OTAs (organized team activities) are welcomed by all NFL fans. They mark the beginning of the summer season, and more importantly, the unofficial halfway mark for the offseason. Every beat writer for every team covers OTAs like they will somehow effect what will happen on the field in September, but that’s only partially true.
The Jaguars spent their last day of this round of OTAs on a field trip. Coach Mike Mularkey took his team paint-balling. Some may think this is a waste of valuable practice time, but that’s only partially true.
OTAs benefit rookies and veterans on new teams. That’s about it. There’s a reason that many established stars around the league skip voluntary OTAs in favor of working out on their own. The OTAs just aren’t that important to the team’s success in the fall. Basically, OTAs are there to get everyone that’s new to the team up to speed for mandatory training camps. That’s when teams make serious headway towards their goals in September.
The simple point here is to take OTAs with a grain of salt. They aren’t completely worthless. In fact, they’re invaluable for a player that’s new to his team and trying to get up to speed. At the same time, voluntary offseason practices aren’t going to get a 4-12 team into the playoffs. The practices are basically a primer for the far more important mandatory training camps. So when a coach decides it’s more beneficial to take the day off and go have some fun with his team, maybe he’s right. There’s only so much progress you can make in offseason OTAs, and tyring to do more than that won’t benefit your team.