CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 13: Gabe Carimi #72 of the Chicago Bears chats with a teammate on the sidelines during a preseason game against the Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field on August 13, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Bills 10-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Starting a new job is daunting, and that doesn't change for professional football players. Both Gabe Carimi and Andy Fantuz are in their first year in the NFL, and are finding different pressures from their playing days in the Big Ten and Canadian Football League.
Carimi came in as the heralded first-round draft pick. Coming out of Wisconsin, he was viewed as the perfect fit for the Bears offensive line, with the size and skill set to make O-line coach Mike Tice smile from ear to ear. He told Grizzly Detail that there are good and bad differences between college and pro training camp.
"No two-a-days, and you've got a day off," Carimi said with a smile, but he didn't agree that camp is easier for pros.
"In some sense it is. It's not as much of a grind on the body, but it has its intensity levels that are different. Having competition and a more complex offense, but similar to the one I had in Wisconsin."
Fantuz is walking in from a very different situation. He previously played for the Saskatchewan Roughrider in the CFL. He's familiar with the grind of playing professional football, but not the complex offense and special teams schemes in the NFL. Unlike Carimi, who is the starting right tackle, Fantuz is fighting for a spot as a receiver. He was listed fourth on the Bears' latest depth chart.
"It's a different game," Fantuz said. "Just the way the offense is set up, and how specific it is, and how much there is to learn, it's just not something I'm used to. The fact that I'm playing a lot special teams now, and scratching and clawing for reps is something new for me. I'm going to stay positive."
So you're not the only one who was freaked out at your first day of work. It happens to football players, too.