COVID-19

Eagles' coaches allowed to return to NovaCare Complex on Friday

Eagles' coaches allowed to return to NovaCare Complex on Friday

Next time you see Doug Pederson doing an interview, he’ll be in his second-floor office in the NovaCare Complex and not in his house.

Pederson and the rest of the Eagles' coaches are among the team employees who will be allowed back into the NovaCare Complex on Friday, according to a memo sent from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to all 32 teams.

The memo, obtained by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, says that coaches can be among up to 100 team employees allowed in team facilities as long as they are in accordance with local and state guidelines.

Pederson and the other Eagles coaches have been working from home since the middle of March, when restrictions were put into effect as the pandemic began to affect the U.S.

Allowing coaches back in the building will enable them to work in person developing schemes, studying film and creating plays instead of doing it through video conferencing.

For the Eagles, this will be the first opportunity for their new coaches — Rich Scangarello, Marquand Manuel, Aaron Moorehead, Marty Mornhinweg and Andrew Breiner — to work together in the same room or the same building.

The NFL is not yet allowing players back into team facilities, with the exception of injured or rehabbing players undergoing medical treatment.

The memo from Goodell urges coaches who are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 to seek medical counsel before returning to work and also states that the league is working with the individual teams on a testing protocol for coaches, team personnel and players before players are allowed to return to their practice facilities.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that players are not expected to be allowed back into team facilities until the start of training camp, which is generally late July or early August.

According to Rapoport, the 49ers are the only NFL team whose coaches won’t be immediately allowed back in the team’s facility, which is located in Santa Clara.

“The team is aware and supportive of this plan and has been in communication with its local authorities to obtain all necessary permissions when available,” the league memo states according to NFL Network.

Team facilities were allowed to re-open on a limited basis two weeks ago with 50 staff members and medical and training personnel treating rehabbing players but no coaches allowed.

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How the NBA playoff schedule could create insane overlap with 2020 NFL season

How the NBA playoff schedule could create insane overlap with 2020 NFL season

The NBA's Board of Governors is expected to approve a 22-team proposal from NBA commissioner Adam Silver this week, bringing basketball back in late July after four and a half months off.

There's so much to unpack, but one of the more interesting nuances in the unique proposal is pretty clear.

This fall, the NBA will intersect with the NFL, and it will be wild.

The proposed date for a hypothetical Game 7 of the NBA Finals is scheduled for Oct. 12, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowksi, which is the final day of the NFL's Week 5:

That means, for five weeks, sports fans will toggle back and forth between meaningful NFL football and playoff basketball.

What if the Sixers somehow go on a deep playoff run? Could we be watching Sixers playoff games and early-season Eagles games on the same days?

Looking at the lengths of the most recent conference finals and NBA finals series, the Sixers would likely need to reach the conference finals in order to overlap with the Eagles' regular season games.

(I know that those who watched the Sixers' 2019-20 regular season can't imagine that scenario, but you never know.)

The 2019 NBA Finals was on pace to play seven games in 18 days, meaning a seven-game Finals series could possibly start on Sept. 25, two days before the Eagles host the Bengals in Week 3.

Last year, the league put five days between the conference finals and the NBA Finals, and the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals took 15 days to play six games. Could a seven-game Eastern Conference Finals start on Sept. 8 and end on Sept. 20, the same day the Eagles host the Rams? That, too, is possible.

Of course, this is simply going off what happened last year, when the league was operating normally and also building its schedule to account for travel days. Since this year's NBA playoffs will be held in one location, and without much wiggle room, the schedule might be a bit different.

I'd imagine everyone in charge of scheduling sports for late September and early October will try to keep the Finals aways from Sundays, meaning Philly sports fans' craziest scenario would be riding the high of a Game 4 NBA Finals victory (?) into a big Sunday Night Football road matchup with the 49ers.

Which would still be wild.

And this is all before you remember the Flyers will be playing playoff hockey this year, likely beginning their postseason in late July or early August, and a potential shortened MLB season could also be underway.

The picture will round into shape better when the playoffs actually begin and the series take shape. But after extended break, it seems September and October could be quite a time for sports fans.

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Mic’ing up NFL players? DeSean Jackson is all for it

Mic’ing up NFL players? DeSean Jackson is all for it

Last week, DeSean Jackson was on Lane Johnson’s new show “Outside the Lane” and the two Eagles talked about how weird it’ll be if they play games this fall without fans in the stands because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Jackson said it would be a “culture shock.” 

That’s when Johnson suggested that maybe the NFL should mic up players during games and Jackson was all about it. 

It’s going to get crazy,” Jackson said. "I think they should (have players mic’d up). I think they should give fans insight to see what really goes on in between them white lines. It gets crazy, bro. I know in the trenches it gets crazy, and I know on the outside it gets crazy too -- the conversations we have going back and forth on.

It’s a pretty cool idea and it might not even take mic’ing up all players. Remember, without crowd noise, it’ll be a lot easier to hear what’s going on down on the field. My guess is that the normal microphones used by the TV broadcast will pick up much more than they ever did before. 

Instead of the wacky idea of pumping in crowd noise for the broadcasts, I think the NFL should lean into how different this situation is. So the idea of hearing more of the action on the field might not be great for teams wishing to hold a competitive advantage; but it could be fun for fans at home. 

Earlier this offseason, Carson Wentz said it would be “really weird” to play games at Lincoln Financial Field without fans in attendance.

Jackson echoed those thoughts. 

“My feeling about playing in an empty stadium,” Jackson said, “I definitely can’t recall playing in an empty stadium. I’ve never really played in an empty stadium, honestly. I’ve always had fans, even from Pop Warner. I used to always look in the stands and have fans. It’s definitely going to be a culture shock.”

In the last four seasons, the Eagles are the NFL’s fourth-best home team (23-9) but have been much worse on the road (15-17). It’s impossible to know how much of that is because of crowd noise, but the Eagles’ defense really feeds off of that energy. 

Under Jim Schwartz, the Eagles have allowed the fewest points at home but are 21st on the road. 

“I think at the end of the day, we’re all professionals and we’ll adapt,” Jackson said. “But it will definitely be weird at first. Hopefully, they can figure out an [answer] to that. Because a lot of teams feed off the energy.”

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