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The NFL could have an interesting situation on its hands.
On one side, you have the veteran players, guys who have been around awhile and who like that a lot of the offseason was virtual in 2020. On the other side, there are the young players, guys who are hungry to develop and get on the field for OTAs.
JC Tretter, the starting center for the Cleveland Browns, recently made a comment saying, “There is no reason for us to ever return to the previous offseason program.” From Tretter’s perspective, this take makes sense.
He argues that the play around the league wasn’t sloppy this season, despite fewer training camp practices and no preseason games.
Super Bowl winning head coach Bruce Arians has a different perspective on offseason work, however. He believes veteran players enjoy the limited offseason work because it doesn’t allow the younger guys the opportunity to steal their jobs.
Greg Auman with The Athletic tweeted out a quote from Arians on Thursday discussing his point of view.
“’If we lose spring, [young players] are not getting developed. The veterans love that s–t, because that means they don’t get to take their jobs,’ Arians said. ‘So when you have the veterans voting on the rules. . . . these young kids need practice. If the vets don’t want to come, they don’t have to come. It’s still voluntary. We need the preseason, we definitely need some preseason games.’”
More Arians: "It's the same thing that happened last time … these young kids need practice. If the vets don't want to come, they don't have to come. It's still voluntary. We need the preseason, we definitely need some preseason games."
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) February 18, 2021
Arians makes a lot of sense, too. You aren’t battling for your starting job with a younger guy in OTAs, training camp or preseason games if those things aren’t really going on leading up to the season. Those can act as opportunities for the young guys while also serve as a chance for teams to save some money.
It will be interesting to see how this plays outs.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.