Isaiah Simmons biggest revelation from his first year in the NFL is that offensive linemen are fast.
The former Clemson linebacker was in Greenville, S.C., this past Saturday as he and former Tiger Tee Higgins hosted a youth football camp at the Kroc Center.
Though offensive linemen are much faster in the NFL than they are in college, Simmons was just joking about it being his biggest revelation.
“No, really, I just learned that when you get to that level, just the time and commitment it takes, and even when you have free time, honestly, I would say it is less free time,” the Arizona Cardinals linebacker said.
Simmons was drafted No. 8 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. Though he had to learn a new position, he finished his first year with 43 tackles, including two sacks.
The former Clemson star also forced a fumble and had one interception. His first career interception came at home against Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, which helped the Cardinals beat the Seahawks, 37-34, in overtime.
Simmons says there is less free time when playing in the NFL with all the stuff players have to do and then taking care of your body, as well. Unlike at Clemson, Simmons points out they do not have a 24/7 facility to work out of during the off-season. They do not have access to a full-time nutritionist.
“I know it is kind of cliché, but learning how to be a pro, that is probably the biggest learning curve,” he said. “It is not so much the Xs and Os, but how to go about being a pro. You don’t have your nutritionist at Clemson or your strength coach telling you that you have to be here at this time to do this or do that. There is a lot of self-discipline and just learning to do things on your own and what works best for you.
“You know, what works for me, may not work for Tee. So, just finding your own way, critiquing, and learning from (veteran players) on just how to go about being a pro. That is the biggest thing I had to learn.”
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