It’s that time, again. The time where teams like the Bucs, Dolphins and Jaguars have their veterans reconvene in the off season for Organized Team Activities (OTAs), which is allowed “voluntary” practice in helmets and shorts only.
And, as always, it’s interesting to see who is there with their teammates and maybe more so, who is not there.
In Jacksonville for example, off an AFC South Championship and two playoff wins, the Jaguars were welcoming veterans back. And QB Blake Bortles was anxious to talk to the media on several subjects:
WATCH: QB Blake Bortles and QB Coach Scott Milanovich address the media following OTA #1. https://t.co/85cIi6ug4m
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) May 22, 2018
Off of wrist surgery right after the AFC Championship Game, Bortles throwing will be scrutinized more come training camp, but for now, it’s a story, too. And he was out there tossing the ball around with his teammates.
The same cannot be said of defensive back stars Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. Both players decided to skip day one of the work for coach Doug Marrone. It’s not known, if or when, they will participate in the non-mandatory part of the off season.
Meanwhile, to the South in Miami, all eyes are on the rebuilt knee of QB Ryan Tannehill, who suffered a season ending re-injury early last August in training camp.
Well, he was on the field for Adam Gase’s team participating in the offense’s limited work, and Tannehill did so without the heavy brace on his left knee:
Welcome back #17. pic.twitter.com/7EvR9gFZft
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) May 22, 2018
The Dolphins also had veterans like newly traded for DE Robert Quinn, and free agents RB Frank Gore, etc. were going through the paces at the Davie facility.
Finally, the Buccaneers were also on the field for day one of OTA’s, and the Bucs welcomed in speedy WR DeSean Jackson, who likes to condition alone/with his personal trainers, etc. in California. However, it was Jackson who earlier talked about needing to do some off season work with QB Jameis Winston and fellow receiver Mike Evans And, Jackson feels that he needed to do more with them in an OTA.
The one slight surprise is that newly acquired DE Jason Pierre-Paul skipped Tuesday’s work and head coach Dirk Koetter didn’t have much of an explanation. This is because there are players who are veterans, like JPP, who don’t have to be there for voluntary work.
So, once more, it’s voluntary off season work with your team. Do coaches want all the players that are under contract there and ready? Sure they do.
Is it realistic that all veterans think it’s important and want to be there for “voluntary” off season work?
Of course not, and the names will come and go until most of them show up for involuntary mini-camp or the big enchillada, training camp itself.
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