The revamped Cleveland Browns are participating in OTA practices this week in Berea with new star wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. in attendance.
WKSU commentator Terry Pluto said OTA stands for Organized Team Activities, and it basically amounts to touch football. Still, the off-season workouts are grabbing all the headlines this week.
"Fans are excited, because the second half of last year, you could watch the games," Pluto said. The Browns finished the season by going 5-3.
Sports talk shows had been speculating whether Beckham would show up, because the star has skipped previous voluntary workouts to work out on his own. Head coach Freddie Kitchens has said he didn't have a problem with it because the practices are voluntary.
Pluto said one thing that will be valuable for the team during this week's OTAs is for the defense to get acquainted under new coordinator Steve Wilks.
"He's putting in a new scheme, slightly different than before and they have new defensive players who are going to be starting: Sheldon Richardson, Olivier Vernon, Greedy Williams and others. A lot of it is film work and walk-throughs. It's like watching an orchestra getting ready for a performance. It seems like everything is done separately before they come together."
"Part of it is [the NFL] just wants to be in the newspaper and they want to dominate coverage. When the NBA playoffs get going, the NFL draft starts. Now, it's OTA week when the NBA Lotttery is going on. They want people talking football all the time and in Cleveland it doesn't take much to do that," Pluto said.