With the 2016 regular season wrapped up, it's time to look ahead as players turn their focus to offseason goals. Whether their objectives may be on or off the field, they've set their eyes on what they want to achieve during their time away from the NovaCare Complex.
Linebacker Jordan Hicks' rookie season of 2015 ended midway through the year due to a pectoral injury. He returned for his sophomore season ready for action. He found a home in the middle of the Eagles' new 4-3 defense and started all 16 games. He finished the year with 95 tackles and led all NFL linebackers with five interceptions.
As for his offseason plans, Hicks wants to do something that he wasn't able to last year at this time since he was rehabbing from the injury.
"I think it's getting stronger," Hicks explained. "I'm battling off of my pec injury. It obviously pulled me back a little bit. I think getting stronger especially in this game where it's so downhill and you're taking on blocks from the offensive linemen every play, you have to be able to get off and make tackles. It's going to be a focus of mine, constantly diving into the playbook and looking at film from this year and places to improve."
For veteran defensive end Brandon Graham, he will be opening the offseason on a more relaxed note. After completing his best season yet, he's looking forward to some time off. That is if he isn't selected to go to the Pro Bowl in Orlando, since he is a first alternate.
"My personal offseason plan is to take two to three weeks off and then slowly get back into things, take breaks in between. If I go hard for six weeks straight, I'll take a week off, another six weeks, take a week off. I think for me, just trying to make sure that I get away from football in the beginning and then try to ramp things up once mid-February, early-March starts," Graham said.
Rookie offensive lineman Isaac Seumalo didn't make his NFL debut until the eighth game of the season against the New York Giants. In the second half of the year, Seumalo started four games at three different positions - both guard spots and right tackle. With that learning experience under his belt, Seumalo is ready to attack the offseason and become the best that he can be.
"Staying healthy and doing everything I can to stay healthy. And then getting into really good shape. Those are the biggest things. You have to be in really good shape so you can play your best the whole time. Just working on football stuff in terms of pass protection, the run block," Seumalo explained.
In addition to physical improvements, Seumalo plans to return to the classroom. He is five credits shy of earning his bachelor's degree in business administration.