Eagles offseason: Nick Sirianni wants his players busy till training camp

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How Sirianni wants his players spending summer vacation originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

On Friday, Nick Sirianni sent his football team home for a month and a half. The Eagles’ stripped-down OTAs were over, and he won’t see most of his players again until they report for training camp in late July.

There are no minicamps, no practices, no meetings over the next seven weeks. This is built-in down-time for the players, mandated by the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

But Sirianni believes it’s still a very important part of the offseason, and he wants to make sure his players use it wisely.

“I kind of ended our last day out there (Friday) with my message of the three things that I kind of wanted them to do (until camp),” he said. “Continue to practice good habits, stay out of trouble and then be ready to come into camp in the best physical shape of your life. Because when you're in the best physical shape of your life, now your football IQ and your fundamentals can really show.

“I told them our habits are our core values. It's connecting. Continue to find ways to connect with (teammates). Continue to find ways to compete with guys. And, really, when you're by yourself, when you're working by yourself as a football player, in the summertime before the fall season starts, it's how do you compete with yourself?

“I talked about accountability to them. ... It's the day over and over and over again. Each day in and out, if you do what you're supposed to do each day in and out, that's going to show up when it comes time for the fall.”

There is no structured program to cover the dead period between spring practices and training camp. The CBA prohibits it.

But coaches can give players a general sense of what they want from them, and Sirianni emphasized several times the importance of competing – in anything – just to stay sharp mentally and keep that edge.

Coaches can’t require that their players study over the next month and a half, but they can certainly tell them how important it is.

“Yes, get in the books,” he said. “Football IQ is so important, to get in the books, to watch the tapes over again from our practices and watch the installs over again. And when you're out in the field, work on the fundamentals we talked about.”

Sirianni, unlike some coaches, has no problem with players who spend this time working with private coaches. Some NFL coaches believe private instructors can only confuse players by giving conflicting coaching points.

Sirianni wants these guys thinking football, practicing football and learning football as much as possible.

And if it can't be with their coaches, at least it's with someone.

“We're not stubborn in the sense of, ‘Hey, that coaching point is pretty good too. I like that. That's good coaching when you learn from other people and (I’m) not too egotistical or stubborn to say my way is the only way to do it.

“So love when they work with guys and they come back with new thoughts. But when we come back together, we'll see if we all agree on those new thoughts again. So when they're working and working hard, that's what it's about. The biggest thing is that they're working and working hard at their craft.”

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