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Dolphins hold first OTA today

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The Miami Dolphins open the first of their Organized Team Activities today.

Miami Dolphins rookie offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James.
Miami Dolphins rookie offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James.
Joel Auerbach

The Miami Dolphins get back on the practice field today, the first day of their Organized Team Activities for the 2014 season.  Each team may hold up to 10 days of OTAs, broken up in three- or four- day segments.  The Dolphins' first leg will be today and tomorrow, followed by an off day, then the third-day coming on May 30.

The team will also hold OTA workouts June 2-3 and 5, and June 9-12.

The rookie minicamp took place over this past weekend.  The veteran minicamp, the only mandatory workout for the veteran players, will take place June 17-19.

The NFL offseason is broken into three phases, starting with simple conditioning and strength work in Phase 1, followed by coaches being allowed to work with the players on the field on individual drills and "perfect play" drills for the offense, defense, and special teams (i.e., no team offense versus team defense or returners versus coverage work).  

The Dolphins are now in Phase 3 of the process, which includes the OTAs and minicamps.  During this time, Article 21, Section 2, Subparagraph (b)(iii) of the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement defines what work can be done:

During Phase Three, all coaches shall be allowed on the field. No live contact is permitted. No one-on-one offense vs. defense drills are permitted (i.e., no offensive linemen vs. defensive linemen pass rush or pass protection drills, no wide receivers vs. defensive backs bump-and-run drills, and no one-on-one special teams drills involving both offense and defense are permitted) . Special teams drills (e.g., kicking team vs. return team) are permitted, provided no live contact occurs. Team offense vs. team defense drills, including all drills listed in Appendix G to this Agreement, are permitted, provided no live contact occurs. Clubs may require players to wear helmets; no shells are permitted during Phase Three of the Club's offseason workout program or any minicamp.

The aforementioned Appendix G lays out more specific rules for the workouts, most importantly what kind of drills are authorized:

• No pads except protective knee or elbow pads. Helmets are permitted.

• All organized team practice activity shall be conducted pursuant to the rules for Phase Three activities, which are set forth in Article 2 1 , Section 2(b) (iii) of this Agreement.

• No live contact; no live contact drills between offensive and defensive linemen.

• 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and l 1-on-1 1 drills will be permitted, providing no live contact takes place.

• The NFL will monitor all Clubs during the offseason to ensure player safety and adherence to live contact guidelines.

• Maximum six hours per day, with a maximum two hours on field, for any player.

The OTAs and mini-camps will not be open to the public, but will have some media coverage.