As we continue to adapt to a world that’s doing its best to keeping a safe social distance and staying at home, the NFL is also making the necessary changes to keep the wheels of football turning. Next week, teams will undergo the 2020 NFL Draft in a virtual fashion. General managers and head coaches, like you and me, will be working from home, making big-time decisions for their franchises through videoconference apps. But that’s not everything that’s changing in the league.
As you know, we’re getting close to the time of year when teams start their offseason programs. But things are different right now. NFL facilities are closed. Coaches can’t physically meet with players. So, the players that make up the league will also have to attend “home school.”
In order to be consistent with the authorities’ regulations, offseason programs and workouts will be conducted virtually. This includes hitting the whiteboard and conditioning. Four days a week, teams will be able to conduct four-hour sessions (two hours devoted to classroom work and the other two to strength and conditioning).
Players will be paid for attending and these virtual training sessions will count toward them getting their bonuses.
Every year, teams with new head coaches are given the benefit of starting offseason training earlier than teams with returning head coaches. This year, despite many things being so different, it’ll be the same.
That means the Dallas Cowboys, thanks to the arrival of HC Mike McCarthy, will be able to begin their programs earlier. While most NFL teams will be able to conduct these virtual training sessions for three weeks, the Cowboys will get an additional plus the option of holding a virtual minicamp.
As things stand right now, these online workouts will continue until May 15, when the NFL will reevaluate the possibility of reopening team facilities. If they can’t, teams will continue to work virtually through June 26.
It’ll be an interesting year for coaching. Preparation is everything in the NFL, and now that conditions are way different for everyone, there’s a huge opportunity many coaches can outsmart the others. For teams with a new head coach, things might get a little bit more complicated as they try to install a new culture in a new team.