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Chiefs begin first offseason program under Crennel, new CBA rules

Posted Apr 16, 2012

Two weeks of strength and conditioning work precede on-field instruction

Sitting dark and empty for the better part of three months, the locker room inside the Chiefs Training Facility will come back to life Monday morning. A majority of the 58 players on Kansas City’s roster are expected to attend the first day of the team’s voluntary offseason program.

The Chiefs’ first offseason program under head coach Romeo Crennel breaks down into three phases spanning over nine weeks.

Phase One, which begins Monday, lasts just two weeks and limits players to working exclusively with the strength and conditioning staff.

 “We’re going to continue a phase of training that we’ve been in that’s called ‘adaptation,’” explained strength and conditioning coach Mike Clark. “That’s just a high volume of lifting, not really heavy loads yet. We will still introduce some of the power work in cleans, throws and jumps, and then we’ll do some general running.

“After these first two weeks we’ll become a lot more specific and a lot more dynamic in our training.”

Rules of the new CBA prohibit the use of footballs during the first two weeks of offseason work.

The only exception allows quarterbacks to throw to receivers without coaches present. Even then, receivers cannot be covered by defenders.

Helmets and pads are also prohibited from the first five weeks of workouts.

Phase Two of the offseason program begins on April 30th and lasts three weeks. In addition to strength and conditioning work, Phase Two allows position coaches on the field for individual player instruction. Film work may also begin.

However, any drill matching the offense against the defense is prohibited.

“In Phase 2, still the most important thing we’ll be doing is training - running and lifting – we’re trying to develop them into better athletes,” said Clark. “We’ll try and make them faster, quicker and more powerful so they can accelerate faster and stop faster as well as change directions faster.

“So when I say that the training gets more dynamic, that’s when those workouts will take place.”

True on-field practices sessions aren’t permitted to take place until May 21st when the NFL allows Phase Three of offseason programs to begin.

Phase Three lasts four weeks and can include up to 10 days of organized team activities (OTAs). A maximum of three OTAs may be held each week for the first two weeks with OTA sessions increasing to four per week during the third week.

The fourth week of Phase Three is reserved for a three-day mandatory mini-camp. No live contact is permitted during mini-camp practices.

All veterans under contract and extended tenders are eligible to attend the offseason program. Dwayne Bowe would need to sign a waiver should he choose to attend the offseason program prior to signing his franchise tag tender or a new contract.

A special minicamp will be held for rookies prior to the start of OTAs.

Teams are required to record all offseason workouts and are subject to fines ranging from $100,000-$500,000 for violations of NFL offseason program rules.

If a team is found to have committed a violation, a week of OTAs will be forfeited. A second violation results in the club being penalized a fourth-round pick in the next draft.

Important NFL Offseason Dates for Chiefs

April 16: Teams without a new head coach may begin offseason workout program (the Chiefs fit into this category because Romeo Crennel served as interim head coach last season; teams with new head coaches began earlier this month)

April 26- 28: NFL Draft (New York)

Early May: Rookie Minicamp TBA (most teams scheduled May 11-13)

*May 21: Voluntary OTAs may begin (veterans and rookies)

*June 11: Mandatory Minicamp may begin (veterans and rookies)

Late July: Training camp opens (St. Joseph, MO)

 *Chiefs have yet to announce specific OTA and Minicam

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