Athletes don't just wake up one day and decide they want to play in the NFL; it takes time and tools to develop the skills for success. It's the same way in any walk of life, and Lowe's through its Track to the Trades program aims to equip its employees with the ability to turn pro in the fields of construction and contracting through educational opportunities. Hopefully they, like the Panthers rookies, will thrive.
The rookie experience at training camp can often feel like drinking water from a fire hose. There's a lot of instruction. So much to learn. And it's all happening at NFL speed.
For wide receiver Terry Godwin, there's no lack of teachers.
After Saturday's training camp practice, he spent time talking with assistant wide receivers coach Jerricho Cotchery. Then Godwin went on an adjacent field to catch punts with special teams coordinator Chase Blackburn.
"It's always good to get instruction from everyone," Godwin said afterward. "As a rookie, you want to come out here and learn everything that you can, and try to get an advantage on whatever you can. It's never too much to learn. I always want to figure out the most that I can do."
The more you can do. The more you can learn. Seventh-round picks have to make themselves valuable in any way they can.
But Godwin does have a bit of a head start when it comes to building relationships with team veterans.
"Me and Cam had a good relationship before we got here," Godwin said. "We've kept that relationship going. He talked to me about certain things. Route running and what to look for and things like that."
Even before Newton worked out with his pass catchers in San Diego this month, he and Godwin spent part of the offseason working out together. It was quite the leap from learning from a famous NFL quarterback in high school.
"It was different," Godwin said. "Instead of him saying, 'C'mon, Terry do this or do that,' it's him saying, 'You know what we've got to do – together. So let's go do that.' And that's a really cool feeling."
View photos of players colliding as they practice in pads for the first time.