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Spadaro: Eagles kick off voluntary offseason program taking nothing for granted

Tyler Steen and his fellow offensive linemen put in the work during the first day of the offseason program.
Tyler Steen and his fellow offensive linemen put in the work during the first day of the offseason program.

Setting the tone. It is underway at the NovaCare Complex as the Eagles' offseason program has started, and Head Coach Nick Sirianni is amped to be in the front of the room delivering the message. It is one of high expectations, digging in to attack every step along the way and to, more than anything, build on the culture that has landed his football team in the postseason in each of his first three seasons here.

Moving forward. Looking ahead. Taking nothing for granted.

"Your culture has to be reintroduced, redefined, and redemanded each and every offseason and it can't just be something that you do one time. It has to be a habit, the way you live," Sirianni told me at the NFL Annual Meeting just a few weeks ago. "You always look forward to that. It's got to be at the forefront all the time.

"Culture is what makes you a good football team. We have some new pieces and we need to bring them into the way we do things. I'm really looking forward to getting everyone together, but before that we have our work to do."

This is a step, one of many in the long journey of an NFL season. In Phase 1 of the offseason program, there are specific rules in place, all of it is voluntary, and every bit of it is taken seriously. Before we go too further into what Sirianni wants to accomplish in these next couple of months – 9 weeks plus a minicamp, here is what players are permitted to do in this first phase:

  • Two weeks in length | Limited to strength and conditioning activities ("dead ball"); only strength and conditioning coaches allowed on field
  • 90 minutes max on the field
  • Clubs can only specify 2 hours for players to be at the facility
  • Players choose the other 2 hours for weight workouts, etc.

And just to clarify what a "dead ball" activity is, here are the specifics of what players are permitted to do on the field …

  • Quarterbacks can throw to receivers with no coverage
  • Placekickers and punters can kick, but players cannot field the ball and no snappers or holders can be involved
  • Long snappers can snap into a net
  • Defensive players may not catch balls at all, regardless of who is throwing them.

Eagles players are back at the NovaCare Complex for the offseason training program. Check out the best action!

So, there is no classroom work and the on-field work is warmup stuff. That is only part of the point in this extremely critical period of time for the Eagles. They are still adding talent to the roster – that never stops – and the race is on to April 25 and the 2024 NFL Draft, where the Eagles have eight total picks and three among the top 53 selections.

Big opportunity.

And so is this get-to-know-you Phase 1 of the offseason at the NovaCare Complex, which promises to be upbeat, energetic, and purpose-filled. Those with the team in 2023 recognize what happened to end that campaign and the disappointing taste that everyone experienced. But the best players and the best teams learn from every situation.

It certainly helps to have a roster that has been infused with so much talent in these last several weeks and a coaching that has two experienced coordinators overseeing the offense (Kellen Moore) and defense (Vic Fangio).

This is a new season. A new team. Same very high goals – "a championship-caliber team," Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie said at the NFL Annual Meeting.

It is very much in motion, building for the season. And the "connection" part of the Sirianni Core Values platform is here as the NovaCare Complex fills with a developing roster and a team learning about each other.

"We're 0-0 and we're starting the building process," Sirianni said. "Getting the guys back into the building, that's fun for everyone. Hard work, but fun, and that's how we're going to approach it. Can't wait to get it started."

It's here. It's started. The 2024 Philadelphia Eagles – with more coming for the roster, of course – are together for the first time planting the seeds for growth in the season ahead.

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