The Miami Dolphins get back to work today, with the official start of the offseason training program. While there is no real "on-field" work (other than with strength coaches), this is the first time that coaches and players can actually start working together.
The Dolphins tweeted some pictures as players began arriving for the first day of workouts.
Up early this morning. Excited to be back to work! #FinsUp— Michael Thomas (@Michael31Thomas) April 21, 2014
There are three phases to the offseason and each phase ramps up what you're allowed to do. Phase one is mostly conditioning stuff. Phase two, the coaches come on the field for more instruction. Phase three is as close as you'll get to a regular practice with team drills but there is no live contact.
Other than the mandatory minicamp, these are all voluntary workouts and coaches can not force players to work out - though the will "highly encourage" attendance.
The Dolphins' released their full offseason workout schedule earlier this month. None of these events are open to the public, but will have some media coverage.
FIrst day of Phase 1 (Strength workouts): April 21
First day of Phase 2 (On-field with coaches): May 5
Rookie minicamp: May 23-25
First day of Phase 3 (OTAs and Minicamp): May 26
OTA 1: May 27-28, 30
OTA 2: June 2-3, 5
OTA 3: June 9-12
Mandatory minicamp: June 17-19
Here the relevant sections of the CBA:
(i) Phase One
- Phase One 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.
(ii) Phase Two
- 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 bumpand-run drills, and no one-on-one special teams drills involving both offense and defense are permitted.)
- Players cannot wear helmets during Phase Two.
(iii) Phase Three
- 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.
According to the CBA, training camps can open for teams 15-days prior to their first preseason game. For the Dolphins, along with most of the rest of the league, Preseason Week 1 will be August 7-10, meaning training camps can start July 23-26. The exact days of camp, and what practices will be open to the public, are still to be announced.