All NFL rookies go through an "initiation" period in their respective locker rooms, it's just a part of life as a first year player in the league.
One Titans rookie however is getting a bit more of "the initiation treatment" than the others on the current roster.
Avery Williamson, the Titans fourth round linebacker out of the University of Kentucky, and a native of Milam, Tennessee has become the workhorse of the linebacker unit, and that is not about being on the field.
Following every practice Williamson can be seen carrying he fellow linebackers helmets and other gear to the locker room on a daily basis. On Monday it was perhaps his toughest day yet for performing this task.
Loaded down with the helmets, shoulder pads and wearing nine shells (the protective pads that players wear under their shoulder pads) Williamson attempted to make his way into the Titans locker room, only to be caught have have to have media assistance (I was right in frnt of him and stopped to hold the door when two other players closed it on him) in getting into the door.
Once inside Williamson was then tasked with taking all the gear and putting it into each individual players locker.
To be able to start putting things away Williamson laied everything on the floor, but was quickly told to move it by Derrick Morgan, whose locker it was placed in front of by the tired rookie.
Luckily for Williamson there was an empty laundry bin sitting near by. Though tired, and perhaps a bit frustrated, Williamson used his ingenuity to quickly grab the bin before a manager got to it and proceeded to fill it with all the equipment. He then rolled it to his locker and spent the next 10 to 15 minutes unloading it and hanging everything in the appropriate players lockers.
Having watched this entire event unfold I was obligated to ask Williamson about being a rookie and having to do these tasks for veteran players.
Williamson, who almost always has a smile on his face shared some of his duties as a rookie in the linebacker room.
"It's tough, it gets tough," said Williamson. "You just got to play your role until you get a little more time under your belt."
Carrying players equipment is not the only job for this rookie."
"I got to get a coffee machine for Shaun (Phillips)today for the meeting room," said Williamson. "I think it is a Kuerig, he wants that and I still have the rookie dinner and I get them snacks and stuff all the time."
Williamson further explained the rookie dinner and what his part in it is to be.
"I just got to pay for the dinner for all the linebackers," continued Williamson. "I don't know yet where I'm taking them, they will probably choose and that's going to be expensive."
When asked if he was looking forward to the dinner, Williamson replied, "No,no."
Armed with this information I wanted to see if Williamson was indeed the most worked rookie by his teammates.
Fellow rookie first round offensive tackle Taylor Lewan by comparision (though he might not agree) has had it much easier.
"We did haircuts and and I've carried some helmets but these guys have been pretty nice to me," said Lewan. "No complaints really.
While Lewan did suffer through a terrible haircut perhaps the rookie who has suffered the least is quarterback Zach Mettenberger.
"No, I got a pretty cool crew of quarterbacks with Charlie (Whitehurst and Jake (Locker)," said Mettneberger about what he has had to endure. "It's been nothing really. A few guys got their hair cuts, Avery has to carry in helmets but I really haven't had to do anything, but we'll see. Maybe tomorrow they will make me do something although I doubt it."
Throughout it all Williamson kept smiling even when a nosy write was asking a tired football player questions he probably didn't want to answer.