WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Welcome to the NFL, Garrett Grayson.
First, the New Orleans Saints rookie quarterback had to rap in front of his teammates on Saturday night. Then he got called out for it while being admonished by coach Sean Payton on the field the next day.
After Grayson had trouble getting the team lined up, Payton yelled something to the effect of, "I know you can rap, but what else can you do?"
"He didn't like our break, so he made me get back and called me out," Grayson said, before focusing on the bright side. "He did say I can rap, so I guess that's a good thing."
Grayson (who went with R. Kelly's "Ignition Remix," by the way) had better be able to keep his sense of humor. Because he will no doubt continue to face his share of humbling moments.
It's been a work in progress so far for the third-round draft pick from Colorado State, who ended each of the past two practices on a sour note. On Saturday, the ball fell out of his hand as he attempted a pass. On Sunday, he threw an interception on a high pass that bounced off the hands of running back Marcus Murphy.
"It's just getting used to the speed of the game," said the 6-foot-2, 220-pounder, who reiterated that one of his biggest hurdles has been getting used to the complicated play calls that can get up to "18, 20 words long."
"So spitting it out correctly, getting in the right formation, lining up correctly, and then playing fast. It's something I tried to work on this summer when I was away, getting that play calling and getting out there knowing what I'm doing so I can play instead of just thinking," Grayson said.
Grayson has had his share of highs, too. Though he has primarily worked as the No. 4 quarterback, he took a brief set of snaps with the second string Sunday and completed his only pass attempt to receiver Seantavius Jones.
Grayson, who said it's been a dream come true to work with a future Hall of Fame quarterback like Drew Brees, said Brees has offered plenty of advice.
"The biggest thing with him, he's told me many times, 'Just go out there and play,'" Grayson said, explaining that it's OK if he gets some of the technical aspects wrong like identifying the Mike linebacker. "[Brees says] 'We'll fix it in film if the Mike is incorrect. Just go up there and play, have fun. Stop thinking, just relax and enjoy it.'"
Grayson isn't going to be treated with kid gloves, though -- a lesson he was reminded of on Sunday.
"I think the quarterback position has thick skin, and I think quickly you have to get up to speed with what we're doing, how to verbalize it, then how to go out and execute it," Payton said. "I've seen that with Bill [Parcells] firsthand with Tony [Romo] in his early years, and we'll do the same here with Garrett.
"You know, the ship's not waiting, really. It goes. And quickly you gotta get up to speed with it. And I thought his practice was a little better today."