The Eagles organization is holding up better during the pandemic crisis than EYE am. Personally my life is a weird cocoon at the moment— without our traditional Comments section in play, I am missing the input of our fans. Heck, we have a certified virologist as the Gatekeeper of our Bored, and we can’t even establish commentary communication with him. It’s frustrating.
I’m working out with isometrics, but I’m drinking too much too early in the day. I miss going to the day job I no longer have. I check my email in the morning then walk down to the snail mailbox in the afternoon. That’s the extent of my societal interaction. If I were a true introvert that would be swell…but I’m not. Perhaps I’m one of those “selective” introverts who longs for social connection but understands there is little point in forcing the issue?
At least the Eagles are making an attempt to communicate with their players during this COVID lockdown.
Dave Spadaro reports at PE.com:
“This “new normal” is upon us because of the coronavirus global pandemic that has shut down the NovaCare Complex since mid-March with no defined return date in sight.”
But the Eagles coaching staff is reaching out to players. By video conferencing, that is…
It is an ambitious virtual program, and virtual plan, and coach Pederson is confident that the basic tenets of his messaging to the team – he addresses the full team and as well as the coaching staff and football operations department each Monday and Thursday mornings – will have everyone working in the same direction with the intention of starting fast when the regular season opens September 13 at Washington—if that opening day should happen on schedule.
“Once the 2019 season ended, I hit the reset button, and I thought about what my new messaging points are going to be moving forward for the coming season,” Pederson said in an exclusive interview. [You can hear the entire interview in the most recent episode of the Eagles Insider Podcast, presented by Lincoln Financial Group.] “Quite honestly, it kind of fits in line with where we are with this pandemic and sort of self-quarantined at home and working from home, virtual workouts, virtual meetings, things of this nature. The two messaging points are this: One is the word ‘trust.’ And I think the word ‘trust’ really fits where we are right now. Our guys and our coaches, our trainers, our strength and conditioning staff, we need to trust each other through this process.”
“The second one is ‘stronger together.’ I think through this process we are going to become stronger together. We are going to be united coming out of this pandemic, whenever it is and when we get back together, guys are going to be extremely motivated, extremely excited. For me, it was putting those two phrases together – ‘trust’ and ‘stronger together’ – those have been my two messaging points to the team.”
With new Director of Sports Performance Ted Rath overseeing the strength and conditioning program, the players are given the guidelines for workouts each day by Rath and his staff and then the players find a way to have their workouts filmed – in their homes, socially distanced – and then the players send the videos back to Rath and the staff for evaluation and, as a byproduct, to use as motivation for players who, even in this virtual world, are competing against each other. And, as Pederson did when the team was at the NovaCare Complex in his four previous offseasons, he names weekly competition winners with, ultimately, a single player winning the “championship” belt at the end of the offseason program.
“It’s a fun way to still have that friendly competition, even at this time,” Pederson said, who said he is “extremely” pleased with the voluntary program’s level of participation. “I’m extremely pleased with where the guys are. You have to find creative ways to keep the guys engaged because I feel like, after a while, and not being together and constantly looking at your phone or your iPad can kind of wear on you a little bit. My hat’s off to the team, to my coaches, for finding creative ways to stay connected through this time.”
Right now it kinda feels like nothing “virtual” will be enough to truly prepare these young guys for actual game experience, but… it’s better than nothing.
This is the part of the offseason that is normally devoted to the conditioning side and the mental side. What’s missing, of course, is the touch and feel of being in the NovaCare Complex and the Organized Team Activities on the field when the players, wearing helmets and shorts, are able to conduct non-contact practice drills. Those aren’t happening and they won’t happen until, well, late July if all goes according to plan and Training Camp opens.