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No-contact rules apply at minicamps, too

yahoo_tannehill_broom Getty Images

Last week, the issue of “live contact” during OTA sessions (why in the hell don’t they just call it practice?) landed back on the league’s radar screen, with the NFL and the union smacking the Seahawks for letting their players smack each other around too much during offseason drills.

With penalties possibly coming in New Orleans and evidence of possible violations surfacing in Philly and Dallas, it’s important to keep in mind that, as many teams now embark on their mandatory minicamps, the rules against contact apply there, too.  (Indeed, it was during a mandatory minicamp last week that a fight among players prompted the league to reportedly look into whether the fracas was preceded by live contact.)

In response to last week’s violation in Seattle, Mike Sando of ESPN.com (who has the NFC West beat) reviewed video posted on team websites and found evidence that the Cowboys were indeed going too hard.  Most teams, in Sando’s assessment, were engaged in something other than “live contact” based on the posted videos.

Absent a comprehensive program that entails actually looking at the films teams are required to keep of every practice, it will be impossible to know whether every team that has crossed the line will be caught and corrected.  Though media accounts can fuel suspicions that can then spark investigations, the league and the union shouldn’t need prompting from the press.  Someone should be reviewing all practice tapes — and the teams should know it’s happening — not only to ensure that the rules are being followed but also to prevent any unintentional violations.

Most importantly, teams need to know what is and isn’t allowed.  “Live contact” is a broad term; without precise guidance, plenty of teams could be doing too much when players are contacting each other and/or when players are being contacted by brooms.

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4 Responses to “No-contact rules apply at minicamps, too”
  1. bigbadal21 says: Jun 12, 2012 5:30 PM

    Teams not “knowing what is allowed” is nothing but an excuse. They all know they just ignore.

  2. jimbroney says: Jun 12, 2012 9:07 PM

    I love the broom in the face drill.

  3. vmannj says: Jun 13, 2012 9:49 AM

    Putting a broom in a QBs face is dangerous. We all know how much QBs love contact. A bristle in the eye could set one of these guys back 6 weeks or more. De Smith is on his way to the courthouse right now to file yet another grievance to ensure that his peeps aren’t working too hard.

  4. myeaglescantwin says: Jun 13, 2012 12:51 PM

    I for one and in support of this “no contact” stipulation.

    Mainly becaue Reid always pushed his guys too hard in camp & usually had 1-3 starters already injured before the season.

    These players already get their as kicked at least 17 times a year. These practices are about technique and responsibilities. I think the quality of the product will rise.

    & if these guys dont know how to hit and wrap by now, they never will. Practice wont fix that now.

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