The Cincinnati Bengals start their OTA’s today and most of the 90 man roster will be in attendance. What can the team do in this portion?
The Cincinnati Bengals begin their OTA’s today with the attendance of most of the 90 man roster. Players will participate in on-field drills for the first time this offseason going against each other. While the team will be competing against one another, there are still limitations on what they can do.
Players are not allowed to wear pads or make tackles in OTA’s. While contact is not permitted yet, teams can run drills of seven-on-seven, nine-on-seven, and eleven-on-eleven drills. Most of these workouts are not mandatory, so there will likely be a few top names that don’t participate in some of the exercises. Names like Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, and Michael Johnson who are all in contract years are all guys that might limit themselves.
For many players, this will be the first time seeing the new playbooks and schemes on both sides of the ball. It will be the first time that players can see the new looks and plays while going against the competition. Both coordinators Bill Lazor and Teryl Austin will be working hard to teach their new looks and schemes with the veteran players in this part of OTA’s.
Today will also be the first time that rookies get to work with the Bengals veterans. Rookie minicamp was held from May 11-13 where rookies could only play against other rookies. Now they will get the chance to compete with the veterans on the roster and learn from more experienced players at their respected position. Here is a layout of how the OTA programs will work over the next few weeks according to the collective bargaining agreement:
- Phase 1: Players can undergo strength and conditioning, rehabilitation from injuries and nothing else during this period. This phase lasts two weeks.
- Phase 2: On-field instruction and drills are allowed, but contact is not permitted, and offensive and defensive players cannot be pitted against one another in drills. This phase lasts three weeks.
- Phase 3: Teams are permitted ten days of OTAs. Again, contact isn’t allowed, but seven-on-seven, nine-on-seven and 11-on-11 drills are permitted. This phase lasts four weeks, and teams are also allowed to hold a mandatory veteran minicamp during this time.
Other dates to know going forward for offseason workouts:
- OTA Offseason Workouts Phase 1: May 22-24
- OTA Offseason Workouts Phase 2: May 29-31 and June 1
- OTA Offseason Workouts Phase 3: June 4-7
- Mandatory Minicamp: June 12-14
- Players report to training camp: July 26
With OTA’s starting up today, we are one step closer to football season. Like every other fan, I cannot wait to see what the new offense and defense looks like come regular season. We will see some sprinkled in during the preseason, but it’s usually more one-on-one plays to see players full abilities without schemes. It’s going to be a fun transition to watch, and this is another step closer!