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Bills, Chargers begin voluntary offseason programs

Phase One has begun.

The beginning of offseason workouts starts on Monday, April 3 for two NFL teams that hired new coaches.

The Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Chargers will begin Phase One of voluntary offseason workouts today.

Workouts mainly consist of conditioning and weight room workouts, but it also gives coaches like Sean McDermott and Anthony Lynn their first chance to address most of the roster.

Here are the general and Phase One rule breakdowns, per the NFLPA:

Phase One specifics:

»Four hours a day.

» Two weeks, limited to strength and conditioning activities ("Dead Ball"). Only strength and conditioning coaches allowed on the field.

» 90-minute maximum on the field.

» Clubs can only specify two hours for players to be at facility.

»Players can choose the other two hours for weights, etc.


»Workouts cannot begin prior to the first Monday in April for clubs with a new head coach or the third Monday in April for all other teams.

» Workouts are strictly voluntary. Club officials cannot indicate workouts are anything other than voluntary.

» Maximum of four workouts per week (no weekends), with one week being the mandatory minicamp (not permitted on weekends).

» Contact work is prohibited in all workouts (e.g. "live" blocking, tackling pass rushing, bump-and-run, etc).

» Intensity and tempo of drills should be at a level conductive to learning, with player safety as the highest priority.

Other teams that hired new coaches -- like the Rams, 49ers and Broncos -- decided to begin their offseason program next Monday, April 10 (the reason being a seamless transition to the next phase of the program).

The rest of the NFL will begin Phase One of their offseason workouts on April 17.

The key to all these workouts is they are voluntary and there is little actual football being worked on. Still, it's a start. Expect a bevy of 'Player X is in the best shape of his life' stories to trickle out in the next few weeks.

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