In this week's episode, Nicole (@Browns_Babe) and I discussed Cleveland Browns OTA's. Although we did mention who was there and who wasn't, it was through the lens of what can be accomplished in these sessions.
For the Browns, there is a real value for the defense to be there right now. They have so many new players, both having been signed and drafted, that they are learning the scheme. They also need to develop chemistry with each other and come together as a team.
The other group there is the rookies and some of the backups. Players who need to learn and trying to get as much extra help as possible to help them make the team and then earn a role with the team.
The speed of OTA's has been extremely slow, focusing on teaching quite a bit. They are mostly operating at a walkthrough pace. The players that aren't there, mostly the starting offense, they may not need that work right now. And they can focus on the work they are doing on their own.
The virtual component is also a game changer. Players can be active within the team even if they aren't in the building. After all, the Browns were able to get a lot out of the fully virtual meetings last year when they couldn't practice on the field.
The other element we discuss is Nicole bringing up J.C. Tretter's argument, as President of the NFLPA, in regards to OTA's. Citing last year, Tretter argued how much the game notably wasn't impacted by the loss of on-field work. Injuries were down or stayed constant.
The overall sentiment is that yes, OTA's can absolutely provide value to both players and teams, but the Browns are not at some inherent disadvantage based on players not attending. At this point, the players understand where they need to be in terms of serving their career the best.