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Welcome to the NFL, Mitch

One of the standard questions we media types ask those rookie types is what it feels like to come into an NFL locker room, put on a helmet, and see your name hanging over your locker. For most it's an enjoyable experience. But for Mitch Petrus, it was a wake-up call.

Written on tape that was covering his first name at his locker were the words:

"Rookie *itch"

And no, it wasn't an M for Mitch.

I noted to Petrus that the offensive linemen are known for their pranks around here.

"Yeah, that's what I've been hearing," he said. "And obviously I'm seeing it too."

To his credit, Petrus did not remove the tape. He left the gift from the rookie welcoming committee up there. Will it be there this evening or tomorrow? I don't know. But when we left the locker room a little while ago it was still there.

For his part, Petrus was respectful of the veterans he's going to be competing against for a job and -- perhaps eventually -- working alongside on an offensive line. Unlike other positions, the choreography on the line is critical so bringing a new kid in can be disruptive.

"I haven't played a down in the NFL yet so I have to come in and earn their respect," he said. "They don't have to show me anything and I don't deserve it. As time goes on and I get the opportunity to show myself, hopefully it will all work out."

By the way, Petrus tied the Combine record for bench presses this past winter. I asked him why he couldn't squeeze out just one more. He said he felt like he could have, and if he had known where he was and what the record was, he felt like he would have. But he lost count.

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