Editor’s Programming Note: This year’s edition of HEY ROOKIE: WELCOME TO THE NFL premieres Tuesday, September 11 at 7pm/ET on ESPN2. Here’s a look ahead to tomorrow night’s show, courtesy of veteran Hey Rookie producer Shannon Furman. The video below is a TCIPF exclusive!
We had a great group of diverse guys in this edition of Hey Rookie: Welcome to the NFL. From the first overall pick of the Indianapolis Colts Andrew Luck, to Saints undrafted free agent Jose Gumbs, you will see how different the journey of making it in the NFL can be. You will also see Robert Griffin III (Redskins), Justin Blackmon (Jaguars), Dre Kirkpatrick & Devon Still (Bengals). From private planes, practice and game wires, and trips to these guy’s hometowns our access this year top notch.
I had the opportunity to direct Justin Blackmon and both Bengals rookies, Dre Kirkpatrick & Devon Still. Both organizations and all three players plus their positon coaches were great to work with. Justin Blackmon was wondering why we wanted to mic him up at practice because he doesn’t think he talks much. However, in my opinion one of the best moments in the show came from this practice mic when Justin spent several minutes admiring the dragonflies on the field.
Dre Kirkpatrick had a frustrating offseason because of a knee injury he suffered while training before camp. Even with this injury Dre was always smiling and pleasant to work with. On a trip to the Ronald McDonald house back in June he made many kids very happy. I wish we had more time to show scenes from that day in Hey Rookie, but in that segment you will see how genuine Dre Kirkpatrick is.
As a Penn State grad I’ve wanted a rookie from my alma mater in Hey Rookie since I started working on this show back in 2005. I finally got my wish this year with Devon Still. Another one of my favorite scenes in this show was when Devon invited us to capture him doing yoga in his hometown in Delaware. You will have to tune in to ESPN2 this Tuesday night to see what it is like to be a 6’ 5”, 300 pound man doing yoga!