Big Blue Morning: OTAs begin this week

Good morning. I hope everyone enjoyed a fine holiday weekend. The New York Giants will get back to work this week for Phase 3 of their offseason program, which is the OTAs (organized team activities) phase.

What that means, according to the CBA, is that teams can hold up to 10 days of OTA workouts plus a minicamp no longer than three days over the next four weeks. The Giants will have three OTA workouts this week, three more next week, four the week after that and a three-day mandatory minicamp June 17-19. During this time, team offense vs. defense drills are permitted -- 7-on-7s, 11-on-11s, etc. -- and players can wear helmets but no pads or shells. There's still no contact allowed. But for a team like the Giants, which is learning a new offense under new coordinator Ben McAdoo, this is valuable time for practicing new plays against a defense that's scheming to stop them. There's no hitting allowed, but the defensive players are allowed to bat down or intercept passes.

It also will be interesting to note the extent to which quarterback Eli Manning participates in the upcoming workouts. We are right around the time Manning was expected to be cleared to run again following his April ankle surgery, and Tom Coughlin and some players have said Manning has been out on the field doing some throwing already in recent weeks.

We the media will have access to the team each of the next three Thursdays, plus that minicamp in mid-June.