I'm thinking it was more of a confidence issue than toughness...Soliai took time hopefully the coaches can get to Egnew the same way.
Soliai played his rookie year. It was never about toughness with him. It was about giving full effort 100% of the time and keeping his weight down.
Obviously, Egnew realized he had an issue with toughness and he went to one of the best places to address that issue.
It wasn't just toughness with him, but clearly he lacked any of it. Per the Herald, during training camp last year: "He's dropped passes, missed assignments and generally not played very fast. He has what I call the thousand yard stare, like he is overmatched with what's going on."
Sherman even made a comment during the season how they didn't have time to teach him weekly what he needed to know cumulatively in order to get on the field. The guy is just as raw as it gets. Again, he had his one great season in college based on pure athleticism. He was a one tool player. Reality has set in here in the NFL for him as Mizzou never even got close to preparing him for what it would be like.
Back on the toughness subject. Man some people either are born with it or the don't have it. Can it be developed? It can, I know guys that served in the military for a few years where that was the case ..... but in one offseason simply sparring with MMA trainers? You're talking about re-wiring a man's mental capacity that to this point had been 23 years in the making.