The League

Rob Rang
Draft Guru

Rob Rang

Senior Analyst for and

Injuries Can't Close OTAs


The pressure of the ultra competitive NFL and the increased media presence at team organized activities has made it so that OTAs are no longer truly voluntary. These workouts are important in developing team morale, teaching new systems and maintaining the players' overall conditioning. It is absolutely critical, of course, for players on the bubble to attend these workouts. For well-established veterans, however, the workouts might appear to be less important. However, with teams looking to these same veterans to be leaders, most are attending anyway. Veterans, even superstars, that simply elect not to attend OTAs are often vilified.

Every year a prominent player is injured in the supposedly non-contact Organized Team Activities that occur throughout the "off-season," leading to a groundswell of support to eliminate the workouts entirely, or to at least redefine the "voluntary" nature of the workouts.

This year, of the course, the Super Bowl champions got a scare with a limping Ben Roethlisberger.

The unfortunate reality is, however, that sometimes players are going to suffer injuries whether they're participating in OTAs, waiting until the mandatory training camps, or just spending time with their friends and family in the off-season.

Ironically enough, it was just over 2 years (and one week) ago that Roethlisberger sustained multiple injuries riding his motorcycle in Pittsburgh.

Renaming OTAs is not going to change the fact that players get hurt in this game ... and in the world outside the gridiron.

By Rob Rang  |  June 4, 2009; 3:16 PM ET  | Category:  Medical , NFL , Pittsburgh Steelers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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