The dreaded rookie wall is something every first year player is afraid to hit. Usually when rookies come into camp, they’re tentative, looking more to not make a mistake rather than just going out and playing. But one of the Dolphins’ 4th round draft picks, tight end Dion Sims out of Michigan State, has bucked the trend so far this training camp.
The 6’5 tight end who played in East Lansing for the Spartans has in fact been the exception to the rule. Usually fourth round picks aren’t thrown onto the front lines with the starters, but that’s exactly where he was placed at the start of camp.
Sims was thrown into the fire since his first day as a Miami Dolphin, and he’s withstood the flames. One of the first things that slows down rookie development is a daunting NFL playbook , but Sims hasn’t let that obstacle slow him down.
“It wasn’t really (difficult) you know, it was just understanding the concepts and the different terminology. Once I got that down I pretty much was able to go after that.” Sims said. “I had a lot of help from the older guys, from the vets, and I have a great coach too in Coach (Dan) Campbell. I picked it up pretty fast and I was able to play full speed.”
Frankly, it could be because he’s putting in the extra work when it comes learning the new offense. It takes time to digest all those X’s and O’s, and Sims is working overtime to do it.
“It’s just putting in the extra time, outside of the building, going back to the hotel and spending some time, linking up with other guys like the tackles and the vets as well,” Sims said.
Also, most rookies struggle with the speed of the NFL. It’s a complete different gear in regards to speed in this league compared to college football, and Sims knows that. But it doesn’t really bother him, because he was ready for the challenge.
“It’s a lot faster than college, the league is definitely a lot faster. But I trained for this all offseason, getting ready for the combine and everything,” Sims said. “I dropped a lot of weight, and got in a lot better shape than I was in college, so I was pretty much prepared for it. I definitely I expected it to be up tempo and faster than it was.”
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