Lovie Smith’s advice to rookies: Make us notice you

AP

Every NFL team currently will start training camp with a 90-man roster that has maybe 30 rookies and first-year players on it, and teams will enter the regular season with a 53-man roster that has maybe 10 rookies and first-year players on it. So somewhere around 600 rookies and first-year players will get cut this summer. Bears coach Lovie Smith has some advice for the young guys on his team for how to avoid being among that 600: Do something in practice that makes you stand out.

In a video on the Bears’ website showing scenes from the team’s first rookie minicamp practice, Smith implores the rookies to do something that gets them noticed by the coaching staff.

“It’s time to go to work now,” Smith said at the beginning of the workout. “Do something to make us take notice. You’re trying to win a job and help us win a championship.”

After the practice, Smith emphasized that message again.

“Some guys stood out a little bit today, made us take notice,” Smith told the rookies afterward. “And that’s what you want to do—but not just one day. You want to do it over and over. Two more practices. All we ask you to do is just improve a little bit tomorrow.”

The majority of the rookies who heard that message will be gone by the start of the regular season. The ones who “stood out a little bit” have a better chance of staying.