In standard years, most of the team's coaches would work through the middle of June when the club concluded its mandatory full-team minicamp. At that point, there was some final touch-up work, and then it was vacation time until about the middle of July, when coaches would return for the lead-in to training camp.
This year's offseason takes on a different shape, with the possibility that July could suddenly become a lot busier if players and owners reach a labor agreement. This was highlighted in a Monday piece by Pat Kirwan on NFL.com that is previewed with this headline: "Rush job: Business will move fast post-lockout." Kirwan lays out all the business that still has to be conducted, which includes signing draft picks/rookie free agents and veteran free agency.
Because of the uncertainty this offseason, Patriots coaches are on alert, knowing they could be called back into the office at any time during this earlier-than-usual vacation time.