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OTA's Are on the Horizon for the Packers

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OTA's Are on the Horizon for the Packers

With 80-degree temperatures in the air, trees blossoming and tourists making their way north every weekend, Packers fans know that real football is on the horizon.  While the sweet sounds of shoulder pads popping and helmets colliding still needs to wait a couple of months, Monday’s start to organized team activities provides a great chance for the new members of the Packers to begin to prove they have a chance to make the team.

When the NFL moved to the current rules for the offseason program, OTA’s were given pretty strict rules to live by as part of the agreement with the NFLPA.  First and foremost, OTA’s restrict any live contact and helmets are the only padding that players are permitted to wear.  One-on-one drills involving offense vs. defense are also forbidden for all teams during OTA’s.  When implemented, the NFL and NFLPA made OTA’s completely voluntary for players as well.  The NFL takes the OTA rules pretty seriously.  Pete Carroll and the Seahawks organization can vouch for that.

While restrictive on the things above, the OTA’s give players the first chance to be together as part of a larger team on the field together at one time.  The entire coaching staff is allowed to be on the field and team drills like 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

For the crop of rookies joining the Packers this year, this is their first chance to show that they understand the mental side of the game at the NFL level.  They’ve had a few weeks to study the playbook and learn their assignments.  Now, coaches will be watching to see if they can put the wheels in motion on the field.  If a rookie can’t translate the playbook and assignments onto the field of play, his chance of making it in the NFL is extremely thin.  Consider this step one of the evaluation processes that players have to pass.  The physicality of the game and what a player brings to the table there are for down the road when the pads go on.

The upcoming OTA’s will also be extremely beneficial for veteran players this year as new schemes are implemented into the program.  Mike Pettine will be getting his first shot with the defensive unit as a whole and the offense will be putting a revamped playbook to work as well.  New playbooks and schemes will provide a feel around the OTA’s that hasn’t been experienced for a while around Nitschke Field and the Don Hutson Center. 

Final 53-man rosters aren’t built in May and June, but the 2018 OTA’s should provide the Packers coaching staff plenty of opportunities to see where each player stands heading into mandatory minicamp in June and training camp in July.  For me personally, seeing players in helmets and jerseys for the first time in a long time will be enough to get me excited for the months to come and have me anticipating more and more each day as we’re only 69 days from the official start of training camp.

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Ryan Brunner is an avid Packers fan hailing from Chippewa Falls, WI.  He is a firm believer that punters are NFL players too!  Follow him on Twitter @brunwardo

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (30) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

The TKstinator's picture

“The sound of helmets colliding”?
Somebody, quick, throw a flag!

I bleed green more's picture

I love this time of year, who will be the diamond in the rough?

Turophile's picture

@IBGM. I'm looking at the somewhat less rough (because they have already had 1-2 years in the system)
K.King, M.Adams, J.Spriggs, V.Biegel, J.jones, D.Lowry, J.McCray, L.Patrick, B.Martinez, A.Jones, J.Williams, K.Brice, to name a few. There are so many guys that could rise in their 2nd and 3rd years, some will, and by the late part of this year, we will know who they are

William Brauer's picture

Yeah these are the guys who we hope and pray will vindicate Ted Thompson and remove him from his Dan Devine status.

Nick Perry's picture

I think it's Biegel and possibly Adams. On offense I think it's Moore and Madison. Madison will be starting week one on the right side. Moore will be the starting WR opposite Adams starting after the bye.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

There is a lot of Madison love. I should probably go watch tape again on him. Nice enough looking prospect with good feet, but he was on skates too much against guys who wouldn't have made the Bama team. Oh well, it wouldn't be the first time a 5th rounder came in and played well immediately.

PAPackerbacker's picture

The player who can play an entire season without getting injured. I think Aaron Jones could be a 1000 + yard rusher if he can stay healthy and play in all 16 regular season games. And on defense Oren Burks or Jaire Alexander. For sure the Packers have talent on both side of the ball. It's a matter of staying healthy. Go Pack Go!!

I bleed green more's picture

I love this time of year, who will be the diamond in the rough?

The TKstinator's picture

Lucy.
In the sky.

dobber's picture

The crazy ones: they shine on.

Turophile's picture

She's got them on the soles of her shoes.

Also "They are forever".

Handsback's picture

Hope is a great thing that happens this time of year. Once TC starts, hope turns to worry, turns to anger, turns to joy, turns to...well you get the idea. Now is a good time of the year!

Lphill's picture

The season will be here before you know it and so will all the emotions and anxieties that come with it , let's hope for a Super climax!

The TKstinator's picture

The TKstinator hopes for that every night.

dobber's picture

Too much exacerbating...

Nick Perry's picture

WAY to much information sir!

cheesycowboy's picture

I need another shower...

Rossonero's picture

A wise man once said, "In football, as in life, seasons change. Disappointing winters plant the seeds for hopeful summers."

Hoping for better days ahead, revenge against our division rivals and Rodgers 'n Co. on the Super Bowl podium 9 months from now.

Til then, I'll enjoy the ride.

The TKstinator's picture

I’ll enjoy it too, and not waste even a precious minute on the Bus O’ Worry.

dobber's picture

The worry AirBus 320 has those touch-screen monitors on the backs of the seats. Never a wasted minute...especially if you want to play Bejewelled 2, watch a rerun of Everybody Loves Raymond, or find out what the temperature is at 35,000 feet.

cheesycowboy's picture

It's been a long time since there has been no preconceptions based on prior history. This is new to us all and I will enjoy the journey to September, when it also gets back under 90 degrees for the first time.

Chuck Farley's picture

I can see why some vets pass on attending,, no 11 on 11 or plays being run, sounds like just conditioning - mental and physical. A big nothing burger for a seasoned vet whose role doesn't change much, you block and you rush the passer. Oh well the new guys will love it.

WKUPackFan's picture

"no 11 on 11 or plays being run".

From the article: "team drills like 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are permitted".

"A big nothing burger for a seasoned vet".

From the article: "The upcoming OTA's will also be extremely beneficial for veteran players this year as new schemes are implemented into the program".

4thand1's picture

O = Oooooo
T = The
A = Agony

Nick Perry's picture

Please...NO knee injuries from a turf monster. NO high ankle sprains, hamstrings, or broken bones. Just put them in bubble wrap and get then to TC. I'm SO sick of injuries every year no matter when they happen.

Minniman's picture

If the Eddie Lacy off-season dramas have taught the organization anything, it's bring the team together ASAP just to make sure that everyone's ready to go.

Players could be dismissed early, but I really can't see any position group that is identical to how it was last year and wouldn't benefit from extra reps or familiarization with new players.

WKUPackFan's picture

Exactly what type of offseason drama did Lacy cause? Was he getting arrested? Doing drugs? Suspended for PED's? Engaging in domestic violence?

Lacy had a weight issue at times. Characterizing that as "drama" is extremely over the top.

Minniman's picture

My main point being, bring everyone in and get their heads ready for the season ahead.

DD's picture

I'm so excited for the seasin this year for the defense to soar! Also, MM new look and creative offense will be monumental???? Yeah, right.

Fordham Ram's picture

We used to play 2 hand touch in the streets in the The Bronx. Never witnessed an OTA. If they can't make contact are they playing 2 hand touch instead? Or they can't have simulated games. Offense works with offense and defense defense ?

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