OTA Rules Summarized

Teams around the NFL officially began Offseason Training Activities (OTAs) today, governed by a new set of rules designed to limit offseason practice time and -- hopefully -- curb injuries.

Under new rules agreed to in the league's collective bargaining agreement, offseason programs have been reduced from 14 weeks to nine per team. The number of OTAs, practices defined by offseason rules, has been cut from 14 to 10. Rest assured, all this limitation is killing New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin.

If you are interested, you can find the complete explanation in the CBA itself. After the jump, some of the highlights of the new workout rules.

Phase One (2 weeks). Phase One activities shall be 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 on the field; no other coaches shall be allowed on the field or to otherwise par­ticipate in or observe activities. No footballs shall be 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.

Phase Two (3 weeks). during Phase Two all coaches shall be allowed on the field. On-field wor­kouts 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 vs. 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 permitted.) Players cannot wear helmets.

Phase 3 (4 weeks). Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice ... 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.

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