Last week, former Raider linebacker Kirk Morrison spoke to the 2016 Rookie Class as part of the Rookie Transition Program.
In an effort to share experiences as a pro and instill wisdom to the newcomers, the former Raiders captain highlighted several points of emphasis for the rookies heading into training camp and for the remainder of their careers.
Here are the biggest takeaways from Kirk Morrison's advice to the first-year rookies.
Being On Time
"When you're not on time, you're late," said Morrison. Whether it's a practice, film session, or team meeting, being on time is crucial. Time is valuable, and being late takes away from the additional time to improve as a professional.
Morrison explained that every year, there's a new wave of new guys, new guys who are hungry, new guys that will be on time, and new guys who will put in the extra effort. NFL players live busy lives. However, being on time is a choice. You can control whether or not you are on time. It's just a matter of discipline.
Morrison added how he was able to stay in the league for eight seasons: work ethic.
"I only got eight seasons from the league. My goal when I got in was to stay here as long as I could. For us in the pros, there is no level beyond the NFL. There's no NFL Senior League. This is all we got," Morrison explained. "Work ethic will keep you in this league."
Morrison grew up playing football. He was raised in Oakland, grew up a Raider fan, and loved the game. "Everything you do is motivated because of your passion: football," said Morrison.
Additionally, Morrison shared his thoughts on how perception is reality. He demonstrated the importance of body language, especially in a professional setting.
"Just from looking at your body language, I can see how many of you actually want to be here. Body language tells us how you want to be perceived," said Morrison.
Social media can also affect how one is perceived. "With all of these fans and media members like myself, the only way we get to know a player is through social media, so be careful what you put out to the world," said Morrison.
Players can get by with talent in college. Morrison's message delivered to the players was that talent alone would not cut it in the league. A player must be coachable, willing to accept criticism, and willing to improve with a team mindset.
"From high school to college, you can get by with the 'me' mindset. It's not all about you anymore. You must be coachable," said Morrison.
When Morrison entered the league in 2005, Morrison found that his locker was situated next to an interesting person, a man by the name of Charles Woodson. At the time, Woodson was entering his eighth season and had already been an All-Pro multiple times.
Woodson played a huge role during Morrison's rookie season. "I remember asking him 'How can I be great?'" said Morrison. "He told me to always prepare. Preparation is key the NFL. I didn't start my first game in the NFL. I wasn't ready. But after, I made sure I was prepared every single day." Following his first NFL game, Kirk Morrison went on to start every game at linebacker for the Raiders for the next five seasons.