NFL Rookie Symposium Set to Conclude; Could Return to Cleveland Next Year

June 29, 2012; Berea, OH USA: Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon works on a ball drill with youngsters during the AFC rookie symposium at the Cleveland Browns Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Eric P. Mull-USPRESSWIRE

A few days ago, we saw a picture of Robert Griffin III in Berea at the Browns training facility. In an interview with the local media, Griffin conceded that Cleveland was the place he thought he was going to end up.

On Friday, we saw more players in Berea who many fans thought might be members of the Browns, including WR Justin Blackmon of the Jaguars and QB Andrew Luck of the Colts. For Cleveland fans, the benefit of the Rookie Symposium being held in Berea is that the local media gets to reach out to some of these players for interviews. In addition, it seems like things have been going well at the event. If that means these rookies across the league can pass along some positive information about Cleveland to their teammates, maybe it makes it easier to lure in a free agent or two in the future.

If you read this article from Tom Reed of the Plain Dealer a few days ago, there is a chance that Northeastern Ohio could be made the permanent home for the NFL Rookie Symposium. The reason is that the league wants players to visit the Hall of Fame in Canton as part of the program. In the past, that meant rookies had to fly out for two separate trips; by making Cleveland the primary location, you cut out that extra trip/hassle.

On Friday, the local media asked both Blackmon and Luck about Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden.

"When he came in during my freshman year, we noticed right away that he could really throw the ball," said Blackmon. "We had swollen fingers after catching his throws." Link

"I consider [Weeden] one of the best that came out," Blackmon said. "I wouldn’t trade him for anyone. He can throw the ball from sideline to sideline and with lots of velocity and speed. He can put it there. He knows how to read the coverage and makes smart decisions. He loves to compete." Link

"I think he’s incredibly accurate," Luck said. "It’s fun watching him toss the ball. … It seems every time you’re like, ‘Oh, man. That’s where that throw needs to be.’ ... He’s got incredible arm strength, very sharp guy, obviously mature for how old he is." Link

Fun fact from the ABJ links above: did you know Luck's father went to St. Ignatius High School?

Would it be nice for the rookies to return to Cleveland every year?

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