2013 NFL Season: Panthers begin offseason workout program

Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

The 2013 offseason program begins today for NFL teams, and while they're not allowed to physically do anything more than exercise together with their strength and conditioning coaches, they can begin the bonding process that's crucial for success during a long and mentally taxing regular season.

If you follow some of the Panthers players on Twitter (and of course you do - you're a Panthers fan after all) then you probably know by now that today is the official start of team workouts. What you may not know is that per the new CBA the NFL has rules as to what teams can do during these early stages of team workouts, but that's what we're here for: to keep you informed.

Listed below you will see the activities the Panthers are allowed to do during Phase One of their offseason program (emphasis mine):

ARTICLE 21

Section 2

(i) Phase One. Phase One shall consist of the first two weeks of the Club's offseason workout program. Subject to the additional rules set forth in Section 5 of this Article, Phase One activities shall be limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only. During Phase One, only full time or part-time strength and conditioning coaches, who have no other coaching responsibilities with the Club, shall be allowed on the field; no other coaches shall be allowed on the field or to otherwise par­ticipate in or observe activities. No footballs shall be permitted to be used (only "dead ball" activities), except that quarterbacks may elect to throw to receivers provided they are not covered by any other player. Players cannot wear helmets during Phase One.

The part in bold print is important because it says that only strength and conditioning coaches are allowed to have contact with the team. That means no Ron Rivera, no Mike Shula, and no Sean McDermott; which is a bummer, but at least the team is together doing something constructive right? While they can't do much physically, they can at least begin the bonding process that's crucial for success as they embark on a long journey together.

I know Phase One of the offseason workout program isn't much to write home about, but at least it's time for team workouts to begin. So fear not, fellow football fanatics - the time for real football is nigh.

(Editor's note: According to the Panthers Facebook page, these workouts are voluntary. So, if you read reports of any players not working out with the team don't freak out - they're not required to be present for this phase of the program.)

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