PHILADELPHIA — The Eagles modified their offseason model after meeting with veteran players, and will not hold mandatory minicamp this year, the team announced Tuesday.
Additionally, there will be no team or 7-on-7 drills during OTAs.
“We had some really good conversations with our players, some of our team leaders, about the offseason program,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni told the team’s website. “I’ve always believed it’s important to have that open communication with your team, and it was really helpful for us as a staff as we put together the offseason program. I feel good that our schedule will allow us to get some really good work in before we hit training camp. I really appreciated those conversations.”
In April, Eagles players released a statement through the NFLPA stating they would not be attending in-person voluntary workouts, joining a host of other players across the league. In the statement, they cited the coronavirus pandemic and “overall health and safety” as an explanation.
The trade-off with these changes is that more players will likely participate, but there will be less competitive field work.
Phase II of the NFL offseason began Tuesday, in which on-field work with players can include strength and conditioning and a limited amount of drills. The first session was well-attended, a source said. Eagles OTAs are scheduled to begin May 25 and will run two weeks. Mandatory minicamp was scheduled for June 8-10.
“Our goal is to keep building. So up to this point, we’ve had a lot of great time with our players virtually teaching them our schemes,” said Sirianni. “So now what we’re doing is taking that out onto the field, focusing in on the fundamentals, while taking what was learned virtually and getting the reps in person. It’s one thing to talk about it and see it virtually, but it’s another thing to get out there and go through it physically. So that’s what our focus is these next three weeks and then we’ll pick back up once we get back for Training Camp in July.”
The Eagles are not alone in rethinking offseason strategy. The Indianapolis Colts, believing they’ll accomplish more over the next two weeks than they would during a traditional three-day June minicamp, cut a deal with their players: Two weeks of light, in-person, voluntary workouts, and the players can stay home for the next eight weeks.
The Chicago Bears tweaked their schedule and completely eliminated one week of OTA practices.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.