The Chicago Bears are officially getting back to work.
Today starts Phase One of their offseason workout program. Phase one won't bring much in the terms of actual football practice as it's simply 2 weeks of strength and conditioning work and physical rehabilitation only. Most coaches aren't even allowed to get the players on the field during phase one. The NFL CBA says that "only full-time or part-time strength and conditioning coaches, who have no other coaching responsibilities with the Club, shall be allowed on the field; no other coaches shall be allowed on the field or to otherwise participate in or observe activities."
The only players that are permitted to even use a football is the quarterbacks if they want to throw, but the receivers aren't allowed to be covered by a defender. Kickers and punters can also use a football, but no other players can be involved in their workout.
Phase One won't offer much in terms of news for us, unless there's a mysterious shin injury or something, but it will allow the players and coaches to get to know each other. These two weeks of bonding will go a long way towards getting the new faces acclimated to the culture that head coach John Fox expects in his locker room.
Here are the key dates for the remainder of their offseason schedule.
Rookie minicamp: May 13- 15
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 24-26, June 1-3, June 6-9
Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16
The NFL Draft takes place April 28-30, so whomever the Bears end up selecting will have a couple weeks to get settled in to Chicago before donning the Orange C.
Once the Bears announce their training camp schedule for Bourbonnais, we'll pass that info along.
Phase Two is the next portion of the offseason training program and here's what the CBA says about that.
Phase Two shall consist of the next three weeks of the Club's offseason workout program. Subject to the additional rules set forth in Section 5 of this Article, during Phase Two all coaches shall be allowed on the field. On field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills, as well as "perfect play" drills (e.g., offense or defense only, but not offense vs. defense), or special teams drills on a "separates" basis (e.g.., kicking team or return team only, but not kicking team vs. return team). No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted. No offense vs. defense drills are permitted (e.g.., no one-on-one offensive linemen vs. defensive linemen pass rush or pass protection drills, no wide receivers vs. defensive backs bump-and-run drills, and no one-on-one special teams drills involving both offense and defense are permitted.) Players cannot wear helmets during Phase Two.
This is where we'll finally start to get some actual football news; i.e. 'Kevin White looks phenomenal,' or 'Adrian Amos seems more comfortable,' or 'Our #1 draft pick looks like the real deal.'
The CBA defines Phase Three as follows.
Phase Three shall consist of the next four weeks of the Club's offseason workout program. Subject to the additional rules set forth in Subsections 5(a) and 5(c) of this Article and Appendix G to this Agreement, during Phase Three each Club may conduct a total of ten days of organized team practice activity ("OTAs" or "OTA days"). The restrictions set forth in Subsection 5(b) of this Article shall not apply to OTA days. The Club may conduct a maximum of three days of OTAs during each of the first two weeks of Phase Three. A maximum of four days of OTAs may be conducted during either the third week or the fourth week of Phase Three, with the Mandatory Veteran Minicamp (Article 22, Section 2) to be held during the other week. During weeks in which the Club conducts only three days of OTAs, the Club may also conduct a fourth day of non-OTA workouts, but such activities shall be subject to the rules governing Phase Two workouts, as set forth in Subsection 2(b)(ii) of this Article. During Phase Three, all coaches shall be allowed on the field. No live contact is permitted. No one-on-one offense vs. defense drills are permitted (i.e., no offensive linemen vs. defensive linemen pass rush or pass protection drills, no wide receivers vs. defensive backs bump-and-run drills, and no one-on-one special teams drills involving both offense and defense are permitted). Special teams drills (e.g., kicking team vs. return team) are permitted, provided no live contact occurs. Team offense vs. team defense drills, including all drills listed in Appendix G to this Agreement, are permitted, provided no live contact occurs. Clubs may require players to wear helmets; no shells are permitted during Phase Three of the Club's offseason workout program or any minicamp.
Are you guys excited the Bears are finally working out as a team?
Getting back at it. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/3aK6sRmTkP— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 18, 2016
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