The NFL delayed the start of the offseason training program while working on alternative plans with the NFLPA | Instant News


The NFL is delaying the start of the offseason training program while formulating plans with the NFL Players Association on how to proceed during the coronavirus pandemic.

At least for now, NFL coaches will not be allowed to communicate with players via video conferencing.

Usually, Monday will mark the start of a nine-week offseason training program for five NFL teams with new head coaches – Carolina, Dallas, Washington, Cleveland and New York Giants – to start participating in conditioning exercises and light training. However, because of COVID-19, players are not permitted to be in team facilities while social distance standards remain in effect throughout the country.

It is hoped that the teams will start meeting Monday via video conference. But the NFL told the team on Friday that they would be told once the league and the NFLPA set the earliest possible scope and date when they could start their offseason training program.

In particular, the league is discussing possible revisions to an offseason training program that will allow the team to carry out classroom instructions, exercises and non-soccer education programs virtually while the team’s facilities remain closed.

“We are still waiting for the league to tell us when it starts,” said Panthers general manager Marty Hurney in a conference call on Monday. “We don’t have a date yet.”

Meanwhile, the team can provide players with manuals and videos on iPad, Microsoft Surface tablets or other similar units for voluntary use by players who are far from team facilities. Videos can include training or instructional or instructional content; superimposed diagram; scheme; or written commentary.

That will give the players at least some initial preparation for next season.

For teams like Carolina, there is a lot of work to do with new coaching staff, new quarterbacks and new handbooks.

Hurney said the Carolina staff worked tirelessly preparing for the coming weeks and months while doing everything possible to establish effective lines of communication between players and coaches who had been given OK.

“We have worked hard to get ready when we get the green light and have a video conference with our players,” Hurney said. “But now this is very similar to getting into the draft – we are getting ready for all the scenarios and waiting to see when we can move forward.”

In Cleveland, new coach Kevin Stefanski is ready to start a new era.

The Browns haven’t made a playoff since 2002, and Stefanski really wants to change it. But like everyone else in the league he has to wait, preparing a different scenario for his team for this season.

“We are trying to think about this and hit it from every angle, while waiting for the rules and structures agreed by the NFL and NFLPA,” Stefanski said. “… Is this a virtual classroom? We are ready for it, but we don’t know exactly how it will go down.”

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