With the Super Bowl almost four months in the past, the New England Patriots' preparation for the 2018 season is already fully underway. Today, the team returns to Gillette Stadium to kick off its third phase of offseason workouts – the so-called organized team activities. And for the first time, the Patriots' entire roster consisting of rookies and veterans will practice on the same fields.
As regulated by the collective bargaining agreement, teams are allowed to hold a total of 10 days of OTAs over the course of a four-week span. The Patriots' sessions, as has been announced in April, will take place the next two days and continue on May 24. Further sessions will be held on May 30-31, June 11-12 and June 14-15. The team will also hold its mandatory minicamp between June 5 and 7.
All coaches are permitted on the field for the third phase of offseason work, which is why OTAs are used to start teaching first schemes and finding out how players respond. As is the case with all offseason workouts, however, no contact is allowed and neither are one-on-one drills. In order to ensure this, teams have to film all sessions and keep copies of the tapes for 30 days for the NFLPA to review.
The (voluntary) organized team activities starting today will also feature plenty of Patriots-centric intrigue: From Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski potentially returning after skipping all offseason workouts so far to rookies getting their first non-isolated taste of life in the NFL, the next few weeks will be exciting to watch.