following the 2006 season.

”I’ve had an opportunity to be around so many great linebackers, but some of them are just made for the position,” Smith said. ”Derrick Brooks is made to be a Will linebacker, an outside guy in our system. Brian Urlacher, you can’t draw it up any better. Everybody knew that he looked the part and he played the part.”

Smith knew about Urlacher’s physical talents when he arrived as the new coach in Chicago in 2004 after Urlacher had made the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons, and was a two-time All-Pro. An early team meeting taught him about Urlacher’s mentality when he told the defense he expected the unit to lead the league in turnovers. Urlacher stayed after and set the tone for those dominant Bears defenses.

”He said: `Coach, let me get this right. In order for us to lead the league we have to wait for the offense to turn the ball over?”’ Smith recalled. ”That was the first time I’d looked at it that way. Brian called it a takeaway on the defensive side of the ball. The offense turns the ball over. Defensively, your job is to take the ball away every time. No one bought into us taking the ball away as much as Brian did.”

No defense took the ball away more than the Bears in the nine seasons Smith and Urlacher were together, with 292 takeaways. No linebacker other than fellow 2018 Hall of Fame inductee Ray Lewis took the ball away more than Urlacher during his 13-year career: 22 interceptions and 16 fumble recoveries.

Urlacher also had 41 sacks and finished his career as the Bears’ all-time leading tackler. He won awards as the top defensive rookie in 2000 [url=http://www.falconscheapstore.com/jack-crawford-jersey-cheap]Jack Crawford Jersey[/url] , Defensive Player of the Year in 2005, earned five All-Pro selections, eight Pro Bowl bids and helped the Bears win four division titles.

”Brian was the best,” said Packers quarterback and longtime NFC North rival Aaron Rodgers. ”He was probably one of the smartest players I ever played against. Just a great feel for the scheme, the game, reading his keys. Just incredibly instinctual player. Great hands. Average elusiveness, I can say that, because I tackled him one time. But one of the best to ever do it at that position in an era where some of the louder guys maybe got the attention – expecting the middle linebacker to be a loud yeller or rah-rah guy. Brian went about it in a very classy way. Played the game the right way and was an incredible player.”

Urlacher was not always destined for greatness. He was lightly recruited out of high school and ended up at New Mexico after Texas Tech didn’t offer him a scholarship.

But he thrived with the Lobos and made himself a first-round pick.

”I’ve had some great freshmen, but from the minute he arrived, every coach stood up and took notice,” former New Mexico coach Dennis Franchione said. ”I remember sometime in the first 10 days of two-a-days, six of the nine assistant coaches came in – although independently [url=http://www.patriotscheapstore.com/julian-edelman-jersey-cheap]Julian Edelman Jersey[/url] , I didn’t think they talked about it – they said, Coach, when are you going to play Urlacher.’ And I said,I’m not sure yet.’ They said, `I’ll take him at my position.’ I think that was everybody except the quarterback coach, the line coach and the receivers coach. That’s how versatile he was. …

”He was a heat-seeking missile from the time he arrived on campus. Not only that, he was a really coachable, bright young man. Made other people better. You can just go on and on about him.”

AP Sports Writer Andrew Seligman contributed to this report.

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