Learning what it really takes to be a professional football player is just as important a lesson right now for Detroit Lions rookies as it is for them to be learning schemes, fits and playbooks.
That part of a player's development hasn't been lost on rookie linebacker Antwione Williams, who the team took in the fifth round of the draft earlier this month.
"I mean, I've seen Tahir (Whitehead) up here, they (the veterans) get off at 2 p.m., and he's up here at five o'clock working out and rolling out (a form of stretching) and stuff like that," Williams said Tuesday.
"It's just little things that you don't really see. People are up here all day taking care of their bodies and that helps with the longevity."
Williams says he's tried to be a sponge as much as he can to veterans like Whitehead, DeAndre Levy and Josh Bynes. He's tried to learn as much as he can from their experiences, which he says has "leap frogged" him ahead of where he'd be at this point in his professional career than if he'd try to pick things up on his own.
Williams sounded wise beyond his years when speaking to the media in Allen Park Tuesday. He spoke to the business-like approach he has to being a professional athlete, an approach he developed early on back in college at Georgia Southern.
"I feel like I kind of took a professional outlook on my craft even in college," he said. "I feel like it was important to me if I was hurt to get in the ice bath or go see a trainer. If you didn't know something go talk to the coaches. Watch film on your own. Studying on your own.
"You can't put minimum effort in and expect maximum results. You got to put all you got into it."
That approach should serve Williams well in the NFL.