It's not Training Camp, but it's better than nothing! The Denver Broncos are back in Dove Valley and back to work as they begin preparations for the 2012 season. There are plenty of restrictions, however, from how many days the guys can workout to which coaches can watch the workouts. Here is a quick rundown of what the Broncos can and cannot do.
The Broncos will get a 10-week window for their nine-week offseason programs. Programs cannot exceed four workouts per player in a week and they are limited to weekdays. These initial practices are entirely voluntary, with mandatory mini-camps not starting until June.
There will be three phases to the workouts, all spelled out in the CBA. Phase one will cover the first two weeks, with players limited to strength and conditioning or injury rehab. Only full-time or part-time strength and condition coaches that otherwise have no other coaching responsibilities can be a part of these workouts. No footballs can be used, except that quarterbacks may elect to throw to receivers provided they are not covered by any other player.
The players cannot wear helmets during phase one.
Phase two covers the next three weeks of the off-season workout program. All coaches are allowed onto the field and on-field workouts can include individual player instruction and drills. However, there can be no live contact or team offense versus team defense drills and players cannot wear helmets during this phase.
Phase three covers the next four weeks of the workout program, which can include up to ten days of organized team activities. This provides a chance for more instruction and helmets, but players cannot wear any pads, including shells.
It's a start. With the NFL Draft less than two weeks away and the 2012 Schedule set to be released as soon as tomorrow, the NFL 'off'-season is about to ramp up. I, for one, can't wait!