"I'm glad I got accepted into this program," Weaver said. "Doing TV is by far the toughest. When you play in front of 70,000 [people], you don't really see the fans. But here, you see every producer."
Weaver's day started at 7:45 a.m. and didn't end until personal tape reviews with ESPN and Fox reporters were completed at 8 p.m. It included a tape analysis with Ron Jaworski and sessions on editing, prep, management, and vocals.
In the afternoon, players recorded two takes of a three-minute in-studio set segment with either CBS's James Brown or Fox's Curt Menefee, with producers often yelling in their ear to look at a different camera and speak up.
"I won't say it's like two-a-days," former Penn State quarterback and current Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson said. "But it kind of is."
Robinson put his hand in the same white helmet and pulled out a piece of paper.
"How should the Jets utilize Tim Tebow this season?"
Robinson smiled. He dealt with the same talk of switching positions when he entered the league, minus the miracle comebacks and media onslaught that is Tebowmania. Robinson finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2005 as the Nittany Lions' quarterback. When he was selected in the fourth round of the NFL draft, he switched to a halfback/fullback role. Five years later, he's a Pro Bowler.
So as he sat on set with Menefee serving up analysis on the Tebow situation, a producer told him to draw more on his personal experience.
Robinson has made appearances on ESPN and the Big Ten Network, but said he still wants to play in the NFL a few more seasons before making the move to full-time analyst. He admits he still has a lot of progress to make with his voice. During vocal training with Arthur Joseph, Robinson recorded the session using his iPhone.
Joseph tried to instill confidence in their voices.
"Skip Bayless doesn't know anything," he said. "But he makes it sound like he does."
Joseph was trying to demonstrate how difficult it can be to speak properly on the air. He looked at Patrick Crayton, the former Chargers and Cowboys wide receiver seated to Robinson's left, and asked whether catching a football across the middle was tough.
"No," Crayton said. "But catching a streak pass against a cover-2 defense with a buck safety crashing down is."
Joseph didn't say anything.
"Oh, man," Robinson said, "that is tough."
For some of the instructors who haven't been around football players all their lives, teaching them a craft that is foreign to players can be difficult. But that's where it helps to have other players in the classes with them. The players were separated into four groups of five, with three "advanced" players in a separate group.
"It's a good time," Robinson said. "Good to make contacts, too."
Weaver was on the set with James Brown toward the end of one afternoon. Brown asked the question Weaver had been preparing for.
"Which division is going to be the toughest?"
Weaver smiled and looked into Camera 2 as he was told.
"That's going to be the NFC East," he said. "All four of those teams are talented. And I see big things from the Eagles this year."
Brown looked at him.
"Of course you do."
Contact Chad Graff at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @ChadGraff.