It's that time of year for mandatory attendance at NFL minicamp for players and position coaches. This is also a week when the coaching staff focuses on the motivation aspect of the sport--- you know, encouraging guys to keep up their offseason conditioning and diet programs, running scout drills during practice featuring key rivals' alignments, and convincing their team to understand that every team in the NFL right now is undefeated.
And by the way, I wouldn't be surprised if this photograph ended up on the Eagles motivational bulletin board, either:
It figures... the day before mandatory minicamp, I see this photo on the front page: "Obama Honors Giants".... President Obama stands with, from left, New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin and players Zak DeOssie, Justin Tuck, and Eli Manning on the South Lawn at the White House on Friday during a ceremony honoring the Super Bowl XLVI champions.
If that photo doesn't motivate the Eagles and their fans to strive for greater results in 2012, I can't think of a better one. In his speech, Coughlin injected some political references for a president in the heart of a re-election campaign, telling his team and guests on the South Lawn that he hoped coming back to the White House “was not a twice-in-a-lifetime experience.”
“We both have a goal to get back here next year. We have a lot of work to do,” Coughlin said to cheers and a pat on the back from Obama.
“Offense, defense and special teams doing their job. Each group having different objectives and motives but playing in harmony for each other, for the good of everyone. Wouldn’t it be nice if Congress operated the same way?” Coughlin said, drawing a smile from Obama, who has frequently clashed with House Republicans.
Oh, now I'm feeling queasy. That will be Andy and Howie up there on the podium cracking jokes with the Prez...someday. Someday. Motivation.
[A quick break then I'll be back to add some more items of a motivational nature.]
Okay, I'm back--- Minicamp motivation... a nice thought. Your key offensive guys are getting paid what they want--- QB Mike Vick, RB Lesean McCoy, and WR DeSean Jackson--- check--- LG Evan Mathis set with a 5-year deal worth $25 milz, new LT Demetress Bell okay with his deal for now, RT Todd Herremans and DE Trent Cole happy with their extensions, too---check---
No contract hassles in minicamp? Priceless...
Unprecedented roster harmony, something the Eagles rarely had since, well, former team president Joe Banner came to town with then new owner Jeffrey Lurie in 1994. But with Banner having already turned over his contract negotiation duties to general manager Howie Roseman long before actually stepping away as president last week, the Eagles have managed to set the stage for a summer of extreme content. Every player is motivated to push that much harder, thanks to an atmosphere created in large part by all the business Roseman took care of in timely fashion. Slowly but surely, the total power of contract management was transferred to Roseman in the years and months that followed his promotion to GM in 2010.
The Eagles are feeling good about themselves. And they're all saying the right things:
"I felt incredibly prepared, based on the experience I had, the way that they brought me into this organization, doing the salary cap, doing contracts and doing pro personnel and doing college scouting," Roseman said. "It was obviously an opportunity I had looked for my whole career. So to be in that moment and to give me these responsibilities and also have someone here like Joe, who I can rely on and talk to, it's been incredible for me. The offseason has been a lot of fun, and now we've got to go and try to put the best team together and win games and get the excitement of this team and these fans together."
Not one player is thought to be unhappy with or nervous about his contract. Furthermore, each is convinced the team has enough to contend for the Super Bowl without any further tweaks. They only have three more days — at this week's mandatory minicamp — in which they're allowed to assemble on the field before training camp in late July. But this squad already looks and functions like the product you'd normally see in August, every player willing to push that much harder and longer for a reward they know is realistic.
"We weren't able to do this last year and it's a great thing," said tight end Brent Celek (whom I like). "I think we're all taking a little bit out of it. The offense is working on timing and the defense is able to learn the scheme better, so we're all taking something out of it."
"Joe [Banner] and I were incredibly confident about Howie and Don [Smolenski]," Lurie said, "but of course it gives you even more increased comfort that once Howie had these responsibilities that things were done extremely professionally and effectively and successfully. Honestly, between Joe and me, we had zero doubt that Howie would thrive in these roles." Neither do the players, some of whom viewed Banner as more of an adversary than an ally in times of crises. Now, at least temporarily, there is no more heavy.
"He's got a great relationship with players," Celek said. "I knew Howie before he was GM, was always friendly with him. He knows how to communicate with the guys, connect with the guys, and I think you need to be that as a GM. You need to know how to talk to your guys and just generally run the team a little bit, like he does."
Unlike last season, when the Eagles tried to do too much too soon, they are in a good place now, with a belief that everything has come together perfectly.
But here's the caveat:
Switch on Sirius NFL Radio or watch the NFL Network and you'll hear about how every NFL team is enthusiastic about their prospects for the NFL season this time of year. Players who struggled last season "feel a lot more comfortable in the system than they did last year"... "Having OTA's this year make a world of difference"... "We're light years ahead of where we were at this time last year"...
What else do you think you're going to hear this time of year? "Well, I really felt lost out there during OTA's..." or, "I feel like I have taken a step backwards in this system"... ?
Every team is undefeated right now. As always, adversity lies ahead. Meaningful team motivation should be more about how we adjust to adversity, and not so much about how good we look and feel now. I'm glad our Eagles are enjoying a feeling of satisfaction with the smoothness of operations compared to this time last year--- but I want them to become more motivated to handle adversity. I trust the coaching staff to have a better handle on that aspect of the sport's psychology than I do. The reality is: a successful OTA and minicamp Spring do not a great regular season make.
So RG3 is getting massive hype. Aside from comparisons to Vick- the "word" is he most resembles Staubach??? So evidently the skins had Outstanding OTA's.
i think RG3 could end up being really good but in there day vicks faster and has more arm....RG3 is more mature than vick was...but i still think vick is more athletic...
@Dr Funt I not tryin to knock RG, but just like our new guys (and everybody for that matter) lets maybe wait at least til preseason?
@Dr Funt @Dr I meant about Putting RG on a pedestal. Nothing wrong with analizing and/or critiquing our guys. But nobody's saying Cox is the next so-and-so or Boykin is the next this guy. Ya know?
im never going back to the dump....got banned until the 25th.....egypt goes on their n run his mouth about how crappy the site is....i defend it and thats what i get....MR CLEAN YOU SUCK!
@Dr Funt And maybe an even worse name for it is appropriate. Like land fill. Or cess pool? Compost heap? ComPOST! I like that.
@Dr Funt @Dr Maybe it's better not to. Unless you really wanna EARN that ban. Be the bigger person and all.
@Dr Funt Why? Seriously there are some clowns and I've never seen you have a bad post. Egypt comes in there and directly insults Spuds but he's not banned? WTF?
looks like i cant post at the OTI anymore....updated everything, TJ looks like this might be my new home for all my eagles news...
@Dr Funt It's about time.
You've been causing trouble at The Dump for far too long.
@Dr FuntThen it would make a bad apple badderer. But it twont never good to begin wiff.
Really bad.....super duper bad.......hella bad.....bad as a mofo.......
In the end they're all still bad.
So my judgement remains: the phrase "so-and-so is a bad apple" is hereby banned.......to be replaced by it's more logical successor : "so-and-so is an apple".
@Brozer8 what if it had worms in it, and what if those worms had aids....
@Dr FuntDon't sully his honor and rep as a fine upstandin'....just cause YOU"RE a bad apple !
Wait.......dere are no bad kiwis.
Or good apples.
I hearby BAN the saying "bad apple" on the grounds that it don't make no sense.
@beanstalk i havent said anything worse than hammy or snorpus.....
@Dr Funtnot bad.... I will just have to wait and see when we get pissed in Vancouver
@beanstalk i guess youd get your ass kicked by someone whos kinda girlie than....
lotta people online... point it down to that... and your a bit girlie....
@beanstalk i can only click refresh so many times before giving up...
@beanstalk it does until i sign in than everything goes to shit.....
@Dr Funtis the box down the bottom not coming up? thats just a glitch sometimes
@beanstalk no idea......