It's the time of the year when young players are doing everything they can to catch the eye of a coach in order to win a roster spot.
Michael Calvin has had a solid offseason and training camp, showing off exceptional speed and an ability to make athletic catches. While he's competing with six other receivers for what appears to be the fifth and final WR spot on the roster, Calvin put together a nice evening at Friday Night Lights last week, a performance that will earn him some favor.
Calvin said the change in pace from practice to a scrimmage that allowed hitting and simulated live-game action was great for young players like himself.
"I just felt comfortable out there," Calvin said. "When we first got here, we were throwing in all the installs and it was so overwhelming. I think that night we got out there, all of us, and played without thinking. We were students of the game. It makes it that much easier when you get out there."
Calvin said he was happy with his performance, but he feels the daily effort that he puts forward in practices will likely have more weight from coaches on roster decisions, until the preseason games start.
"I feel like (events like Friday Night Lights) are a big factor, but I think coming out here on the daily grind and being consistent is what really shows," the wide receiver said. "Of course, it's great to have game film. I think coming out here with the sun beaming on you, this is the daily grind. I think that's what they want to see. It really tests your character."
All of the young players fighting for the remaining roster spots this season know their performances at their positions matter, but what they can show on special teams will be a primary factor in final decisions. Calvin said the coaches have not failed to remind them of this fact.
"I can tell you that special teams is going to be everything," he said. "Even coach says you take your first snaps on special teams. That's going to be a big contributing factor on whether or not I make this team or not."