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Pittsburgh Steelers rookies get acclimated to life in the NFL, and in a hurry

The learning curve for players coming from college to the NFL can be steep, but the Steelers rookies are getting acclimated to life in the NFL.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

If you went to college, you know what that time of your life was like. Classes, parties, classes and parties. Well, maybe not everyone's college experience was like mine, but you can see how college life could certainly be a challenging time, especially if you are a Division one scholarship athlete. Plain and simple, there just isn't enough time in the day for the players to study football as much as they want.

Then comes draft day. The day these players go from amateur status to professional, and there is a lot which changes other than this title.

"I've always worked hard. I worked hard at Auburn," third-round pick Sammie Coates told Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "But you've just got so more time here to work on your craft. You get more time in the weight room, more time on the practice field, more time just doing your own thing when you can work on little things, than you had in college. You become a better player in a couple weeks now than you did (over a full season) in college because you've got more time to spend on it."

The NFL does more than provide financial stability for these young rookies who are now entering the realm of the biggest sport in North America, it provides them the time to put the best product on the field.

"You are a lot more focused on football all the time," said tight end Jesse James, a fifth-round pick. "Coming in to this building for six weeks is a big help. ... Come camp, I'll be prepared. I've learned a ton."

The Steelers organization is hoping this 2015 rookie class will do just that, and come to camp prepared to not only make the roster, but to make a difference. From first round pick Bud Dupree down to seventh round pick Gerod Holliman, the team could certainly see several rookies who play a role on the offensive or defensive side of the ball, and not just on special teams.

"Everything is starting to slow down. Every day, I'm starting to get comfortable," Golson said. "I've definitely got a bigger role with learning both the nickel and the corner position."

"I'm just making sure I know the plays and keeping up with the speed of the game," Dupree said. "Once I get those down, I'll be good."

The transition from college to the NFL isn't always as smooth as people may think, and if the Steelers can get their rookies acclimated quickly they will be able to have players who are capable of being quality depth, or contributing to the team as rookies, rather than waiting 2-3 years before being considered players on the defensive and offensive sides of the football.