The Pittsburgh Steelers, along with many other NFL clubs, are kicking off their mandatory minicamp Tuesday, and if you are like me you might be wondering what the team can, and cannot, do during these three day workouts.
Throughout the Steelers’ Organized Team Activities (OTAs) there are certain rules teams must follow. For instance, in Phase 1 of OTAs players are essentially just working out with the strength and conditioning staff and getting treatment. Phase 2 allows players to work on individual drills with coaches while Phase 3 has coaches working with the entire position group and going through plays, etc.
What about mandatory minicamp? What are the restrictions for these workouts? I dove into the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) to get those answers. Here is what you need to know:
Each League Year each Club may hold a maximum of one mandatory minicamp for veteran players. If a Club hires a new head coach after the end of the prior regular season, that Club may hold one additional voluntary minicamp for veteran players.
As it pertains to the length of the workouts:
No mandatory veteran minicamp may exceed three days in length, plus one day for physical examinations. The minicamp must be conducted during the week (Monday through Friday), with physicals taking place on Monday but no practice or workouts on that day, practices on Tuesday through Thursday and a day off on Friday.
Can teams do two-a-days? They can, but there are limitations:
Two-a-day practices shall be permitted on two of the three practice days of the Club’s one mandatory minicamp, subject to the following rules: (i) minicamp may be held for a maximum of twenty-four hours over three days; (ii) players may be on the field for a total of no more than three and one-half hours per day; (iii) players may participate in one practice for no more than two and one-half hours of on-field activities under Phase Three rules; (iv) the second practice may only be for the remaining portion of the players’ daily three and one-half hour on-field activities and shall be limited to drills and plays conducted with offensive players lining up across from offensive players and defensive players lining up across from defensive players with each group permitted to align eleven or fewer players across from eleven or fewer players.
Can teams run live 11-on-11 drills? Is there contact? Yes and no:
Players on one side of the ball may execute a play, but players on the opposite side of the ball may not initiate contact with, or attempt to impede the progress of, players who are running the play (such drills and plays shall be conducted at an acceptable walkthrough pace.
These workouts will be the last time the Steelers convene as a team until they report to training camp. It hasn’t been announced yet whether camp will return to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA yet, but the Steelers are estimated to return to camp around July 21st.
So, with that said, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the rest of the offseason and the 2021 season.