With offseason team activities going on, it is all the small things that matter for NFL players. There a months before anything major, besides injuries, will really matter for players. Now is the time to learn fundamentals, focus on small muscle memory issues and to build up the mental processes.
All of that is why most of the highlights, except maybe this one, are mostly boring. Drills are simplified ones to ensure that players are stepping with the right foot, leading with the right hand and adjusting to the new systems in place.
For the Cleveland Browns, OTAs and the upcoming season are all about QB Deshaun Watson. All eyes are on the highly-paid signal caller for good reason.
The backup situation behind Watson is interesting as well. Josh Dobbs was brought back with some guaranteed money on his contract for one season, Kellen Mond was on the roster all of last year and Dorian Thompson-Robinson was selected in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL draft from the UCLA Bruins.
Prior to the NFL draft, especially at the NFL combine, I was told that DTR was a detailed oriented learner. I’m hearing that has carried over to the NFL level as Thompson-Robinson has made a strong impression on the coaching and training staff.
While the focus from the outside looking in is on Watson, the rookie has been working on mimicking Watson’s preparation and work ethic. We got a glimpse of that during OTAs, as DTR mirrors Watson from behind the play:
A very small thing that doesn't ensure anything about Thompson-Robinson’s success but, as noted above, OTAs are all about the small things.