The National Football League punishes teams who make mistakes with losses. Teams who fail to gel properly often fall apart at the first sign of trouble. Bringing in a new coach can makes things even tougher for an organization and players. To combat this disadvantage, the league allows teams with new head coaches to get a headstart on the offseason programs. What exactly does this mean for the Cardinals and new coach Steve Wilks?
It’s Camp Time
The beginning of April brings with it a open to offseason workouts for teams with new head coaches. Beginning Monday the Cardinals, Bears, Lions, Giants, Titans, Raiders, and Colts can start their offseason workouts, a whole two weeks before the rest of the league’s 25 teams. The offseason program is broken up into three separate phases, lasting a total of nine weeks.
The first phase lasts two weeks and is focused only on strength, conditioning, and rehabilitation. Many players who have workout incentives will be seen during this time. Phase two lasts three week. Players can work out on-field in individual instructional drills as well as separate team practices. This means offenses and defenses are unable to go against the other during the second phase. This is used for preliminary scheme installations and teaching the new systems.
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The final phase allows 10 days of organized team activity (OTA) practices. These allow for offense versus defense practices but prohibit live contact. The drills commonly seen are 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.
The Cardinals get the option of having a voluntary minicamp for returning players before the draft. Following the draft, teams have rookie minicamps, typically the first or second week of May for a few days. In June, teams have their mandatory veteran minicamps for just under a week. This minicamp will be the last team activities until training camp begins in July.
With free agency just about over for the Cardinals, the draft and OTAs are the main stories moving forward. Stay with Full Press Coverage for all Cardinals offseason news and draft coverage.