Every rookie entering into the NFL has a learning curve of some point. Minnesota Vikings rookie wide receiver Laquon Treadwell said that the biggest thing for him has been learning the different steps he has to take when running routes. The routes that he is being asked to run are often similar to the ones he had to run in college, but the footwork is all different.
He also said that a learning curve that all rookies have to deal with is the fact that they are now playing at another level. The people they are going up against are all bigger, faster and smarter than the ones they went up against in college, so the rookies need to learn to put in extra work in the film room and learning the playbook.
This offseason, Treadwell was working primarily with the second-team offense. When he first arrived at organized team activities there appeared to be a big learning curve, but as the offseason workouts progressed he looked more and more comfortable.
A big reason for that, according to him, is because there aren’t any pads allowed in OTAs, so he was able to just focus on his routes and learning the offense.
“I think it helps the rookies coming in with no pads,” he said. “You step over the line and get coached and then once the pads come on you’re able to play fast and kind of get a feel for everything at once.”
Since he played in the SEC, where many defenders get drafted to the NFL, the transition into the NFL was not as drastic for Treadwell as it may be for others. His teammate, Moritz Böhringer, on the other hand, has had a bigger transition than most have to make.
He was previously playing professional football in Germany. The level of competition is greatly increased in the NFL and it has been clear that Böhringer has been struggling with it so far.
Being his teammate, and fellow rookie, Treadwell has tried to help Böhringer out as much as he can, letting him know he has someone to talk to and trying to get him to loosen up and have fun with the whole experience.
“All rookies try to stick together and they try to help each other through training camp and everything and making sure we’re staying focused and positive and keep competing for a spot,” Treadwell explained. “For me, being from the United States, I try to make him feel as comfortable as possible. Show him that he’s got a friend and being able to communicate with me. And break the wind a little bit for. I’ve been in his corner since he’s been here. Try to get him to smile a little bit, relax, just enjoy the process.”
When Treadwell says that all rookies try to stick together he actually means all rookies. Turns out that he and Vikings second-round pick Mackensie Alexander have formed a pretty good relationship through the offseason workouts, despite having to go up against one another on a fairly regular basis out on the field.
“Me and Mackensie have been going at it when we get the chance to go against each other,” he said. “We’re just always chatting on the side because we know what we want to do and how we want to help the team. Just encouraging each other to keep going. It’s a day-by-day thing and once we get comfortable it’s nothing we’ve never done before. It’s football, so we’re just going to stick to it and keep pushing through.”
Treadwell has always heard how long of a season the NFL is, but so far he has thought that his time as a professional athlete has flown by. He and his fellow rookies are trying to embrace it and take the experience one day at a time while continuing to improve themselves so they can be ready to help out their new team whenever their number gets called.