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NFL Competition Committee Needs To Change Minicamp Eligibility Rules

The Pittsburgh Steelers rookie minicamp that wrapped up on Sunday featured quarterbacks Brendon Kay, Mason Espinosa and Terrance Owens all running offensive plays that they just learned. I’m sure that went real well.

Or maybe not as Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently wrote.

There isn’t a receiver in the NFL who could have come down with some of those passes Friday which tryout quarterbacks were throwing 5 feet over the heads of their targets.

Espinosa and Owens, both tryout players, will likely never be heard from again, while Kay, who will more than likely be the Steelers fourth quarterback during training camp, better not sign a long-term lease in Pittsburgh.

Thanks to current NFL rules, Steelers second-year quarterback Landry Jones was not allowed to participate in the three day minicamp due to him making the roster last season. On the flipside, wide receiver Justin Brown, who spent the entire 2013 season on the Steelers practice squad, was allowed to participate. That certainly doesn’t make a lot of sense.

On Saturday, head coach Mike Tomlin voiced his opinion on the matter.

“I believe that guys that want an opportunity to work and need an opportunity to work should get an opportunity to work,” Tomlin said. “So anytime you’re talking about more opportunities for young guys to grow and develop as players, I’ll be for that.”

The NFL competition committee, of which Tomlin is a member of, really needs to get these rules changed. The minicamp following the draft should be voluntary in nature, but open to all players entering their second season in the league, regardless of playing and practice time they received as rookies.

I can only imagine how little actually gets accomplished over the course of these two and half days when the blind are basically leading the blind. If more players with some level of practice experience with the team were allowed to attend, they would be able to at least lead the young rookies by example. In addition, players such as Jones could use the extra snaps on top of having some leadership responsibilities.

It sounds like Tomlin will be making a bigger push for this next offseason and hopefully more committee members get onboard.

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