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Horse Tracks: Broncos rookies take in the Rookie Symposium

Good Morning Broncos Country!

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Every offseason the entire rookie class attends the Rookie Symposium. The NFL Rookie Symposium is an orientation for all drafted rookies based on the four core values of the league – Responsibility to Team, Respect, Integrity and Resilience. The symposium includes presentations, videos and workshops on player health and safety, decision making, mental health, substance abuse, finance, building a winning culture and bystander intervention.

Rookies are provided with resources and best practices to assist them with their shared responsibility in successfully identifying off-the-field challenges and transitioning from college to the professional level.

One of the highlights of the Symposium is its guest speakers. This year former NFL players Phillip Buchanon, Cris Carter, Warrick Dunn, Eddie George, Donte Stallworth, Sammie Stroughter and Ross Tucker all spoke about their experiences in the league.

Denver Broncos fourth round pick Max Garcia said this part was his favorite part of the Symposium.

"My favorite aspect is hearing the former players and [listening to] them talk about their experiences," said Garcia. "Because as a rookie we know we have all this knowledge; all this knowledge is just being given to us, but we can only do so much from knowledge. But when you hear someone giving their experiences and they show you how things actually go down in the NFL, behind the scene, in the locker room… I think that’s really what’s most important to know and to have people tell you and talk to you about."

Also speaking was Oakland Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie and New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese. McKenzie and Reese spoke about the expectations of rookies at the professional level.

Broncos rookie guard/center Max Garcia said he really enjoyed McKenzie's speech, and that he learned some valuable lessons from him.

"I really enjoyed his talk last night," said Garcia of McKenzie. "He was our first speaker and he talked about the expectations. He was a 10th-round pick back in the day… He talked about how the game is changing and how we need to control what we can control and… don’t be the guy that makes stupid decisions, or tries to hang out with the [veterans] and do what they do because you’re not at their level yet."

After all the rookies listened to the speeches and such they went outside and participated in the Play 60 event at the Browns' indoor practice facility. This was the favorite part of the day for most of the players.

"We’ve been sitting in meetings, kind of getting a lot of information, a lot of warnings just about what to look out for and kind of how to be adults," Ty Sambrailo said. "And then we get to come out and play with some kids and be kids again so I think this has been the best part."

On the last day, all the rookies went to the Pro Football Hall Of Fame at Caton Ohio. While there the Broncos rookies were able to take in everything the Hall Of Fame has to offer and learn about all the greats that took the field before them.

One special thing for the Broncos rookies was seeing teammate and future Hall Of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning in the Hall Of Fame.

They were able to see Manning's 2013 MVP season display. There they saw a picture of Manning along with his jersey, helmet and the highlights and stats of his 2013 season. Also on display was Manning's record breaking 509th touchdown ball.

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