Welcome back to sorta football!
The San Francisco 49ers begin their offseason workout program on Monday, getting an early start for the second straight offseason due to the firing of Jim Tomsula and hiring of Chip Kelly. The 49ers get a two week head start, and are allowed a voluntary minicamp later this month. The extra time gives the team some extra time to prepare 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 first two weeks will be phase one. 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. It is back to the football field, but we won't learn anything about who is where in even a hypothetical depth chart.
Here is the breakdown of key dates for the program:
First day of Phase One (two weeks): Monday, April 4
First day of Phase Two (three weeks): April 18
Voluntary minicamp: April 26-28
Phase Three (OTA days): May 17-19, May 24-26, May 31, June 1-2
Mandatory minicamp: June 7-9
The 49ers have a new coaching staff with only a few holdovers from last year. The new offensive and defensive coordinators will be implementing all sorts of changes. Well, Chip Kelly and the defensive coordinator will be implementing all sorts of changes. Curtis Modkins is the offensive coordinator, but this is Chip Kelly's offense.
The big question of course will be whether or not Colin Kaepernick will be on hand, although that appears to be settled for the time being. There will be plenty more to consider as the program gets underway. Here is a rundown of the three phases of the program, and what they entail.
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.