Monday, April 2, is a big day for the Oakland Raiders as they will begin the first voluntary workouts under new head coach Dennis Allen. The current collective bargaining agreement allows teams with a new coaching staff to begin their voluntary workouts on April 2, while teams with returning staffs can begin workouts April 16.
All teams have specific limitations on the workouts through which they can put players in the coming weeks. For teams with new head coaches, the team can run nine weeks in a 12-week period, with at least eight of the weeks running consecutively. Programs cannot exceed four workouts per player in a week and will be limited to weekdays.
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. The phase will only allow onto the field full-time or part-time strength and condition coaches that otherwise have no other coaching responsibilities. 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 offseason 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.
Given all this, the Raiders will get a jump start on the physical conditioning, but the implementation of the offense will not officially begin for a couple weeks. It will be interesting to see if any teams try and skirt these specific time-frame rules, and if so, what kind of punishment they receive.