Ask any NFL coach, and he would tell you that rookie camps and organized team activities (OTAs) are valuable and necessary. Offenses and defenses, he would tell you, are complex and need to be installed and drilled over the course of weeks.
Most players, on the other hand, would quibble with that notion. Offenses and defenses aren't really as complex as coaches make them out to be, and either way, that's what training camp is for. That's why offseason workout times were cut in the most recent collective bargaining agreement negotiations.
Really, the only people who suffer are those at the very end of the roster, and even that might be questionable. After all, the coaches might not really need every single workout to make roster-cutting decisions.
So, what fans are left with is a period of time where any football activity is dissected and overanalyzed by the media because it's the only show in town. Snaps are counted, though they mean nothing in June, and play is broken down by the same people who spend their entire time complaining about "shirts-and-shorts workouts" before the draft.
In many ways, it is one of the more nonsensical times of the NFL season.
Still, the summer months are not devoid of any news. It just takes a discerning eye and a healthy dose of skepticism to weed out the useless optimistic fodder. Thankfully for you, dear reader, I have both.