New England tight end Aaron Hernandez is in only his second NFL season, but from the way he talks about his rookie year, you'd think he was referring to some kind of devil-may-care days of a decade ago.
"I wasn't the most disciplined player, and I thought I had all the answers," the former University of Florida standout told reporters, according to the Boston Herald. "But I realized that I got to do it the team's way, and I just had to be more disciplined. I was a young player, and I thought I was right all of the time. I thought my way worked, but it really didn't. It was just me being very immature. This year, it's getting better."
That's showing on the field as Hernandez has emerged as one of Tom Brady's top targets. Heading into Sunday night's game at the New York Jets, he has 33 catches for 333 yards with five touchdowns.
It's not that Hernandez had a disappointing first year — he finished with 45 catches for 563 yards with six touchdowns — but he was far more productive in the first eight games of his rookie season.