What does it really mean to be a rookie in the National Football League? That is a question every player is bound to discover in their first year. Luckily for Rams long snapper
Former Rams veterans Josh Brown (kicker) and Chris Massey (long snapper) were vital in transforming McQuaide into the player he is today.
“They helped me a lot last year,” McQuaide said. “Just being around those guys and learning about what it is to be a pro, and how to carry yourself and take care of your business.”
For him, last year was all about “learning how to be a pro.”
“Being a rookie, when you are asked to do the rookie stuff, like when you are asked to sing and when you are asked to carry someone’s helmet to the field, do it,” McQuaide said of advice given to him from former Rams special teams coach Tom McMahon. “You are a rookie you should do those things.
“When it comes time for football or for meetings you are not a rookie, you are just like everyone else. You are here to make the team and to contribute. So when you are on the field do not act like a rookie, when you are in meetings don’t act like a rookie, you are paying attention, you are taking care of what you have to do.”
The invaluable advice and support from the group of veterans has stuck with McQuaide through his second season with the Rams. McQuaide’s support network was so effective that he became the Rams’ long snapper before the first game of last season.
This year is a different story.
“I help them out a little bit, but they kind of know what they are doing,” McQuaide said, “but if they have any questions I try and answer whatever they ask me.”
Knowing where the rookies are coming from has helped McQuaide look out for and teach them.
“You come in here and it’s like everything is a thousand miles an hour and you are just trying to keep up,” McQuaide said.
The Cincinnati native does his part to talk the rookies through things in hopes of slowing everything down.
McQuaide has certainly matured into his role as a veteran. While he is no longer a rookie, he is still just as excited as he was on day one.
“I am really excited for this season. I am excited for our team and for our fans, for the city of St. Louis.”