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Rookies focused on learning the terminology

The hardest part about transitioning to the NFL for most rookies is the mental aspect of playing football at this level. Schemes and terminology are much more complex than they were in college, and it takes some getting used to.

"It's really the terminology," Lions second-round pick Teez Tabor said Friday after being in Allen Park for almost two weeks now.

"It's like you speak English, but you're trying to learn French. You're saying the same thing (you're used to saying) but the verbiage is a little bit different."

The same goes for Lions top draft pick, linebacker Jarrad Davis, who could be charged with playing MIKE linebacker as a rookie and making all the calls for the defense.

"The biggest thing is just the terminology," Davis said. "You have to be able to really go out there and express what we want to get done and you have to be able to communicate with your teammates.

"You have to make sure that what you do and say is in line with what they do and say. You have to make sure everyone is on the same page and as a defense we're all playing the same defense."

The speed of the game takes some getting used to as well, but poll 10 rookies and nine of them – if they were honest – would say the real work the first month of them arriving with their new club is done in the meeting room.

It's why Tabor says he's turned to veterans like Darius Slay and Tavon Wilson for guidance. The same thing goes for Davis, who said both Tahir Whitehead and Paul Worrilow have been great resources for him early on.

Next week, for the first time, the rookies hit the field alongside the vets for the beginning of 10 OTA practices that lead into June's minicamp. Starting next week, the learning curve gets accelerated.

"I'm really excited for the OTAs to come up, man," Davis said. "It's going to help me as a rookie coming in to just get comfortable with what the speed of the game is like. What the intensity of the game is like. How do we operate here as a team?

"You can only do so much in rookie minicamp. When you get out there with the older guys and vets, who have been here for a while, and know exactly how things go and how this whole operation goes down. You have to either come in and hit the ground running and catch up or you get left behind."

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