Because the Kansas City Chiefs have a new head coach, they get some extra practice time. Teams with new head coaches can start their offseason program two weeks earlier than everyone else the Chiefs offseason program actually started on April 1 while most others started theirs this week. The Chiefs also get this extra voluntary minicamp, which is what's taking place this week.
Alex Smith didn't even have a playbook until a few weeks ago due to NFL rules so the extra time, especially with a new coach and especially with a new quarterback, can be helpful.
"Especially as a quarterback this is great," Smith told reporters (comments via the Chiefs). "I don't think any guys are minding this at all. I think it's fair - a new coaching staff coming in, a new group of guys that we get the extra minicamp. So we get some extra work together. It's funky. I didn't get to write the CBA or be a part of that. There are a lot of weird rules. This is one of them. This is just something that is nice and we want to take advantage of that."
It is a little funky in terms of what the players can and can't do. The Chiefs just got done with phase one of the offseason program but now they're operating under phase three rules, not phase two rules. Voluntary minicamps use phase three rules so the Chiefs will operate under phase three rules for three days this week and then revert back to phase two rules for three more weeks.
What are the differences? Basically you can have team offense vs. defense drills in phase three and you can't in phase two, you can have offense vs. defense special teams drills in phase three but not phase two, and you can wear helmets in phase three while you can't in phase two. There is no live contact across the board.
Whatever the rules are, Smith said the goals for this minicamp aren't necessarily tangible, "just coming out here every day ready to work."
"It's a great energy and do everything you can possibly do, sacrifice anything you can do so you come out here and are ready mentally and making plays. Then you have to learn from it. I really do feel like every day is a sprint. I don't really subscribe to the marathon deal. This is a grind. I really do think that every dayyou have to come out and work as hard as you can, and then you come out the next day and do it again."
Are you a big football nerd who enjoys reading the CBA? Then you'll enjoy below, which is word-for-word on what is and isn't allowed in each phase.
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.
Subject to the additional rules set forth in Section 5 of this Article, during Phase Two all coaches shall be allowed on the field. On-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills, as well as "perfect play" drills (e.g., offense or defense only, but not offense vs. defense), or special teams drills on a "separates" basis (e.g .. , kicking team or return team only, but not kicking team vs. return team). No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted. No offense vs. defense drills are permitted (e.g .. , no one-on-one offensive linemen vs. defensive linemen pass rush or pass protection drills, no wide receivers vs. defensive backs bumpand-run drills, and no one-on-one special teams drills involving both offense and defense are permitted.) Players cannot wear helmets during Phase Two.
During Phase Three, all coaches shall be allowed on the field. No live contact is permitted. No one-on-one offense vs. defense drills are permitted (i.e., no offensive linemen vs. defensive linemen pass rush or pass protection drills, no wide receivers vs. defensive backs bump-and-run drills, and no one-on-one special teams drills involving both offense and defense are permitted). Special teams drills (e.g., kicking team vs. return team) are permitted, provided no live contact occurs. Team offense vs. team defense drills, including all drills listed in Appendix G to this Agreement, are permitted, provided no live contact occurs. Clubs may require players to wear helmets; no shells are permitted during Phase Three of the Club's offseason workout program or any minicamp.