With the rookie minicamp in the books, it is now time to turn the focus to the roster as a whole, and to Organized Team Activities. The Packers get a week off from practices, but will start their OTAs one week from today with some form of practice each of the next four weeks.
OTA and Minicamp Schedule
May 20-22: Organized Team Activities
May 27-29: Organized Team Activities
June 4-6: Mandatory Minicamp
June 11-14: Organized Team Activities
In these practice periods, there will several practices open to the public, as noted by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
May 21 (11:30 CT)
May 28 (11:30 CT)
June 11 (11:30 CT)
What Are OTAs?
I'm glad you asked. Organized Team Activities are basically glorified walk-through practices with full instruction by the coaching staffs but no live contact. The NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement says this:
All coaches shall be allowed on the field. No live contact is permitted. No one-on-one offense vs. defense drills are permitted (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 permitted, provided no live contact occurs. Team offense vs. team defense drills, including all drills listed in Appendix G to this Agreement, are permitted, provided no live contact occurs. Clubs may require players to wear helmets; no shells are permitted.
There you have it. Appendix G just re-states essentially the same restrictions as the paragraph above, though it does specifiy that 7-on-7, 9-on-9, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed as long as there is no live contact. Here is the CBA's definition of live contact, for reference:
Contact work (e.g., "live" blocking, tackling, pass rushing, bump-and-run), is expressly prohibited in all offseason workouts.
We'll be looking forward to next week and the start of some real football drills and perhaps even some actual on-field news to bring to you. Until then, hang tight and we'll keep you up to date on what's going on off the field.