Pro Day was 'surreal experience'
Part of Robert Gallery's Pro Day experience involved him having dinner with a high-profile NFL coach.
Editor's note: Iowa offensive tackle Robert Gallery, last year's Outland Trophy winner and projected high first-round pick in April's NFL draft, will chronicle his pre-draft experiences for ESPN.com.
As I mentioned last week, I had team meetings set up for the days surrounding our Pro Day workout. The night before the workouts, I went to dinner with representatives of one of the teams. It was a surreal experience. I sat with a general manager, a legendary head coach, and a few other decision-making personnel. It was a very relaxed meeting. They asked me questions, I fired some back at them. They got to better know me, and I got to get a good feel of who they are and how they run their organization. It's amazing how much you can learn about people in just a few hours of conversation.
Former Iowa offensive tackle Robert Gallery is expected to be a top five pick in the upcoming NFL draft and for the next few months he'll chronicle his experiences in a diary for ESPN.com. Check out the first three installments:
Diary No. 3: Rocking a new wardrobe
Diary No. 2: Mission accomplished
Diary No. 1: Ready for Indy
Monday (March 8) was the actual Pro Day. I ran in all of the drills that were asked of me. The workout was short, yet productive. I know there are things I need to improve on, but I feel real good about where I am at right now. I still have some time before camp opens to perfect those techniques.
When it was time to bench press, it reminded me of a scene from the Matrix. It was as if I were bench pressing in slow motion. Each rep exaggerated, arms fully extended, fully bent, fully extended, fully bent, bar hitting the chest in between, exhaling with each thrust of the bar, surrounded by a crowd of onlookers counting my every lift. By the time I finished, I had eclipsed my combine total and felt satisfied.
The following day I had a light workout in the morning followed by another team meeting, much like the dinner I had earlier in the week. Besides that, I have been back to my basic training. My focus now is on minicamp. I want to be in top shape when I report with my new team, and I know coach Chris Doyle will have me ready.
We have another Pro Day on March 22. More than likely, I won't be participating in it. I will be available to run drills if a team that hasn't seen me wants to come out. Otherwise, my reason for being there will be to support my teammates.
But enough about the training, the good stuff came in the mail once again. No, it wasn't another box of Dickies, which by the way have entered into the everyday wardrobe. Big Daddy Clothing sent me a nice size box of gifts this time. I guess I fit well with its whole image, being the Big Daddy that I am. (Note to reader: I am not a daddy in the sense I have a child. I am just saying that I am a big guy, and the daddy is just a term used loosely. Well, you get it). I have not even had a chance to go through everything they sent me yet. But I'm looking forward to finding out what else they have and mixing it in with the Dickies. I have gotten more clothes in the past few weeks than I bought throughout my four years of college. Life is good.
The marketing department at Priority Sports also hooked me up with a Sprint PCS deal. They sent me the coolest phone. Every phone company has a camera phone out now, but Sprint took it a step further. This one not only is a camera, but it is a camcorder as well. And it actually works. Maybe I could get someone to shoot me working out and get it on that ESPN Motion, or have me show off some of the new Dickies and Big Daddy gear. Just a thought.
In exchange for the phone, I will be making appearances on behalf of Sprint in my new city once I am drafted. This has been the perfect deal for me. Since the end of the season, and especially as of late, I have been on the phone constantly. My bill would have been ridiculous. And that probably would not have looked good if teams were trying to reach me and they kept getting that "this number has been disconnected" recording that we have all heard. So thanks to Priority Sports and Sprint for this one, it's been a lifesaver.
My agency also set me up with my first football trading card deal with a company called Press Pass. I just received the cards and they look really good. I am going to be signing the ones they sent me. From what I understand, they will be randomly placed in packs and should be in stores sometime in April. It blows my mind to think that people will be collecting and trading my card as I did many of my favorite players growing up. I can't wait to check out an issue of Beckett Magazine in a few years and see how much a rookie card of mine is going for.
Well, I should probably try to get some sleep and get ready for tomorrow. Coach Doyle has already warned me that we will be getting back into the heavy lifting. At this rate, I figure by the time he is done with me, the 30 reps I put up at Pro Day will be merely a warm up when I report to camp.
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