The Miami Dolphins took a radical step in their rookie minicamp under new coach Adam Gase this year.
Gase did not hold a single practice, opting instead to put rookies through classroom sessions on the team’s playbook, along with other educational material designed to help rookies make the transition to the NFL.
The New Orleans Saints aren’t about to make the same move under Sean Payton.
“I understand it, but I would be lying to you if I said we considered it,” Payton said. “We do pay attention to the challenge.”
Miami is merely the furthest outlier on a small list of teams limiting rookies’ physical activity at minicamp.
Both the Jacksonville Jaguars, who lost first-round pick Dante Fowler to a torn ACL a few snaps into their rookie minicamp last season, and the Los Angeles Rams have reduced their on-field work in recent years, according to Peter King of the MMQB.
New Orleans takes a different approach.
“When you bring this many guys in, the assumption is that they are all in the same shape as Sheldon (Rankins) or one of these other players, but the fact of the matter is they are not,” Payton said. “You want to make sure you’re not dealing with an injury, but it is a sport that part of the learning process is for us coming out here and practicing.”