PHILADELPHIA – Most teams are prepping this week for their mandatory minicamp.
The Eagles aren’t one of them.
It feels like a mistake for a team with a rookie head coach and a staff built mostly of 30-somethings and a roster that has some solid veterans but plenty of players entering their first, second, or third seasons.
This was the deal, however, that was agreed upon by Nick Sirianni and the players – show up for the voluntary OTAs and we’ll skip the mandatory stuff.
Right or wrong, who knows right now as June gets underway?
It just feels like a team with this many new pieces could use as much time together as it can get.
“I think just getting them in the building was beneficial so we could connect together,” said Sirianni. “And we just got great leaders on this team. And there's no surprise that this organization has won a lot, a lot, a lot of football games in this past decade.
“It's an amazing group of guys and a lot of these guys have been here for a while. It's been great getting to know these guys in person. It's different in Zoom. I look forward to getting to know you guys in person a little bit more.”
That time will wait until the end of July, likely July 27 when training camp is, for now, expected to open.
Sirianni sent his team packing with three messages.
First, be accountable.
“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,” he said.
Second, hit the playbook.
“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,” he said. “And when you're out in the field, work on the fundamentals we talked about.”
Third, create good habits or continue to practice them.
“Stay out of trouble, and then be ready to come into camp in the best physical shape of your life,” he said, “because when you're in the best physical shape of your life, now your football IQ and your fundamentals can really show.”
The coach understands that all three of those messages could be interpreted differently, but how much they have adhered to his message will he said, eventually reveal itself later this summer.
“A lot of guys have a different routine,” Sirianni said. “That's going to look different for each guy because a lot of guys have been playing football for a long time. And they have their routine, and maybe they need to get away for a week. So how that goes is up to each individual player.”
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.