Eagles

Eagles

Doug Pederson stared into a screen on Monday morning and delivered his first speech to the 2020 Philadelphia Eagles. 

We are in unusual times right now. 

The Eagles kicked off their virtual OTAs on Monday and crammed an estimated 133 people into a Microsoft Teams conference call to unofficially kick off the 2020 season, Pederson told NBCSN’s Mike Tirico on Lunch Talk Live. 

It’s a weird feeling,” Pederson said. “We use Microsoft Teams and I could only really see four guys on the screen. You’re absolutely right, I’m talking into a computer screen and hopefully my message is getting across to the 133 or so who were in that meeting. 

“But this is the times that we’re in and we understand it. And we’re taking advantage of the opportunity to, obviously social distancing and all that but I want my guys to understand that we don’t have to be socially distant. We can still reach out, we can FaceTime, we can communicate electronically through the computers or the phone. It’s just where we’re at. We embrace it. We don’t make excuses for it. We understand. I hope my players got that feeling today. I want them to be safe, their families to be safe and we stack days together. So today is Day 1.

The Eagles were one of 20 NFL teams starting their virtual offseason on Monday, according to ProFootballTalk. 

For the Eagles, this was the beginning of a three-week virtual offseason in lieu of in-person workouts, which are unlikely to happen because of social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 
 

The NFL and NFLPA earlier this month reached an agreement that allowed virtual workouts to take place. Basically, teams can hold meetings and workouts through virtual technology. The Eagles are using Microsoft Teams in group environments. 

If NFL facilities open in time, teams can still have in-person OTAs but they must be concluded by June 26. And they can’t begin until every team can resume in-person workouts. 

It’s important to note that these virtual offseasons are voluntary. 

“It’s really weird,” defensive end Malik Jackson said to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark. “But I’m enjoying it to be honest with you. I’m getting a chance to spend time with my daughter, my family. I’m still working out hard, trying to get big. Working out twice a day, really just trying to stay focused and be ready so when I come back, I can show the team who I am. I got hurt last year so I really have to kind of come with it. I’m excited, I’m working hard.”

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