"We'll make the same mistakes,
I'll take the fall for you..."
OTAs have officially begun! Now it's time to party and we'll party hard! Yesterday was the first of ten organized team activities, and it kicked off "Phase Three" of the off-season. (Phase Three is a three week period of time leading up to mini-camp). Practices aren't full speed, but players can now line up one-on-one and competition can begin. The rookies will also be competing for the first time since joining team. The ten OTAs will conclude in early June, and then a three day mini-camp will begin in mid-June. Training camp then will start in late July, and preseason begins in August.
In case you haven't heard: Mariota has been more vocal lately (Drubaru really likes this article on that subject for some reason). The louder, and bigger, Mariota was on display yesterday during OTAs. Mariota stated he feels much different this year than he did last year. He feels much more comfortable thanks to having familiarity with the system and with his surroundings. Everything was new for him last year, but now he has settled in, and feels way more comfortable with where he is. For conditioning Mariota took a different approach this off-season: he rested up and allowed his body to heal for a month, and has added 5 lbs of muscle to his frame. As for being more vocal? He says he is just going to be himself, and he is there to help out the guys on the team and spreading some knowledge. He doesn't plan on being "crazy vocal," but Kendall Wright has chimed in and said he has certainly been hearing Mariota's voice more than he did when he was a rookie last season.
Taylor Lewan started last season as a Captain on the team. Whiz was fired, Mularkey took over, and then stripped him of his Captain title. His play actually seemed to make a turn for the better when that happened. That turn for the better has appeared to continue throughout the off-season. Mularkey states he has been impressed with Lewan's work on, and off, the field. Lewan has been one of the top guys in the weight room, and has been one of the top leaders out on the practice field. He's done everything, and more, that the coaches have asked him to do this off-season, and they anticipate that hard work to continue going into the season.
That's all for today. Happy reading!