Taking the Field at the 2013 Panini Pop Warner Skills Clinic
NEW ORLEANS — On a Super Bowl Saturday morning inside the mammoth NFL Experience, two of the brightest young stars in the NFL (and one who will be at some point early in April’s NFL Draft) headlined the 2013 Panini Pop Warner Skills Clinic by administering unforgettable drills, advice and fun to more than 75 local Pop Warner athletes.
During what must be considered one of the most meaningful hours of the entire Super Bowl XLVII week, the superstar coaches on this day – Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie running Doug Martin, Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl MVP tight end Kyle Rudolph and Geno Smith, the former West Virginia QB and projected top-10 pick in the upcoming draft — oozed enough encouragement, wisdom and genuine “Wow!” moments to last a lifetime.
Held every year, the special event is the annual culmination of Panini America’s exclusive relationship with Pop Warner and strives to deliver the excitement and pageantry of the Super Bowl to Pop Warner athletes in and around the host city.
In years past, Panini America has called upon such guest coaches as Tim Tebow, DeAngelo Williams, Kevin Kolb, Brandon Lloyd, Von Miller and Andy Dalton.
But this year belonged to Martin, Rudolph and Smith, a talented trio that left quite an impression while working with kids on passing, catching and taking handoffs, all the while stressing the importance of education, discipline and hard work.
When the clinic ended, Panini America delivered a $2,500 helmet grant to the Brazos Valley Pop Warner organization; the coaches, meanwhile delivered autographed 5 by 7s, ear-to-ear smiles and indelible memories.
This video captures some of the great sights and sounds from the event — including interviews with Martin and Rudolph. For even more telling images, check out the gallery that follows the video.
Click Here to View the Photo Gallery