Trevor Laws knows exactly what the Eagles' new crop of rookies is going through.
It was a little over a year ago that Philadelphia selected Laws with the 47th pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. He arrived at the NovaCare Complex the next day with no idea what to expect. A week later, mini-camp was his baptism by fire.
"You come in, you don't know anybody, you don't know the system, you don't know what's going on, (you're) trying not to get yelled at too much," Laws said. "It's a lot like being a freshman. You're a rookie in the NFL – it's definitely tough."
The difference between Laws' first mini-camp and the one that just finished up on Sunday was as different as night and day.
"Coming in and having a feel for what you're doing and knowing what's expected of you, it was totally different," Laws said. "It was a much better experience for me to tell you the truth. I got more of a chance to work, I wasn't all wide-eyed. I thought it was productive." Photo Gallery : 2009 Post-Draft Mini-Camp
For players like offensive linemen Mike McGlynn and Mike Gibson, who were selected in the fourth- and sixth-round respectively in 2008, having that year under their belts has made a world of difference.
"You had no idea what you were doing," Gibson said. "Everything in the building looked the same. You always got lost and everything. Now you're more set on a routine, you're more comfortable with everything, the surroundings. It feels more like home around here."
"It was tough last year," said McGlynn, who worked with the first-team offensive line at left guard in Todd Herremans' absence. "It's just you, basically. You know other rookies, but it's tough because you don't know what to expect. Our second year, that's a much easier feeling."
That's because they've all had the opportunity to watch how pros like Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, Quintin Mikell and Trent Cole study film, hit the weights and generally prepare for a grueling season.
Perhaps more importantly, they know what the coaching staff and their teammates expect of them.
"One year of experience, you know what's going on," McGlynn said. "You know the technique so you're not learning everything now. You know what you have to do, focus on what you have to (do to) get better. Everything's not just thrown at you; you have an idea of what's coming. A smoother transition."
Laws, for example, came into mini-camp in much better shape than a year ago, which he hopes translates to successful sophomore campaign. He clearly looks more comfortable.
"You know all the calls," Laws said. "Personally, I'm in better shape than last year, I feel a lot better out there, I have a lot more confidence and you play faster."
That's a trait most of the second-year players have exhibited during mini-camp.
"I think it's coming a lot easier for me," McGlynn said. "I think I'm definitely getting better from last year, light years away from where I was last year."
So players like Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy and Cornelius Ingram can take heart: it gets a little better with time.
"I wouldn't say it's easier, but you're more familiarized with everything," Gibson said. "Everything last year seemed so much faster as opposed to this year where it seemed like I was up to speed. I was on IR all last year, so I didn't have the season to get up to speed. But even from mini-camp last year to this one, I caught up to the speed."