Football (practice) is back today. The Houston Texans are officially putting in the work to make the 2023 season an improvement over 2022... which won’t take much effort, honestly.
Voluntary offseason workout programs are intended to provide training, teaching and physical conditioning for players. The calendar for 2023 is below.
As per Article 21 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each club’s official, voluntary nine-week offseason program is conducted in three phases:
Phase One consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to meetings, strength and conditioning, and physical rehabilitation only.
Phase Two consists of the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual or group instruction and drills, as well as “perfect play drills,” and drills and plays with offensive players lining up across from offensive players and defensive players lining up across from defensive players, conducted at a walk-through pace. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.
Phase Three consists of the next four weeks of the program. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.
Article 22 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulates that clubs may hold one mandatory minicamp for veteran players. This minicamp, noted below, must occur during Phase Three of the offseason program.
New head coaches are entitled to conduct an additional voluntary veteran minicamp. Any voluntary minicamp for veteran players must be conducted prior to the NFL Draft (April 27-29), but no earlier than week three of the club’s offseason workout program and after at least one week of the two weeks of Phase One activities that the clubs may hold pursuant to Article 21. This year, eight clubs will hold voluntary veteran minicamps, as noted below.
Each club may hold a rookie football development program for a period of seven weeks, which in 2023 may begin on May 15. During this period, no activities may be held on weekends, with the exception of one post-Draft rookie minicamp, which may be conducted on either the first or second weekend following the draft. The dates of each club’s post-draft rookie minicamps will be circulated at a later date.
For specific information and detailed offseason program rules, please see Articles 21 and 22 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, available on nflcommunications.com.
What does this all mean for the Texans? Well, first off, it means today is the day it all begins.
Coaches start coaching, players start learning. The team starts installing the new systems on offense and defense. While those of us on the sidelines won’t know what those new systems look like just yet, the players find out today.
HOUSTON OFFSEASON WORKOUT PROGRAM SCHEDULE
First Day: April 11
Voluntary Minicamp: April 25-27
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 22-23, May 25, May 30-31, June 2, June 5-6, June 8
Mandatory Minicamp: June 13-14
To re-quote what it states above, beginning this morning the Texans coaches can start Phase One today: consisting of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to meetings, strength and conditioning, and physical rehabilitation only.
As the local media rolls out stories and news bits on today’s goings on, we’ll also learn who has the heart to try and out J.J. Watt the rest of the team by showing up early and staying late. Who will spend the most time with the strength and conditioning staff and which players are still overcoming nagging injuries from last season.
It might not have the excitement of draft day, the first day of training camp or Kickoff 2023, but it’s a landmark on the calendar for everyone riding the wave of excitement brought with the hiring of new Houston Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans.