For all the coaches who complain about the amount of time they get with players on the field in the offseason, new Jets coach Adam Gase is willing to give some of it up.
Via Matt Stypulkoski of NJ.com, Gase is bypassing a rookie minicamp, calling their weekend of work “rookie orientation.”
Gase did the same thing during his three years with the Dolphins, and said he likes being able to offer rookies more classroom work and chances to learn about all the non-football stuff.
“Most of these guys haven’t played since December, maybe November,” Gase said. “To drag them out there, run them around – I guess I’ve seen too many times where you lose a first-round draft pick to injury. You want to get them caught up as fast as possible and when you go install, practice, correct, another install – by the time you get done with the weekend, they have no clue what happened. . . .
“We do all the things you want to do with rookies to kind of get them going in a real-life setting. A lot of these guys, they went from high school – they were home – to college – where everybody does everything for them. Now they’re on their own. So you have to educate them about, ‘This is how it’s going to be and you’re on your own and you’re going to have to pay bills and you’re going to have to get your own food.’ There’s a lot of things that guys don’t know about.”
Other teams have gone the same route, and some coaches are scaling back the on-field portion of what they’re able to do.
Honestly, a minicamp full of rookies and tryout guys may have minimal impact on the football future of a team, but helping players with their actual futures has a chance to have a greater impact.