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Lions OTA penalty confirms that union is finally enforcing offseason workout rules

The Collective Bargaining Agreement contains clear standards regarding offseason workouts.  Under Article XXXV, Section 5, “[c]ontact work” is expressly prohibited.  For years, however, offseason workouts have included contact.  Union sources from the pre-De Smith regime have explained to us that the NFLPA tolerates offseason workout violations relating to issues such as contact because extensive offseason workouts translated to less intense training camps.

The recent finding that the Lions violated the offseason workout rules makes crystal clear that the new regime no longer is willing to look the other way.

It wasn’t player-generated,” team union rep Jon Jansen said Wednesday, per the Associated Press.  “It was from a spot check by
the NFL.”

As it turns out, the union saw an article regarding the first encounter between rookie defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and veteran Stephen Peterman (possibly via this batch of PFT one-liners), requested film of the practice, and decided that the drill crossed the line.

Coach Jim Schwartz’s comments make clear the fact that these violations occur routinely when first-year players and veterans rendezvous for the first time.  “It was the first practice with rookies,” Schwartz said  “Generally the
first practice with rookies, there are going to be more guys on the
ground because you have rookies who are trying to make a good first
impression and you have veterans who don’t want to be beat by a rookie.  They looked at that practice and didn’t like the looks of it.”

Bottom line?  If the union no longer will be tolerating technical violations of offseason workout rules, training camps could end up being slightly more intense than in the past.

Or maybe significantly more intense.

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12 Responses to “Lions OTA penalty confirms that union is finally enforcing offseason workout rules”
  1. jetsfan101 says: Jun 24, 2010 12:01 AM

    Why is the union doing things differently now. Nobody cares about OTA violations mainly because it leads to less intense training camp. If this rule has been ignored for so long, why not change or get rid of it.

  2. TryTheVeal says: Jun 24, 2010 12:25 AM

    Bottom line……We tawkin about practice, practice, not a game, not a game….practice

  3. StompinJints says: Jun 24, 2010 1:57 AM

    You know, it would be nice if you’d mention what things like OTA meant instead of having less informed readers like myself googling for answers.

  4. Davis4ar says: Jun 24, 2010 2:48 AM

    I like to hear Detroit is being told they are working too hard

  5. DEMOLITION says: Jun 24, 2010 3:38 AM

    What’s the point of these OTAs if no contact is allowed? Matter of fact, how do you practice without any contact?

  6. Otis Taylor 89 says: Jun 24, 2010 6:43 AM

    “Bottom line? If the union no longer will be tolerating technical violations of offseason workout rules, training camps could end up being slightly more intense than in the past. ”
    Bottom line? There seems to be less injuries this year stemming from OTA’s than previous years.

  7. Sheriff04 says: Jun 24, 2010 7:19 AM

    Demo, it’s just walking through the plays. There is a lot that can be done without contact that works with scheme and just playing your position.
    And in terms of individual drills etc, for a WR, a lot of work can be done on routes, catching etc.
    DB, footwork, position, catching.
    QB throwing.
    Lineman, blocking, feet position etc.
    It goes on and on. It doesn’t need to be contact to be learning stuff. It’s good to be doing this stuff, and then when the time comes, throw the contact part in and put it all together.
    And at this point, you don’t really want there to be contact. Injuries this early would not be good.

  8. faulkn22 says: Jun 24, 2010 7:55 AM

    It was a Detroit Free Press article that got the NFL’s attention. Suh put Peterman on his rear and Peterman reacted by shoving Suh and there you have it.
    I really don’t care if they took away two of our OTA’s (organized team activity, for the guy above that was asking). These days are mainly there for new players to learn the system and for undrafted players to start trying out. If we are going to practice to hard or not hard enough, I’d rather be practicing too hard.
    Also, it’s hard to get mad at Suh for doing what he does best. If I’m coach Schwartz, I just tell Suh to keep doing what he does…. eat guards for breakfast and slap centers for fun.

  9. Bill In DC says: Jun 24, 2010 8:07 AM

    or maybe less intense…
    or maybe significantly less intense…

  10. kingmj4891 says: Jun 24, 2010 8:48 AM

    This just shows that the Lions are up and coming and will be a force to reckon with this decade. Lions in a Super Bowl by 2015!
    And the NFLPA and DeSmith can go to hell!

  11. Magoo says: Jun 24, 2010 9:33 AM

    oh yeah, pick on the Lions.
    Watch a Ravens practice, they probably have ball bats, brass knuckles and firearms.

  12. Darron says: Jun 24, 2010 2:22 PM

    Is there actually any evidence that these penalties or “spot checks” are initiated by the Union?
    It seems more likely that the NFL has decided to crack down this summer so that when it goes to the bargaining table, it can say with a straight face that contact does not occur during OTAs.
    This report lends even more credence to this idea. If it was “player generated,” it would probably go through the union. The blurb says the NFL did a spot check, so why do we assume that process started with the union?

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