A lot is made of the jump from rookie to second year, and this is arguably where the biggest improvement is in most players' careers. There are a number or reasons, one of which is the rookie wall, the jump from 10-12 games a year to 20-23. Another is getting into football shape. Rookies spend their off-season, not getting into football shape, but fine tuning their bodies specifically to do well in the 40, shuttle, etc. This is smart. Combine numbers afect their draft position and therefore earns for the first 4-5 years of their career, but it doesn't prepare them for life in the NFL. The third thing is mental, having learned the plays and been on the field in game action. Guys on IR like Crable can learn the plays and get into shape, but until they play, they are going to have a rookie thought process in games. That's why I think BB will cut Crable a lot more slack than we will. (Unless Crable has an attitude problem, in which case he is gone.) Hidden away in Reiss's piece on Myron Prior is this gem: You want to get to the point where itâs like tying your shoes as a little kid â you know what youâre doing, you have no questions. I feel like last year, I was being held back because youâre always thinking, and you donât want to mess up because itâs your first year and you want to make the best impression. This year, I just want to go in knowing itâs written in my head. I felt like that hurt me on a lot of plays I could have made.â Myron Pryor eyes improvement in '10 - Patriots Blog - ESPN Boston This makes sense, and it makes me hopeful about guys like Prior, Brace, and Chung, even Vollmer and Butler, who I thought did exceptionally well.