ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Life as a rookie in the NFL is hard, to say the least.
Along with their lives being flipped upside-down and going from competing against other collegiate athletes to now full-grown men, there is another aspect that makes it a difficult transition: Many veterans don’t bother to even learn their name.
“Right now, I call them by their number, like 55,” Domata Peko — a.k.a one of the kindest humans on the planet — said on Wednesday when talking about rookies. “I just try to call them by their number. But that’s just a rookie thing, you’ve got to earn the respect of the veterans.”
In Peko’s way — which is adopted and used by many veterans across the league — rookies won’t be called anything other than their number until they make the final 53-man squad at the end of the summer.
However, although that’s still nearly three months away, during the second day of the Denver Broncos’ OTAs, four younger players stood out to the vets they are trying to gain the respect of. The first, and most obvious for a variety of reasons, was John Elway’s prized acquisition of the offseason.