Newman experiencing a career first

Cornerback Terence Newman is entering his 13th NFL season, but there is plenty new for him and it’s not just his new team. Training camp is giving him a career first.

Minnesota Vikings cornerback Terence Newman entered the NFL as the Dallas Cowboys’ first-round pick in 2003. That means 2015 marks his 13th year in the NFL, which means he has experienced nearly everything an NFL player could experience. Or so he thought.

During the reporting day of training camp, Newman realized that this year at training camp would be the first time that he has ever stayed in a dorm as a professional athlete. He has not lived inside of a dorm since he was a student at Kansas State, but for the next three weeks he will be calling Sears Hall, on the Minnesota State University, Mankato campus home.

“Dorms? I don’t know if I’ve ever stayed in a dorm,” he said. “K-State probably. Yeah it’s been 14 years; I’m showing my age now. It’s been about 14 years since I’ve stayed in a dorm. Holy crapamoly, it’s going to be different for sure, but, yeah, I used to always say, ‘I wish I could go back to college.’ Technically I’m going back to college.”

Only 12 NFL teams still travel away from their team headquarters these days, so Newman will now join the Vikings being in the NFL minority.

But the veteran is not the only player who will be going back in time and having flashbacks this training camp. Head coach Mike Zimmer will be going through the same thing when he sees the player he helped coach and mentor in Dallas and Cincinnati take the field.

Zimmer has always spoken very highly of Newman and that stayed true on Saturday.

“Working with Terence is great,” Zimmer said. “He’s, number one, a first-class individual. He’s very, very intelligent. I know this was a while ago, but he was a 60-meter Big 12 champion. So he’s always had great speed, athletic ability, tremendous heart, tremendous courage, and I’ve always had a great deal of respect for him. Knock on wood, everywhere he’s ever been with me, he’s always played very well. So I anticipate that he’ll do the same here.”

Newman is also confident in his abilities to come out and help out the team. He wants to be able to go out and help them in any way he can while also making the roster.

“Get some interceptions, help lead the younger guys and make this team better anyway that I can,” he said. “Ultimately, make the team and everything else from there goes on and those are goals I set once the regular season starts.”

Usually when you hear veteran players talking about training camp you hear them say that it is a grind and it is very difficult. You rarely ever hear them say that they are excited for it, but that is exactly how Newman feels.

He did mention that it is a mental grind and you have to be mentally strong, but he is also looking forward to getting out there, getting to know his teammates and competing.

“It’s fun to get to bond with your teammates, to go through this journey and you really don’t know what’s going to happen at the end – who’s going to make the team, who’s not going to make the team?” Newman said. “But I think during camp you make bonds that last forever. It’s going to be fun to go out and try to get this team in the right direction, win some playoff games and see what happens from there.”

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