What Are OTAs in Pro Football?

According to ESPN, each NFL team has specified times for organized team activities, or OTAs, during preseason workouts, drills and training camps. NFL teams may have up to 10 days of OTAs, all of which have noncontact drills. OTAs are the third and final phase of the NFL workout schedule during preseason camps and practices. SB Nation reveals these drills are prescribed in the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement.

As of 2014, preseason camps begin on April 21. CBS Sports explains OTAs occur during a four-week period and are structured in two three-day increments, followed by a four-day schedule of workouts and drills. The first three-day increment of OTAs start the first week of phase three and are repeated the following week. A week after that, NFL franchises have four days in a row of OTAs to finish that phase of preseason workouts.

OTAs are part of the third and final phase of a team’s overall workout program. Phase one consists of strength and conditioning workouts for two weeks. Phase two has on-field workouts for three weeks with individual player instruction and separate team drills. During phase two, no offense versus defense drills are allowed. Phase three incorporates OTAs that may include 7-on-7, 9-on-9 and 11-on-11 drills for four weeks, according to SB Nation.