Ravens president: “I just don’t think OTAs are going to happen at all”

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The NFL remains cautiously (and perhaps cockeyedly) optimistic about the prospect of offseason programs happening in 2020. The more realistic view is that they won’t.

I just don’t think the OTAs are going to happen at all,” Ravens president Dick Cass said, via the team’s official website. “I hope I’m wrong. I’m hoping we can get some players in [the facility] in June, but I’m sort of doubtful of that.”

His assessment is reasonable. As the COVID-19 virus continues what will be a likely migration through most if not all of the 50 states — and an inevitable spread through all major metropolitan areas — different locations are in different stages of the epidemic. It could take months before all hot spots have cooled to the point at which football practice safely can happen.

Teams are assuming an NFL season will be played. It’s unclear when it will begin, and there’s a chance that it won’t happen at all.

“It’s really hard to know about long-term impacts,” Cass explained. “A lot of that is going to depend on how long the stay-at-home order remains in effect. If it lasts a long time, it could have obviously an effect on our season. No one expects that, but you just don’t know. . . . We are going about the business of continuing to spend money on players. We’ve been active in free agency and other teams have [too] on the assumption we’re going to have a full season.”

Even if there’s a full season or something close to it, it’s hard to imagine full stadiums throughout the country. Perhaps the games will be played for TV only, in otherwise empty venues. Some teams, based on the realities of a local outbreak, may not be able to play home games at all.

Whatever the outcome, now is the time for the NFL to anticipate all potential developments and to plan for each of them, up to and including the possibility of having no football season at all.

27 responses to “Ravens president: “I just don’t think OTAs are going to happen at all”

  1. Do away with all the off-season except the draft and then start the season in September with no practices, no training camp-nothing, that would be fair for everyone

  2. Yea every team is dealing with the same stuff no Unfair advantages too having the draft as scheduled. The first 3/4 weeks of the regular season are always kinda sloppy anyway since Most starters sit a lot of preseason and teams can’t do training camp like they did 10/15 years ago so this year will just be pretty bad until about week 6 I would imagine.

  3. This would be a good year to do away with the 4 pre-season games. Start training camp in late July or August & condense all class work & on field training into an intense 6 week period. As long as all teams are on the same schedule, no one has an advantage. Yeah, it sucks for the new coaches, but what choice do they have?

  4. If there is any chance the NFL can start in September, I predict they still manage to push it back JUST enough to finally get that President’s Day weekend Super Bowl they’ve been dreaming about. The 9/11 tragedy pushed them into February for the first time and now COVID-19 will take them the rest of the way.

  5. Bluetooth stock has skyrocketed since Lamar Jackson wasn’t able to sue his in the postsaeason game vs Tenn at home.

  6. Does anyone really thin k we’re going to have NFL stadiums with 70,000 people in them in September? No chance.

  7. lethalcecil says:
    March 26, 2020 at 2:17 pm
    Do away with all the off-season except the draft and then start the season in September…

    *******************************************************************************

    Sept is extreme best-case scenario, especially if it picks back up in the Fall.

  8. We should just cancel life…. (sarcasm) Jeebus people… 4 months of serious corona crisis and then it’ll be handled just like the flu. To think we should cancel sports because people can possibly get sick is crazy. If you’re sick, stay at home. If you’re elderly or have pre existing conditions that make you more at risk, you should take extra precautions. The other 75% of America should be able to get back to normal life ASAP.

  9. There will most definitely be an NFL season. Absolutely no one is saying this thing is going to linger around straight through to September, in fact the general consensus among doctors in health departments and viralogists is that things should start returning to Normal by May 1st. I think OTA’s will definitely be pushed back or canceled but the season won’t be. Players might not meet up with their teams at all until Training Camp starts in mid-late July which is A HUGE MASSIVE problem for New Head Coaches who are trying to install brand new systems on both sides of the ball

  10. @Ky Li says:
    March 26, 2020 at 3:14 pm
    We should just cancel life…. (sarcasm) Jeebus people… 4 months of serious corona crisis and then it’ll be handled just like the flu. To think we should cancel sports because people can possibly get sick is crazy. If you’re sick, stay at home. If you’re elderly or have pre existing conditions that make you more at risk, you should take extra precautions. The other 75% of America should be able to get back to normal life ASAP.
    ==============================================
    SHUT UP Donald! You sound like one of those that wouldn’t care if you were out and got exposed to Covid and then went home to your parents who are taking all precautions…then they get it from your sorry arse.

  11. carloswlassiter says:
    March 26, 2020 at 3:01 pm
    Does anyone really thin k we’re going to have NFL stadiums with 70,000 people in them in September? No chance
    ===========================

    Yeah, the season will definitely go on as planned in my opinion. None of the top virologists out there are saying this thing is going to carry through September, the broad consensus is we’ll be past this and coming out the other side by May 1st. Warm weather will be here and virus hate the hot weather too.
    I do think COVID-19 is going to affect NFL Ticket Sales and attendance though until a vaccine comes out for this thing, a lot of families won’t want to risk when they can sit at home and watch the game on TV especially families with kids and older senior citizens. This is going to affect the NFL’s bottom line for sure.

  12. In my opinion, it does seem likely that the season will be abbreviated to some extent. I imagine the league is already working on contingency plans, but I thought I’d put the cart before the horse and throw out a crazy idea (because why not?). If the season got cut in half, play one pre-season game to get players into game shape. Each team will then play three regular season games (divisional games). Then put all 32 teams into a March Madness-style tournament with every team getting seeded 1-16 in their respective conference based on record and point differential. Then play it out. Would be a wild way to ensure every team got a fair chance at the title.

  13. I hope you guys are right, but I think it’s very optimistic. In the next 2 weeks there can be a million cases in NYC, 150,000 people seriously ill and hospital beds for 23,000 of them.

  14. Why are we playing the season anyway? We know the NFL wants Lame and the Murdering Black Birds and Dakota and the Prancing Cowboys in the Snoopy bowl.

  15. Let’s do like NASCAR – play fake games on Madden and eliminate the real players, their attitudes and salary demands and then call it a season. That will also solve the squatting during the National Anthem problem too. And just for fun, let’s force a team to have Colon K. as their starting QB and rotate him throughout the league for each game. And then because he’s all that and a bag of chips, he can be the starting QB on both Snoopy bowl teams! Wouldn’t that just be precious!?

  16. tylawspickshisnose6 says:
    March 26, 2020 at 2:43 pm
    Bluetooth stock has skyrocketed since Lamar Jackson wasn’t able to sue his in the postsaeason game vs Tenn at home.

    ????

  17. There was a time players left after the season was over and didn’t start up again until training camp started. Camp was for players to get back into shape. The OTAs did not start until the 90s. So it has been done. With OTAs, training camp is way too long and preseason games are just for owners to steal more money from fans.

  18. He is so right. There is not even going to be an NFL season this year. This virus is not going to go away anytime soon.

  19. Lamar needs those OTAs to learn how to throw the ball outside the numbers. Or to scramble even more because his O line is much weaker this year.
    If there is a season, Lamar will go backwards versus last year. He can still have a good season but there is no chance he’s an MVP candidate. Defenses have figured out how to stop him, he’s lost some weapons, and his O line is declining. Watch how their offense regresses as a result.

  20. lazyrunningman says:
    March 26, 2020 at 2:40 pm
    If there is any chance the NFL can start in September, I predict they still manage to push it back JUST enough to finally get that President’s Day weekend Super Bowl they’ve been dreaming about. The 9/11 tragedy pushed them into February for the first time and now COVID-19 will take them the rest of the way.
    ===================================================
    2003 SB was played last Sunday in January. In 2004 and since, it’s been Feb.

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