Why is Eagles’ offseason workout program so light this year? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Eagles will begin reporting to the NovaCare Complex for their voluntary offseason workout program today, but don’t expect the next month and a half to be very intense.
It won’t be.
Following a year in which the Eagles bartered with their players to have a minimal spring workout program and then drastically cut down practice time in training camp, the Eagles are going light again in 2022.
“Makes a ton of sense,” general manager Howie Roseman said.
After several years of getting decimated by injuries, the Eagles were able to stay relatively healthy during Nick Sirianni’s first season at the helm in 2021. With that in mind, the Eagles are hoping they’ll benefit again from this type of plan.
The Eagles are the second-latest team to begin their spring workouts and aren’t even holding as many practices as the CBA allows.
Teams are permitted to have a maximum of 10 voluntary OTA practices; the Eagles are having just six. And the Eagles are also one of just two teams in the league — along with the Cincinnati Bengals — to forgo a mandatory minicamp in June.
“Everything that we do is going to be thought out with the players' health and safety in mind first,” Sirianni said.
“That was one thing we felt like we did a good job last year of staying healthy for different reasons and different thoughts and everybody's voices going into it. I have to make the final decision, but we really felt like we benefited from some of those things that we did last year of the time length, of the things that we did.
The first two weeks of the offseason program is called Phase One under the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NFL and NFLPA. These first two weeks are limited to meetings, strength and conditioning and rehab work.
The three weeks after that are Phase Two. That’s when players can get on the field as individuals or in groups, but without competitive periods. Those are “perfect drills” where it’s just offense vs. offense or defense vs. defense.
Finally, after that, is Phase Three, where the Organized Team Activities (OTAs) take place. Still no live contact but teams are allowed to have competitive drills, offense vs. defense. This is the only portion of the spring where there’s actually “practice” as we think of it.
The Eagles’ six OTA dates are May 31, June 2-3, June 6-8.
After that, the team won’t be together again in an official capacity until late July when players report for training camp.
Last year, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Eagles players (like many teams) decided to completely skip the voluntary portion of the offseason. They released a statement on April 18, through the NFLPA, saying as much. Eventually, Sirianni met with team leaders and came to a compromise on the spring workouts, eliminating the mandatory camp in June in the process.
It’s clear that last offseason’s compromise — and the success of the spring and summer — served as the template for their minimal spring schedule in 2022.
“We felt like we were able to get what we needed to get done in those weeks that we had last year,” Sirianni said, “and so we wanted to be able to — we know we were going to be in person more this time and we're going to see them face-to-face more this time, but we just wanted to do what we felt was comfortable for the players' safety and health, while also getting what we needed to get done.
“We feel like that's where we are. We're comfortable with that's where we are, with the amount of time that we're spending in this offseason.”
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