Cardinals begin offseason program that ends with June minicamp

It’s been 99 days since the Arizona Cardinals’ last game of the 2023 season and the 2024 season officially began Monday with the start of Phase 1 of the offseason program.

Head coach Jonathan Gannon was his usually enthusiastic self as the work began.

“A bit of juice in there,” he told the media at midday. “A lot of energy. Some new faces and excited to get to work with these guys and excited about the improvements that we’ve made in the offseason to help the players out.”

When asked to specify those improvements, Gannon said, “There’s a bunch of ‘em. I told the players in there today; you’ve heard me talk about in my mind what it takes to be a good pro. It’s kinda five buckets that we use, and on a daily basis we have to improve those buckets. Anyone that’s in that building is there to serve the players. And we worked on our game.

“I told them there’s going to be some things that are same as. There’s going to be some things that are slightly tweaked and there’s going to be some brand-new things. Hopefully, the growth that we had throughout the year and this offseason, the players feel that and they understand the why behind it and they can improve.”

As mandated by the CBA between the NFLPA and the NFL, the nine-week program has three phases of mostly voluntary participation for veterans that also includes one three-day mandatory minicamp.

The first phase lasts two weeks and is limited to meetings, strength and conditioning, and physical rehabilitation.

Phase two encompasses three weeks and can have on-field workouts. Those may include individual or group instruction and drills, as well as “perfect-play drills,” along with 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 allowed.

During the final four weeks of the program (Phase Three), teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activities (OTAs). No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed. The mandatory minicamp must occur during Phase Three.

Linebacker Kyzir White, who missed the final six games of the 2023 season after suffering a torn biceps, and appeared bigger, noted there “are a lot of guys here; great attendance. So that was a good thing to see for sure. We’re excited to get back to work.”

The energy machine, tight end Trey McBride, agreed.

He said, “I’m excited to be back, excited to be in the building again with all the guys. It’s been a blast. I’m excited to get back to it.”

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Story originally appeared on Cards Wire