It’s an important time in the offseason for veterans and NFL newcomers alike. With the third and final phase of the NFL’s offseason schedule starting up around the league this week, it’s time for Organized Team Activites to begin.
OTAs for the 49ers start officially on Tuesday with 10 on-field sessions set to take place over a three-week period. So what’s the big deal about OTAs? And why are they discussed so much?
According to seven-year NFL veteran safety Matt Bowen, OTAs represent a substantial period in the offseason for players to focus on technique and football conditioning.
The former Rams, Packers, Redskins and Bills safety, who writes for NationalFootballPost.com, offered insight into the benefits of participating in the OTA sessions.
“As a player, I needed OTAs to work on my footwork, route reads, deep half drops, leg strength through functional football movements, etc. And that can be applied to every position,” wrote Bowen in a recent piece for NFP.
“And for rookies it is the perfect time to get introduced to NFL speed during practice.”
The OTA-phase of the offseason program also allows veterans to wear helmets on the practice field. There won’t be any live contact or offense vs. defense drills. The offense vs. defense scenarios will have to wait for the team’s mandatory three-day minicamp sessions.
More on the 49ers rookies and the latest team headlines can be found after the jump.
Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee passes along his 49ers depth chart as OTAs are set to begin on Tuesday.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com shares the latest on the 49ers New Santa Clara Stadium construction efforts which will begin to literally lay the foundation on Monday. Maiocco: “Forty-eight cement trucks from Central Concrete Supply Company will line up at 11 a.m. to deliver 12-yard loads of fluid grout every 10 to 15 minutes as 3,000-plus anchors or piles will be drilled to support the stadium and ensure a deep, secure foundation.”
Maiocco also shares comments from Jim Harbaugh last week that said Michael Crabtree has the best hands Harbaugh has “ever seen on a wide receiver.”
Maiocco also takes a look at the 49ers options in the return game behind wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. Maiocco: “Ginn last season handled 56 punts and 29 kickoffs without a turnover. Among NFL players with at least 20 returns, Ginn ranked third in kickoffs with a 27.6-yard average and fourth on punts at 12.3.”
TWEET ABOUT IT
SB Nation visited with a handful of rookies over the weekend at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere event. A.J. Jenkins and LaMichael James were in attendance, and Jenkins was featured in this SBN video clip.
Tags: A.J. Jenkins, Jim Harbaugh, LaMichael James, Michael Crabtree
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