Today marks a fairly significant day in the 49ers offseason as the team is allowed to start up their organized workouts at 4949 Centennial Boulevard. The team has had several players coming in to workout at the facilities, but they were not allowed to work with the coaching staff. Now that organized workouts are allowed, there are still restrictions, but they slowly become less and less over the course of the next two months.
Teams with new coaching staffs were able to start their practices two weeks ago. It is kind of interesting to note that Coach Harbaugh's staff did not get the additional time last year thanks to the lockout. Instead they come back this year as a staff with "one year" under their belts. I guess that's the price to pay for awesomeness.
The 49ers will get a 10-week window for their nine-week offseason programs. Programs cannot exceed four workouts per player in a week and they are limited to weekdays. These initial practices are entirely voluntary, with mandatory minicamps not starting until June.
There will be three phases to the workouts, all spelled out in the CBA. Phase one will cover the first two weeks, with players limited to strength and conditioning or injury rehab. The phase will only allow onto the field full-time or part-time strength and condition coaches that otherwise have no other coaching responsibilities. No footballs can be used, except that quarterbacks may elect to throw to receivers provided they are not covered by any other player. The players cannot wear helmets during phase one.
Phase two covers the next three weeks of the offseason workout program. All coaches are allowed onto the field and on-field workouts can include individual player instruction and drills. However, there can be no live contact or team offense versus team defense drills and players cannot wear helmets during this phase.
Phase three covers the next four weeks of the workout program, which can include up to ten days of organized team activities. This provides a chance for more instruction and helmets, but players cannot wear any pads, including shells.