It is said that you don't make the team based on what happens in NFL OTAs, but you can definitely not make the team. Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisehunt also has said that when it comes to rookies in minicamp and OTAs that it's a good day when they line up correctly.
It is a fine line and a lot of pressure for rookies, especially the undrafted ones. They have the hardest road to making the team because so little is invested in them.
A pair of Arizona State Sun Devils -- safety Eddie Elder and linebacker Colin Parker -- are in that group of players and Arizona Republic reporter Doug Haller caught up with them in practice and found out about how it is at the bottom of the totem pole.
At this point, both Parker and Elder know the attitude to have. Elder says that he has to take each day "like you deserve it because they (the coaches) are watching" and that "you have to approach every day like it is your last."
Parker is thinking like he is going to make the team. But his approach is to focus on himself. I can't worry about other people around me," he said. "If people in front of me are playing well or playing bad, it's not going to change my approach.
It is well known that the life of an undrafted rookie can quickly come to an end. Marc Wilson was one such undrafted rookie who signed with the rest of them. But his NFL dreams were (at least temporarily) derailed in the blink of an eye, when Arizona signed veteran linebacker Quentin Groves.
These rookies have the benefit of a full offseason. If they turn heads now, they will already be known when training camp comes around and they can get some needed playing time in the preseason.
Neither Parker nor Elder have any guarantee to make the final roster, but in any case, they have to practice everyday like it is their last. Every day they last gives them a shot to latch on elsewhere.
If one or both somehow make the team, it is always a great story. However, when a local player pulls it off, that story in improved exponentially.
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