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Steelers Organized Team Activities (OTAs) Begin Tuesday in Pittsburgh


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Big Blue View editor Ed Valentine does a great job in summarizing the specifics of what OTAs are, and what Steelers fans can expect to happen at the start of Phase One of OTAs, which is set to begin Tuesday in Pittsburgh.

The main goal of Phase One is based around conditioning and rehabilitation. In other words, this time will mostly be spent with strength and conditioning coaches conducting variations of track practice or military basic training.

OTAs are broken into three phases, and per the CBA signed Aug. 4, 2011, they are defined thusly:

Phase One

Phase One shall consist of the first two weeks of the Club's offseason workout program. Subject to the additional rules set forth in S ection 5 of this Article, Phase One activities shall b e limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only. During Phase One, only full-time or part-time strength and condi­tioning coaches, who have no other coaching responsibilities with the Club, shall be
allowed o n the field; n o other coaches shall b e allowed on the field or to otherwise par­ticipate in or observe activities. No footballs shall b e permitted to be used (only "dead ball" activities), except that quarterbacks may elect to throw to receivers provided they are not covered by any other player. Players cannot wear helmets during Phase One.

Conditioning is important, and unfortunately, the only news that comes out of this phase of OTAs involves injuries. This is why it's key players maintain good conditioning in the time leading up to OTAs.

During this time, players aren't allowed any access to position coaches or coordinators, and the players themselves more or less run drills without coaching. They may run seven-on-seven passing drills or work together on footwork and technique.

Phase Two

Phase Two shall consist of the next three weeks of the Club' s offseason workout program. Subject to the additional rules set forth in Section 5 of this Article, during Phase Two all coaches shall be allowed on the field. On-field wor­
kouts may include individual player instruction and drills, as well as "perfect play" drills (e.g., offense or defense only, but not offense vs. defense), or special teams drills on a "separates" basis (e.g .. , kicking team or return team only, but not kicking team vs. return team). No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted. No offense v s . defense drills are permitted (e.g .. , no one-on-one offensive linemen vs. defensive linemen pass rush or pass protection drills, no wide receivers vs. defensive backs bump­ and-run drills, and no one-on-one special teams drills involving both offense and defense are p ermitted.) Players cannot wear helmets during Phase Two.

Phase Two for the Steelers is May 29-31.

Phase Three

Phase Three shall consist of the next four weeks o f the Club's offseason workout program. Subject to the additional rules set forth in Subsec­tions 5 (a) and 5 (c) of this Article and Appendix G to this Agreement, during Phase Three each Club may conduct a total of ten days of organized team practice activity ("OTAs" or "OTA days"). The restrictions set forth in Subsection 5 (b) of this Article shall not apply to OTA days. The Club may conduct a maximum of three days of OTAs during each of the first two weeks of Phase Three. A maximum of four days of OTAs
may be conducted during either the third week or the fourth week of Phase Three, with the Mandatory Veteran Minicamp (Article 22, Section 2) to be held during the other week. During weeks in which the Club conducts only three days o f OTAs, the Club may also conduct a fourth day of non-OTA workouts, but such activities shall be subject to the rules governing Phase Two workouts, as set forth in Subsection 2 (b)(ii) of this Ar­ticle. During Phase Three, all coaches shall be allowed on the field. No live contact is permitted. No one-on-one offense vs . defens e drills are p ermitted (i. e . , no offensive linemen vs. defensive linemen pass rush or pass protection drills, no wide receivers vs. defensive backs bump-and-run drills, and no one-on-one special teams drills involving both offense and defense are permitted). Special teams drills (e.g., kicking team vs. return team) are p ermitted, provided no live contact occurs. Team offense vs . team defense drills, including all drills listed in Appendix G to this Agreement, are p ermitted, provided no live contact occurs. Clubs may require players to wear helmets; no shells are permit­
ted during Phase Three of the Club's offseason workout program or any minicamp.

Phase Three for the Steelers is June 4-7.



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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OTA’s (Organized Team Activities) Are Just a Reminder that We’re Still Two Months Away from Training Camp


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Tomorrow, the Steelers begin their OTA's, and for die-hard fans, it's at least a little taste of football, so to speak. We'll get to see our boys in action again, albeit only in shorts, and we'll get another glimpse of the new rookie crop...........well, except for DeCastro and Adams.

Speaking of that, Mike Wallace also won't be there because of his contract dispute, and his absence will probably dominate much of the talk. Coach Mike Tomlin will more than likely have to spend the majority of his time with the media deflecting questions about his speedy receiver.

I don't think that will be the only news. I'm sure there will be some "OTA Wonders" that really look good in their helmets and shorts, and we'll marvel at their sheer athleticism.

Although, I'm pretty sure we won't be allowed to marvel because I don't think OTA's are open to the general public.

In years past, before OTA's, there was mini camp (there might still be mini camp, and if there is, I'm sure I won't be able to tell the difference), and the thing that I remember most about Steelers mini camp was that it wasn't training camp.

Mini camps, OTA's, whatever you want to call them, are like the two or three days before your big vacation. You're really excited about it, but you're still bummed because you have another few days of work. Plus, you still have tons of things to take care of like packing, making sure the dogs get to the kennel on time, confirming your flight, and if you're going out of the country, finding your passport.

You still have to get all of that stuff out of the way before you can even dream about being on the plane.

Training Camp, when the boys head to Latrobe in late July, now that's more like it. For a football fan like me, that''s the equivalent to being on the plane to your tropical destination. It's still not quite September, but you're heading in the right direction.

OTA's are more for the players than they are for the fans. It's like the read-through before the actual rehearsal. I don't know about you, but I'd love to see some of my favorite actors and actresses rehearse before their big scenes; I find that pretty intriguing. But I have no desire to see them sitting around a table and reading their lines for the first time, months before the movie will even begin production.

I do realize that, at least for the offense, these OTA's will be a little more urgent than in years past because of Todd Haley's new terminology. But again, it's for the players; it's their script readings. As a fan, I don't know how much enjoyment I'd get from it even if I could see it live.

When it comes to OTA's, I'm more concerned about what a player doesn't do than what he does do. I don't want to hear about the great moves that (insert young rookie phenom here) displayed in OTA's. I just want to know that his ACL is still intact after those great moves and that he'll be attending training camp.

To sum it all up, these are the dog days of the offseason for a huge football fan like me. And OTA's are just a reminder that we still have two months to go before training camp, which means we're still a good four months away from the start of the regular season.

Oh man, now I'm even more depressed, Is there a way I can go into hibernation until September?. I hope that flight serves free drinks.



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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