NFL Nation: 2014 offseason workouts

The Tennessee Titans started their offseason conditioning program Monday. Like other teams with a new head coach, they got a two-week head start. Though coach Ken Whisenhunt emphasized the Titans are behind and have a lot of work to do to catch up.

Here is the rest of the team’s offseason schedule. None of it is open to the public, and the team’s training camp start and schedule won’t be announced until a later date.

Voluntary minicamp: April 29-May1.

OTA offseason workouts: May 27-29, June 2-3 and 5, June 9-12.

Mandatory minicamp: June 17-19.

We at Titans central at ESPN.com will be at everything we're invited to along the way.

For a list of the key offseason workout program dates for all 32 teams, click here.

Eagles' offseason schedule set

April, 5, 2014
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So many positive things happened in coach Chip Kelly’s first season with the Philadelphia Eagles.

They won 10 regular-season games, six more than the previous season, captured the NFC East title and hosted a divisional playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field.

For all the good vibes, the Eagles still must be peeved in the aftermath of a heartbreaking 26-24 loss to the New Orleans Saints. The Saints had never won a road playoff game until beating the Eagles.

“We lost to a team that wasn’t necessarily better than us,” Eagles cornerback Cary Williams told CSNPhilly.com. “They weren’t better than us. Period. But [they were] better tonight. They got the job done.”

The best solution for a team trying to overcome the sting of a tough loss is simple: get back on the field as soon as possible.

“There’s a bunch of things that went wrong that is really, like, messing with me right now,” All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters told CSNPhilly.com. “But we just got to get over it.”

The time to move on officially begins this month.

On Thursday, the NFL announced the starting dates for each team’s offseason workouts, minicamps and strength and conditioning programs.

The first day of strength and conditioning for the Eagles will be April 21 -- 16 days from now.

The Eagles’ OTA workouts are scheduled for May 27-29, June 2-3, June 5 and June 9-12.

Philadelphia will host a mandatory minicamp from June 17-19.

Training camp will begin in July.
The Baltimore Ravens' offseason program kicks off on April 21, and it can't come soon enough for coach John Harbaugh.

For months since the season ended, he has run into players lifting weights and eating breakfast at the team facility, but he can't talk football with them. They can't even discuss the playbook, even though the players have them in their hands.

Harbaugh
"The management council and the players association have got to get together and help us as organizations and coaches help our young players develop as people and players," Harbaugh said last week at the NFL owners meetings. "I mean, come on. You hold us responsible and want us to be a factor in their lives like the mentoring program and things like that. Give us a chance."

The structure of the offseason programs radically changed when the collective bargaining agreement was completed July 2011.

The players union wanted these limitations on offseason workouts because it protects players from coaches who annually pushed them in classrooms, conditioning and on-field sessions for nearly four months before training camps opened in late July. From the union's standpoint, lower demands on the offseason allow players to rest their bodies and use the free time to go back to school or spend time with families.

Harbaugh argues that the new rules are hurting the players, especially the young ones. In Harbaugh's mind, players don't develop as quickly when there is reduced time with coaches.

"This is not the NCAA. This is not recruiting. These are our guys," Harbaugh said. "We want what’s best for our players. That’s what’s good for the league. That’s what good for these young men. And that’s what they want."

Harbaugh has complained before about the offseason rules, and he once described the restrictions that don't allow players to reach their maximum potential as "un-American."

"Young guys want a chance to compete in the National Football League for a job," Harbaugh said. "They want to go see their position coach. They want to learn football. It’s their craft. And we’re saying, ‘No, you can’t do it?’ Why? Because of the collective bargaining agreement that makes no sense? Because somebody wanted to get their little win here vs. their little win over there? Get together and do what’s best for these players, and it’s about time that somebody stepped to the plate and realized that and [took] the politics out of it.”

For the first two weeks of the offseason program (weeks beginning April 21 and 28 for the Ravens), only strength and conditioning coaches are allowed to work with players on the field. Quarterbacks can throw to their wide receivers, but defensive backs aren’t allowed to cover them.

These restrictions continue for the next three weeks (weeks beginning May 5, 12 and 19 for the Ravens) when coaches are allowed to conduct limited football workouts. Any type of offense against defense drills are banned.

The final four weeks (weeks beginning May 26 and June 2, 9 and 16 for the Ravens) are when teams can hold one minicamp and 10 organized team practice activity sessions. One-on-one drills between offensive and defensive players are not permitted, although special teams can be practiced provided there is no contact. Helmets are allowed but shoulder pads remain outlawed.

Here is the Ravens' offseason schedule:

First day of offseason conditioning program: April 21

OTA (Offseason Training Activity) workouts: May 28-30, June 3-5, June 9-10 and June 12-13

Mandatory minicamp: June 17-19
The Browns start offseason workouts on Monday, a process that begins with strength and conditioning at their practice facility and culminates with mandatory minicamp practices in the middle of June.

Since the Browns have a new head coach in Mike Pettine they are allowed to start their offseason workouts two weeks earlier than teams that didn’t make a coaching change after the 2013 season. They are also allowed an extra minicamp, which will be held April 29-May 1. The first minicamp is voluntary but really that is in name only as the Browns should have close to full participation for those practices.

The Browns have 10 OTAs scheduled -- they are voluntary practices -- and those will be held on the following dates: May 20-21, May 23, May 27-28, June 2-3 and June 5-6.

OTAs will be followed by mandatory minicamp -- those practices are June 10-12 -- after which players are off until the start of training camp.

The voluntary minicamp will be held before the draft, giving Pettine and his staff a small window to evaluate players before a draft in which the Browns have two first-round picks and three of the first 35 selections.
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings are one of seven teams with a new head coach, and as such, they're one of seven teams allowed to begin their offseason workout program next week.

The Vikings will get started on Monday, as will the Browns, Lions, Texans, Buccaneeers, Titans and Redskins. Players are only allowed to do strength and conditioning work, as well as rehab, in the first two weeks of the program, but linebacker Michael Mauti said on Thursday that new strength and conditioning coach Evan Marcus has some different weight training plans than the Vikings' old regime, so players will get a chance to learn their new strength program starting next week.

In the second phase of offseason workouts, players can receive individual instruction in position drills. The Vikings will hold a voluntary pre-draft minicamp (another privilege of having a new coach) a week before the draft. Finally, teams can conduct "organized team activities" -- or full-squad, non-padded practices -- in the third phase, leading up to a mandatory minicamp in June. The NFL has not announced dates for rookie camps yet, but the Vikings have historically held one the week after the draft.

Here is the Vikings' full offseason schedule:

April 7 -- Offseason strength and conditioning programs begin

April 29-May 1 -- Voluntary pre-draft minicamp

May 28-30 -- Voluntary OTA for rookies and veterans

June 3-5 -- Voluntary OTA for rookies and veterans

June 9-12 -- Voluntary OTA for rookies and veterans

June 17-19 -- Mandatory mini-camp for rookies and veterans
The NFL released the offseason calendars Thursday for all its teams, and the Chicago Bears are just 18 days away from the start of their offseason conditioning program.

The first day of the club's program is April 22, but organized team activities won't begin until May 27.

Here's how it breaks down:

OTA workouts: May 27-28, May 30, June 2-3, June 9-12.

Mandatory minicamp: June 17-19.

None of the workouts listed above will be open to the public. The club hasn't yet announced the start of training camp in Bourbonnais, Ill., but that typically takes place near the end of July at Olivet Nazarene University.
CINCINNATI -- After taking the past three months off to get over their third wild-card round playoff loss in as many seasons, the Cincinnati Bengals will officially get back to work April 21.

The NFL announced Thursday the starting dates for each team's strength and conditioning programs, and offseason workouts and minicamps. With the NFL draft occurring two weeks later than usual, the Bengals and other teams tweaked their calendars a bit. Seven teams officially begin offseason work Monday. Each of them have new head coaches, including former Bengals coordinators Jay Gruden and Mike Zimmer, who are in Washington and Minnesota, respectively.

Cincinnati is one of 19 teams that begin conditioning programs on April 21. The remaining teams get going April 22.

Below is a breakdown of each set of offseason workouts the Bengals will have this spring. After that, they are expected to return in late July for training camp.

April 21: Offseason strength and conditioning program begins

May 27-29: Voluntary OTA for veterans and rookies

June 3-5: Voluntary OTA for veterans and rookies

June 10-12: Mandatory minicamp for veterans and rookies

June 16-18: Voluntary OTA for veterans and rookies
The NFL released offseason calendars for all 32 teams on Thursday. New Orleans Saints players will begin their conditioning program on April 21, and they will hold four weeks of offseason training activities and minicamp practices from May 27 through June 19.

Portions of the three-day minicamp from June 10-12 may be open to the public. However, the OTAs (May 27-29, June 3-5 and June 16-19) are typically closed to the public.

The Saints have not yet announced their starting date for training camp, which will begin at the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia sometime in late July.

The Times-Picayune’s Jeff Duncan tweeted he’s hearing the Saints’ first preseason game in early August will likely be on the road at a site near their camp -- possibly Baltimore, Pittsburgh or Washington.

All-time best picks: WWLTV.com’s Bradley Handwerger broke down the best draft choices in each round in Saints history. Among the closest calls in my mind: Archie Manning or Willie Roaf for Round 1; Jimmy Graham, Pat Swilling or Tommy Myers for Round 3; and Morten Andersen or Jahri Evans for Round 4.

Ball ‘excited’: Newly-signed safety Marcus Ball joined the Saints’ daily Black and Blue Report podcast. The former Canadian Football League standout said he’s excited about the move.

Super Bowl favorites? Duncan also broke down why he thinks the 2018 Super Bowl is New Orleans’ game to lose. Hard to disagree with his reasoning.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Another step toward the 2014 season starts April 21 for the Indianapolis Colts. I wish I could tell you that’s when the 2014 schedule will come out.

That's not the case. But it is when quarterback Andrew Luck and the rest of the Colts will have their first day of offseason workouts.

The players will take part in strength/conditioning training and individual position drills for the first six weeks of workouts.

The Colts will then move on to their organized team activities, which are full-squad but non-padded practices. Here are the dates for those: May 27-29, June 2-4 and June 9-12.

The mandatory minicamp will be held June 16-19. The players and coaches will then break for a final vacation period after minicamp before returning for the start of training camp. The Colts haven't announced the official start date of their training camp at Anderson (Ind.) University yet. It'll start sometime in late July.

The 2014 schedule will likely come out at some point this month.

Around the NFL: 2014 minicamp, OTA schedules released

2014 minicamp, OTA schedules released

April, 3, 2014
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Important Cardinals offseason dates

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The Arizona Cardinals announced their offseason schedule on Thursday.

Teams with a returning coach can officially begin their offseason strength and conditioning on April 21, when the Cardinals' program will commence.

They'll have three voluntary organized team activities, commononly referred to as OTAs, a rookie minicamp and an all-team minicamp. Arizona's offseason program will be over by June 5, leaving the Cardinals almost two months before training camp should begin.

Here's the schedule:

April 21 - Offsesaon strength and conditioning program begins

May 20-22 - Voluntary OTA for veterans and rookies

May 23-25 - Minicamp for rookies

May 27-29 - Voluntary OTA for veterans and rookies

June 2-5 - Voluntary OTA for veterans and rookies

June 10-12 - Minicamp for veterans and rookies
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- This isn't the schedule that most fans are waiting for but until the NFL releases the regular-season schedule later this month, the dates of the offseason workouts will have to do.

The NFL announced on Thursday the offseason workout plans for all 32 teams.

The Green Bay Packers will get things started on April 22, one day later than the league allows for teams with returning head coaches. Coach Mike McCarthy likely is giving his players an extra day so that they don't have to travel on Easter Sunday in order to make it to Green Bay for a Monday workout.

For the first six weeks of the program, players will take part in strength/conditioning training and individual position drills.

The organized team activities, which are full-squad, non-padded practices, run on the following dates: May 28-30, June 3-5, June 10-13. Typically, the Packers open one workout per week to the public, weather permitting. Those open dates have not yet been announced.

The mandatory minicamp will be June 17-19.

After the minicamp, players and coaches will break for vacation before training camp begins in late July. The full training camp schedule won't be determined until the Packers know the date of their preseason opener.

Jets begin training April 21

April, 3, 2014
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It starts April 21 for the New York Jets -- the offseason program, that is.

The NFL released the offseason dates for every team Thursday, from the first strength-and-conditioning session to the final minicamp. Based on the collective bargaining agreement, the offseason is divided into three phases. The first phase (two weeks) focuses on strength and conditioning -- no football activities. The second phase (three weeks) allows for limited on-the-field workouts. The third phase (four weeks) is organized team activities -- OTAs -- the closest thing to real football in the offseason. There's no contact, but it includes the routine drills, including offense versus defense.

The Jets' OTA dates: May 27, 29, 30; June 2, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12.

Mandatory minicamp: June 17-19.
The NFL released on Thursday the dates each team turned in to the league for offseason programs.

The Denver Broncos will open their offseason conditioning program April 21. Their first full-team, on-field offseason training activity will run from May 28-30 with the second going June 2-4 and the third June 16-19.

The team's mandatory minicamp -- the only section of the offseason work a player can be formally fined for missing -- will be June 10-12.

The Broncos have a major re-model underway at their suburban Dove Valley complex, including the construction of an indoor practice facility. But the outdoor playing fields are scheduled to be ready.

Per the league's collective bargaining agreement the offseason program can span nine weeks in all, in three "phases."

The first phase is two weeks and allows strength and conditioning work only. The second is three weeks and allows individual player instruction and drills with coaches. No team drills pitting offense against defense is allowed during this phase.

The third phase is the final four weeks of the offseason work and when the full team drills are allowed, but no live hitting is permitted.

Teams can also have a rookies-only minicamp in the first or second weekend following the draft. This year's draft is May 8-10. The Broncos have traditionally folded the rookies into their first OTA work in recent years.

"We can make plans and try to make some decisions about what we do right now," Broncos head coach John Fox said. "But until we get our hands on them and get to coach them, we'll still have some things to work out. We'll be ready to get to work when the offseason schedule kicks in and be ready to coach them up when the rules let us."
Seems like it just ended, doesn't it?

I bet it will feel that way for Houston Texans players, many of whom will be heading back to work starting Monday when the team's offseason program begins. They are among the teams allowed to start April 7 because of a new head coach.

The start of the offseason program is voluntary and Phase 1 means a strength and conditioning program as well as rehab. In the case of the Texans, players will be acclimating themselves to new strength coach Craig Fitzgerald's ways.

The second phase, which begins in Week 3 can include on-field individual instructions and can include team practices without live contact or team offense versus team defense drills. The Texans will hold a pre-draft minicamp during this phase from May 6 to May 8.

Phase 3 includes 10 days of organized team activities. The Texans will have theirs on May 27-29, June 2-4, June 9, 10, 12 and 13.

The mandatory portion of the Texans offseason program will take place from June 17-19 in their minicamp.

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