The San Francisco 49ers begin their offseason workout program on Tuesday, getting an early start due to the decision to change coaches. The 49ers get a two week head start, and are allowed a voluntary minicamp later this month. The extra time bodes well as the team prepares for the upcoming NFL Draft. Performances in the workout program do not make or break jobs, but it will give the 49ers that much more information to work with before the end of the month.
The workout program is broken up into three phases. The next two weeks will be the first phase. In that time, on-field work is limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehab work. However, I believe there will be plenty of classroom work as the coaching staff introduces the offensive and defensive playbooks to the team.
The team has new offensive and defensive coordinators, but it remains to be seen how much change we will see on either side of the ball. Geep Chryst moves from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator. While he has spent plenty of time with the Jim Harbaugh/Greg Roman playbook, we don't know what kind of philosophy he will bring to the table. And of course, we don't know how football operations will influence that philosophy.
Eric Mangini moves from tight ends coach (but extensive history on the defensive side of the ball) to defensive coordinator. Will we see more changes on that side of the ball given his own established history? Combine that with some turnover in the secondary, and potentially on the defensive line, and this will be a huge three months for the team.
Shall consist of the first two weeks of the Club's offseason workout program. Subject to the additional rules set forth in Section 5 of this Article, Phase One activities shall be limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only. During Phase One, 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. No footballs shall be permitted to be used (only "dead ball" activities), except that quarterbacks may elect to throw to receivers provided they are not covered by any other player. Players cannot wear helmets during Phase One.
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.
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.