NFL rookie symposium kicks off Sunday

The NFL will hold its annual Rookie Symposium on Sunday in Aurora, Ohio, near the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.

Well, the annual symposium with the exception of the one that was cancelled last year by the lockout.

It’s a sharp move by the league to move the event to Ohio where first-year players can get a sense of the history behind the game. The four-day program will include speakers and a history session at the Hall of Fame.

This year, the players will be divided into smaller groups with the hope being that it will make for more productive sessions.

“We have reduced the number of draftees simultaneously attending the symposium to create the most favorable learning environment,” said Troy Vincent, the NFL’s NFL Vice President of Player Engagement . “Each rookie should leave the symposium with the knowledge and history of where our game began, where it is today, and challenged to make a positive personal impact on the future of our game. The NFL and its clubs are committed to providing players with the best resources to succeed both on and off the field.”

Michael Vick, Pacman Jones, Terrell Owens, LaVar Arrington, Devin McCourty, Jamie Dukes, Aeneas Williams and Antonio Freeman are among those scheduled to talk to players. So will Luther Elliss, the former Detroit Lions defensive lineman who has had a publicized bankruptcy case. Hopefully, the message he delivers will resonate with the new players.

Hall of Fame players Michael Irvin and Carl Eller will also meet with players. Panel discussion topics include “Transitioning to NFL,” “Self Regulation,” “Are You Bigger than the Game,” “Staying in the Game,” Expectations of an NFL Player,” and “What Defines Success.”

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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