The Washington Redskins' video coverage of ongoing Organized Team Activities (OTAs) at Redskins.com has drawn raves from fans--and scrutiny from the NFL.
An employee of the NFL Players Association viewed the Redskins.com video and notified the league of their concern that the O-line vs D-line work was too physical. League officials contacted the team, which has forwarded team video of relative portions of practice for review.
"These drills go on at every team in the league, during all portions of the practice year," Assistant Head Coach-Offense Joe Bugel, the 28-year veteran responsible for the offensive line, said on Thursday. "We have no problem with the review. Anyone who has ever played on the O-line or D-line at this level knows that the physical contact bears no resemblance to that experienced in a regular-season practice or game."
The team's union representatives have been in touch with the league and the NFLPA to represent the players' view that nothing in the OTA workouts is outside the rules.
Since the onset of OTAs two weeks ago, Redskins.com has given fans a unique view of the previously private practices. Fans have flocked to the daily video updates in increasing numbers as team cameras provided player interviews, behind-the-scenes looks at Redskins Park and never-before-seen glimpses of OTA activities.
"When we decided to give Redskins.com access to these sessions we knew fans would be seeing things they never have seen before," Head Coach Joe Gibbs said.
Added Larry Michael, the team's executive producer of the videos: "Upon launch of our 'Redskins Unfiltered' video view at Redskins.com we knew we'd be providing a special view of the team's world and fans have responded accordingly. The team has given us unprecedented access and fans are watching in numbers we didn't expect this early in the development of Redskins.com video."
Each day, Redskins.com has targeted a different position drill. Recently, the cameras focused on drills pitting offensive and defensive linemen against one another. The drills, at reduced speed, are intended to help players on each side of the ball improve their techniques, particularly with hand- and foot-work.
Under OTA rules, players do not wear pads--only helmets. Intensive physical contact is kept at a minimum.