INDIANAPOLIS – For typical rookies approaching their first training camp, every practice is a learning experience.
Ohio State’s Urban Meyer recently said
Meyer’s words are prophetic. While Mewhort still is learning, the concepts and demands of his position are sinking in.
“Things have relatively slowed down since I got here,” said Mewhort, who finished OTA work last week by running at left guard with the first unit. “The game still is very fast. I still make mistakes every day that I’m learning from.
“It has slowed down a lot, but there still are finer things to learn in the offense as far as techniques and schemes. There are guys who are willing to help out, and that’s the best part about it.”
Position coach Joe Gilbert sees the intelligent player that Meyer described.
“It’s slowing down from a standpoint that he’s starting to see things,” said Gilbert. “He still asks questions like a true rookie but what’s neat is he’s a very smart player. He has a lot of athletic tools and picks things up really well.”
Mewhort appreciated the chance last week to work with the starters, saying first-hand exposure to how
He is capitalizing on every chance to learn and sees opportunity to work past mini-camp once it concludes Thursday.
“I’m probably going to stick around the facility, just soak up as much as I get,” said Mewhort. “(I’ll) get around veterans who are still here and keep learning. (I’ll) try to make myself better mentally and physically, and I don’t think there’s a better place than here.”
Dedication like that is what Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano seek from every player, and Grigson tabbed Mewhort 59th overall because he can be a complete package.
“He epitomizes what we’re looking for, someone who’s versatile, big, strong (and) can pick things up quick,” said Grigson. “The rookie learning curve, no matter how smart a kid is, there’s a lot going on when he gets thrown into this process.
“(Jack) has the skill set and intangibles to hit his ceiling relatively fast. He’s been able to play at a high level versus quality opponents in the Big Ten. Even as a sophomore, he played against some good fronts against multiple guys who were drafted high in the NFL. He was targeted (by us) for a long time.”
It showed a maturity on Mewhort’s part, and Meyer saw a talent that recalled others he has tutored over a distinguished career.
“The starting right tackle for the Steelers, Marcus Gilbert, played for me at Florida. One of their (players, Maurkice) Pouncey, I had him,” said Meyer. “Phil Trautwein was in the NFL for a while. I’ve been around some pretty good tackles, he’s (Mewhort) the best.
“He’s the best tackle and not just the fact he’s a tackle, he’s very flexible about the positions he can play. He played guard here and was a center in high school. I know a lot of teams liked that about him because he’s very multiple.
“The best thing about Jack is who he is as a person and a leader. He’s one of the toughest guys I’ve been around, and he’s a great locker room guy.”
Success for the smartest players is a destination never reached. Mewhort is on that road and ready for more today.
“Every day is a huge learning experience. I’m learning a million new things every day,” said Mewhort. “I have a lot of help doing it because the culture’s so good around here. The leaders and older guys have been really accepting of me, helping bring me along.
“I’m constantly learning, and I don’t think I’m done learning for a long time. Right now, I’m just trying to go out there and compete and do the best I can. Training camp’s definitely getting close. Mini-camp’s going to be big. We’re getting closer to the real thing, and I can't wait to get those pads on.”