The Pittsburgh Steelers will jump start their preparations for the 2015 NFL season officially on Monday April 20, 2015. Phase One of their offseason program will include two weeks of strength and conditioning in addition to physical rehabilitation per the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Phase One is voluntary.
While some players, like James Harrison, do their own offseason work, the beginning of the official offseason program is a way for players to come together to push each other while conditioning. Players are not allowed to meet with coaching staff at this time, but will work specifically with strength and training staff. Every year at this time, great stories of Steelers teammates building relationships seem to come out of the weight room. Building a successful team chemistry in an environment that is conducive to preparation at a low stress level often translates to successful play and communication during the regular season.
Official program dates for the remainder of offseason program includes: OTAs, May 26-28, June 8-11; Mandatory minicamp: June 16-18.
During Phase Two, the Steelers will be allowed to hold on-field workouts as long as contact is not permitted. Offense versus defense drills are not allowed but this period is traditionally used to evaluate players that have been selected in the NFL Draft, undrafted rookie free agents, futures contract players and veterans side by side. Activities during this time are also voluntary.
Phase Three is most often referred to as OTAs (organized team activities) and typically lasts seven to ten days. During this time, no contact drills are permitted, but teams are allowed to line up their offensive players versus their defense. During this period, each team is allowed to hold a mandatory three-day minicamp.
The Steelers are allowed to hold their rookie minicamp on the first or second weekend following the draft and a seven-week development program is layered into the team’s overall offseason program. On May 11, Pittsburgh can bring new players in to the team facilities to develop skills intended to transition them from collegiate play to that of professional football.
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