The NFL, with its uncanny ability to invent mumbo jumbo speak, has come up with a tortured term for this time of the year, dubbing it “Organized Team Activities” (OTAs). A true mouthful of Spam. Do they have high level meetings that decide stuff like this? Does it take a staff of ten or is it the work of one magna cum-laude from BoringAsHell, University named Mr. Extremely Bland, PhD.
What we really have happening, beginning today, is touch football. No hittie, no feelie. The linemen are allowed to push and pull a bit, but everyone else has to keep the lumber in the shed.
Ergo, we will not be seeing the winner of an epic collision between Navorro Bowman and Anthony Dixon. What we will see is how quickly each of them picks up the defensive/offensive scheme and how close they are to being where they should be on any particular run or pass play. We may get a glimpse of how strong or agile Mike Iupati is when he goes against the tricky and abusive Justin Smith.
But the top ticket, as always, will be the QB/WR vs DBs show. We’ll see how Taylor Mays looks in coverage and whether he’s put some grease on those reportedly stiff hips and added some hands to his skill set. We’ll see how much chemistry our QBs and WRs have managed to develop in their sneaky off season workouts. We’ll wait breathlessly for Alex Smith to overthrow his first receiver, bringing out a crescendo of venom from the blog boo birds. How comfortable David Carr looks running the offense. How sensational, unbelievable, fantastic, super magnifico Nate Davis looks on a 50 yard laser to the post, bringing out an encore effort from the anti-Smith crowd, oooohing and ahhhhing with some hyperbolic visions of the future. We’ll get a glimpse of the WR pecking order among Jason Hill, Brandon Jones, and Kyle Williams.
Since this is the Outsider blog, whose press pass is located in an imaginary knothole in cyberspace, we can only speculate when offering the suggestion that the primary activity which will occur this week will be a humongous amount of bellowing by the coaches. Who will be the loudest? Can Kurt Schottenheimer still bring the tonsils? It was during this bellowing period last year that doubts sprung up about the much ballyhooed Bear Pascoe’s ability to cut it at the NFL level. Doubts which did not subside and eventually led to him turning in his playbook and slumping out to the street with a pink slip in his hands.
It was also last year in this non-violent version of football, that Walt Harris somehow managed to tear his ACL doing not much of anything and end up on IR for the year. So, although not a whole lot can be positively gleaned from these coming days, some real bad shit can definitely happen.
At any rate, it’s finally something almost real to get the old dentures wrapped around and do some speculative gumming. Oh wait, some of you out there are still youngsters with super white day glo mostly intact choppers. Excuse me. Well, belly up to the trough like a starved wart hog and get down to some serious gnawing.
Stand aside! Hide the women and children! It’s OTA Time!