Within the structure of the Philadelphia Eagles' football operations is a labyrinth of departments that includes the football IT staff that runs the video operations, the athletic training room, the equipment department, the strength and conditioning staff, the player engagement program, and the grounds department. It is a complex operation that is coordinated in conjunction with the vision of Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman and Head Coach Nick Sirianni with the guidance of Assistant General Manager Jon Ferrari as the "glue" to make sure everyone is on board and in lockstep every day.
"I'm just lucky enough that I get to help fulfill what Howie and Nick's vision is as to how those departments are going to be coordinated," Ferrari said, "what the priorities are, making sure everyone is on the same page, letting them be tunnel-visioned and single-minded about running the best training room or equipment room or football IT department, and I can be the one to kind of bridge the gap and make sure everyone has what they need to operate smoothly and succinctly."
All of that comes into play, of course, as the Eagles prepare to open their 2023 Training Camp at the NovaCare Complex next Tuesday, July 25. While the team is conducting practice, per usual, at the team facility, there are so many other factors to consider – the invited fans who are present, a large media contingent, joint practices with Indianapolis and Cleveland, visits from players' and coaches' families – and Ferrari is on top of all of it to make sure that it is an efficient undertaking.
"It has been a long time in the making, a lot of planning and coordinating with the various departments to make sure the day-to-day process works as Nick and Howie and the coaches want it to work in an optimal manner, making sure that our three preseason games are planned out," Ferrari said. "We're also planning the team operations for those 17 regular-season games ... there is just so much going on and it dates back to the spring. It requires a lot of communication. No two days are the same and you don't know what you're going to get when you walk into the building.
"I love my job and the people I work with. Howie has done an amazing job of hiring good people for the right jobs. The ability to all work together and have really good people run each of those departments is critically important. A lot of people can run something really well and be selfish about it. It's another thing to run something and be selfless about it and think of the greater good and always put the players first. I think that's what we do here."
It has been a truncated offseason for the Eagles, who played in Super Bowl LVII on February 12 while other teams had weeks of lead time to prepare (this is an enviable "challenge" to have, of course). The turnaround time was dramatic: No sooner had the Eagles returned home from Arizona that they then were in Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine. Then NFL free agency started. Then the NFL Draft.
How do you catch your breath? How do you prepare?
"I would say, in some ways, there is no paralysis by analysis," Ferrari said. "You've just got to do the job. You have to rely on the work you've put in and proceed the best way you can. I think we've had a successful offseason to this point and we're ready for what's ahead."
Ferrari joined the Eagles as the manager of football compliance in 2016 after working in the league office for 10 seasons. His role has expanded – director of football compliance for two seasons and then director of football operations for a couple of years and, after that, vice president of football operations and compliance for three seasons – before being named assistant general manager prior to the 2022 season.
His job is a vast, inter-weaving, highly communicative one that is reliant on the cooperation of just about everyone in the organization in one way or another. And now, with Training Camp nearing, all of that work will be on display as the Eagles get ready to defend their NFC Championship title and take it one step further than last season.
"I always think, 'How has it been for our players? What is it going to be like for them on a daily basis?' I feel like it's been a seamless transition from the 2022 season to now and that's always the goal," Ferrari said. "When they come into the NovaCare Complex, it's about them getting their work done and having what they need to be the best that day – from their conditioning, their medical treatment, their classroom work, whatever it is.
"If they are working in the best possible atmosphere and best conditions possible, then I'm really proud. We've made some capital improvements to the building. We've made visual improvements to the building, we have some new equipment, and the players report and they get to work. We've added some fantastic pieces to this team and it's going to be really exciting to see how they all jell together in July and August."