You're a rookie and the NFL season, counting the preseason and the playoffs, including Super Bowl LVII, runs 23 game weeks plus four weeks off in between – over Labor Day, during the regular season, heading into the NFC playoffs, and then after winning the NFC Championship Game – and you haven't had a chance to really catch your breath until after Super Bowl LVII on Sunday night.
So, when a reporter asks you how your first professional season went, what is the initial thought?
"First of all, it was long," center/guard Cam Jurgens said, laughing. "I learned so much this year, it was awesome being part of it. I feel like I was blessed to land with the Eagles and the offensive line room and learning from all the great dudes in there. The season was twice as long as my college year, so that's a challenge, and then you have the repetition of the days and the requirement to be consistent with everything you do.
"That's what the NFL is all about. You have to be on top of your game every day. That's a little bit different than college but it was a lot of fun and I think I met the challenge."
The Eagles have high hopes for Jurgens, a second-round draft pick from Nebraska last April. He shined in the preseason playing center and displaying great intelligence, athletic ability, and strength. The whole package. A year of learning with Jason Kelce was invaluable for Jurgens, who also cross-trained at both guard positions. What the future holds for him is not certain, other than he wants to compete for playing time in 2023. He could step in for Kelce, should the veteran All-Pro decide to retire. Jurgens could also play guard, if Kelce comes back.
In the NFL, you have to be ready for anything and everything.
"Whatever the coaches want me to do, that's my mindset," he said. "I just want to keep getting better, improving my technique and my game all around. I understand what they mean when they say players improve the most from their first season to their second season. All throughout OTAs (Organized Team Activities) and the practices in the spring and summer, I was learning the playbook and getting everything down and figuring out what the coaches want from me and now I know all of that heading into next season. I know what Stout (Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach Jeff Stoutland) wants from me."
"I'll be able to go in and play a lot quicker and hit the ground running."
Jurgens was asked about his play from the preseason and his answer was telling: "That was a long time ago." It was August, a full season behind him. Jurgens is looking forward, having a year of studying with Kelce and preparing with the linemen and looking at the game during the week and when the ball was snapped in an experienced manner.
All of that is going to help him in Year 2, whatever he may be called upon to do.
"I have a lot of confidence in my ability and I'm very excited about it," he said. "Whenever that time comes, I'll be ready. Right now, I'm looking forward to some time off to recharge and then I will be back and be super excited to really take that next step."