The Baltimore Ravens held their Rookie Camp a couple of weeks ago, but now they get to step onto the field with the big boys as the first of three OTA's begin today. The Ravens will hold three or four-day OTA's May 22-24, May 29-31 and June 4-7 and a mini-camp on June 12-14.
According to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, there are specific rules that govern what, when, how long and who can be on the field during these off-season practices. They are, however, so very integral to the learning process, especially for the rookies and younger players. Remember, there were no OTA's last year due to the NFL Lockout so even the second-year players are getting their first off-season workouts of their short NFL careers.
Click on the 'Jump' to read the governing section of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (Article 21, Section 2, Subsection b (iii), which lays out what the teams can do with these OTA's and mini-camps.
(iii) Phase Three. Phase Three shall consist of the next four weeks of the Club's offseason workout program. Subject to the additional rules set forth in Subsections 5(a) and 5(c) of this Article and Appendix G to this Agreement, during Phase Three each Club may conduct a total of ten days of organized team practice activity ("OTAs" or "OTA days"). The restrictions set forth in Subsection 5(b) of this Article shall not apply to OTA days.
The Club may conduct a maximum of three days of OTAs during each of the first two weeks of Phase Three. A maximum of four days of OTAs may be conducted during either the third week or the fourth week of Phase Three, with the Mandatory Veteran Minicamp (Article 22, Section 2) to be held during the other week. During weeks in which the Club conducts only three days of OTAs, the Club may also conduct a fourth day of non-OTA workouts, but such activities shall be subject to the rules governing Phase Two workouts, as set forth in Subsection 2(b)(ii) of this Article.
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, 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 during Phase Three of the Club's offseason workout program or any minicamp.