As per the media outlets, the NFL fined Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera $100,000 for his team’s excessive contact in drills. Washington also will lose two OTA practices next season.
According to the media reports, Houston Texans head coach Lovie Smith was docked $50,000 because of prohibited 1-on-1 offensive line vs defensive line drills.
The fines were just the latest punishments for teams not following offseason rules.
Earlier this month, the Chicago Bears lost a day of OTAs for violating league rules on non-contact practices.
This week, Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy was fined for the second straight year for not following OTA rules. The league said the practices were too physical. McCarthy was docked $100,000, and the Cowboys will lose one organized team activity session for 2023.
Clubs are restricted in how much contact players can have during offseason workouts, with the NFL and NFL Players Association monitoring practices for too much physicality.
The NFL informed Washington general manager Martin Mayhew via letter about the penalties. The letter stated, “there’s no question” a team does this to gain a competitive advantage.
According to the letter, Washington’s “intensity and tempo of the Club’s interior line play and pass coverage during 11-on-11 drills were at a level where players were clearly engaged in physical contests.” It stated that on more than one play, there was excessive contact between players that resulted in players going to the ground.
“In some cases,” the letter stated, “players were slow to recover after those collisions.”
On June 8, Washington safety Jeremy Reaves crashed into receiver Dyami Brown as both went for the ball. Reaves said later that he did not see Brown cutting in traffic, or he would have pulled up. After the play, Brown lingered on the ground, strolled to the sideline and was then escorted into the facility. Rivera stopped practice and yelled at his players to play more intelligent and more disciplined and ended that full-team session prematurely.
He later said that Brown suffered a sore shoulder. Brown participated in the mandatory three-day minicamp a week later.
“We’ve just got to be careful and work with each other,” Rivera told the media after the collision. “The last thing we want is somebody to be hurt. There’s a certain discipline that I try to get across to the guys that they understand that when we talk about doing things a specific way, there’s a reason why. We don’t want to see guys get hurt.
“I really appreciate the way they practice, the way they practice hard and they get competitive every now and then, but we’ve got to have the discipline to understand.”
One source said there were collisions worse than that during other practices closed to the media.