Cubs

Rigors of minicamp are tough on rookies

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Rigors of minicamp are tough on rookies

Stories are already coming out from around the league about how rookies are getting broken in by their respective team's mission statement. Stories range from coaches screaming at young draft picks to some rookies having to be removed from practice. This was the case on Friday at the Bears minicamp when second round draft pick wide receiver Alshon Jefferys work day was shortened due to leg cramps.

Jeffery is not the only wide receiver dealing with the rigors of how to practice like a pro. On Friday, former scout, coach, and general manager Pat Kirwin and I talked to 49ers first round wide receiver A.J. Jenkins on SiriusXM NFL Radio who explained, I have ice bags on both my hamstrings right now.

Many have questioned Jefferys conditioning because he played close to 240 pounds last season at South Carolina. The real crux of the matter is young players coming out of college just arent used to the volume of routes performed during an NFL practice.

Yes, part of it is conditioning and getting acclimated to the tempo and intensity of how NFL practices are conducted, but the sheer volume of routes run during a rookie minicamp is enough to tire the most conditioned athlete.

A.J. Jenkins added, There were only four wide receivers in minicamp.

Only four wide receivers for practice which normally includes Pat & Go drills, individual period, 1 on 1s, 7 on 7, and then finishes with a lengthy team period. No wonder Jeffery and Jenkins were struggling, especially with the added special teams work. Plus, both Jeffery and Jenkins are the top picks at wide receiver by their respective clubs. They will be forced to receive more snaps than anyone else during practice.

It is a good eye opener for any rookie, but not uncommon.

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 30th homer in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 30th homer in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa hit the 30-homer threshold on June 21, 1998 in only his 71st game of the season. For perspective, the 2018 Cubs leader in homers on June 21 is Javy Baez with 14 and Mike Trout leads all of baseball with only 23.

At this point, Mark McGwire was ahead of Sosa, but the Cubs slugger was pulling closer. McGwire had 33 dingers on June 21 while Ken Griffey Jr. had 28 and Greg Vaughn had 25.

Sosa' June 21 homer came off Tyler Green and was his 5th blast of the series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field that year. But the Cubs lost that series, despite Sosa's efforts.

Fun fact: Sosa drove in 10 runs in the three-game series with the Phillies that summer while the rest of his teammates combined for only 9 RBI.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bulls trade up or down in the draft?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bulls trade up or down in the draft?

Mark Carman, Hub Arkush, Phil Rogers and Will Perdue join Kap on the SportsTalk Live Podcast.

The guys start by discussing Brandon Morrow's injury that he sustained while taking off his pants... what's the craziest cause for an injury the guys can remember?

Plus, should the Bulls move up or down in Thursday's NBA Draft? Does it make sense to take on a bad contract in a potential deal?

Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here: