As members of the Eagles roster return to the NovaCare Complex this week to begin their voluntary off-season workouts, they're treated to some significant changes in the weight room.
New head strength and conditioning coach Barry Rubin re-tooled the machines in the weight room this off-season to incorporate more free-weight work and, so far, the results are nothing but positive.
"The new weights are great, the new machines are excellent," said quarterback Michael Vick. "I think it's good for what Barry is trying to incorporate within our bodies and it reminds me of the stuff that we were doing back in Atlanta, and trust me, we had some strong dudes on that team."
"You can tell everything's changed, there's a lot more power lifting, trying to get explosive on the field," said linebacker Moise Fokou. "I'm looking forward to it. It's the first day back, trying to get the rust off but other than that it's more stuff to try to get us more explosive.
"Everything you do on the field is explosiveness. Coming out with your hips, running, running through somebody, tackling, coming off your breaks as a receiver or as a running back, it definitely helps you a lot."
Count Kevin Kolb among the players on board with Rubin's approach.
"I think that the first thing he does is it's a change-up, it's an energy level boost, everybody is excited about it," Kolb said. "It's something new for us and that alone will help our mindset. Sometimes things get a little stagnant and you have to move things around. I thought it was a good move and I think that he's going to turn things around and take it to the next level."
For a player like Geoffrey Pope who is trying to establish himself on the roster, the off-season is vital because he needs to be at the peak of his physical condition heading into training camp.
"The goal for me, and I assume everybody else, is to get in the best shape we can and improve our strength physically as well as mentally through conditioning and stuff like that," Pope said. "My individual goals (are) to go into camp 100 percent healthy or what not, no muscle strains or pulls or whatever, and just be ready to compete and do the best I can to help this team win.
"It's definitely a lot more intense. I enjoyed the workout, especially the speed and agility drills. It definitely was relative to my position and stuff like that. I'm just really eager to get back and I feel like it was a good first day."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 2:30 p.m., March 16