Football has finally arrived in Green Bay for the 2018 season.
The Green Bay Packers hold their first Organized Team Activities — OTA — practice of the year today, marking the first time that the 2018 roster will be on the field together to start installing the new schemes planned for the upcoming season.
On offense, this means that Joe Philbin’s return and head coach Mike McCarthy’s promised revamping of the playbook will be in clear focus. Philbin, the team’s offensive coordinator from 2007 to 2011, returns in that capacity after six years away. Meanwhile, the hire of Mike Pettine as defensive coordinator will bring a new edge and attitude to a defense that often appeared to be stagnant and behind the times under Dom Capers.
Beyond the new coaches, the Packers also have an 11-man draft class and a host of undrafted rookies to acclimate to the roster, as well as top free agent acquisition Jimmy Graham. Although the rookie class was able to practice two weeks ago during rookie orientation camp, their assimilation to the team roster and the depth chart will begin in earnest this week.
As a reminder, contact is still not allowed during practices prior to the start of training camp. Here is what the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement allows teams to do during OTAs:
During Phase Three, 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 ... are permitted, provided no live contact occurs. Clubs may require players to wear helmets; no shells are permitted.
In other words, teams can run any drills except for one-on-ones, as long as there is no contact.
Here are the dates of the Packers OTAs and minicamp:
- OTAs: May 21-23, May 30-June 1, June 4-7
- Minicamp: June 12-14
Stay tuned to APC for updates from the first day of OTAs.