Our own commentator emeritus GK Brizer says it best--- what you can conclude about a team's prospects for a new season based on what happens in voluntary OTA's amounts to just about nothing...
After all, it's a controlled environment with no real oppositional contact and a lot of feel-good-about-ourselves emotion in play.
Still, you can get a general feel for the willingness of the coaching staff and the players to want to get better... Heck, every team in the league wants to get better just to compete... That is a mundane realization. It is not headlines material. But a tiny bit of extra spark seems to be emanating from NovaCare Complex this week. There seems to be a palpable feeling among players participating in the OTA's that something special needs to be proven about themselves and their team in the upcoming 2012 season.
QB Mike Vick talked to interviewers after Thursday's OTA session...
Vick this week displayed a quiet confidence of a quarterback who knows he is at the top of his game and is surrounded by players who can make the same claim. He knows another season like the last one likely will get him demoted and Reid run out of town. But he seems to like the action. "It's a critical year for the coach, it's a critical year for me," Vick said. "I just feel like I got everything I need as a player. It's the first time I've been surrounded by this much talent and having a full offseason with coach Reid, which I think is going to be valuable. We're playing for it all, for our organization, not just for the coaches. It's a critical year for everybody."
That's an example of the unusual type of urgency you rarely hear or feel from a player at voluntary OTA's.
"I just never felt like this before, as much knowledge as I've been able to attain," he said. "It's only because of the coaches I have right now. And they're hard on me out on the practice field, and in the game when I miss certain throws, they're going to tell me how they feel, and I respect that. It makes me work hard ... and that's what I need to get the best out of me."
Vick still thinks about what could have been from time to time. "I tell coach Reid all the time: 'I wish you could have [brought] me here first,' " he said. "I wish he would have drafted me. But that's just an 'if.' You've got to live in the now, and I've got to take full advantage of the time that I have now."
You know, I've been covering this sport for a while now, but I have never heard such genuine emotion coming out of an OTA interview with a quarterback.
But as Brizer reminds us, "Meh...could mean nothing..."
DeSean Jackson gave a nice interview on Thursday, too. He's looking for a fresh start heading into his fifth season, in which he's announced a new goal. "Being a leader, carrying the guys with me and stepping up and being accountable," he said. "That's the biggest thing that this team needs. With myself, Vick, [WRJeremy] Maclin, [RBLeSean] McCoy, [TEBrent] Celek, as far as the offense goes, it starts there first and foremost. We have to go out there and help our defense out by going out and scoring as many points as possible."
"As long as we're able to do that and lead as leaders and everybody watches us and follows along, it doesn't have to be any screaming and yelling or anything. ... As long as we can lead by example and we're going out there and showing the young guys what to do out there, everyone else will follow."
Seeing as Peanut has no axe to grind this year regarding contractual matters, I tend to take his words seriously.
Still, nothing really matters until the hard contact with reality in July. Until then, Organized Team Activities or OTA’s are an essential element to build the foundation of a cohesive football team. Coaches use OTA’s and Training Camp to ensure every player on their team gets on the same page. That way they have the opportunity to jell and are prepared for the start of the regular season in September. Most teams encourage their players to attend these workouts. The term "voluntary" is used very loosely around NovaCare Complex. Eagles players know they had better be in attendance at the off-season conditioning workouts if they want to keep their job. Usually, every member of the roster has some kind of workout bonus in his contract, too, so it makes financial sense to attend.
The rules for OTA's have been stretched and broken more than a few times by aggressively eager head coaches. An instance of this happened in 2005, when the Eagles lost a week of Spring practices for letting several players train before the off-season starting date that the club had sent to the league.
According to the CBA, No Contact is allowed at any time during OTA’s. However, we all know most coaches and teams will push that envelope. In almost all of these practices, pads are not used, but there is always jostling and pushing as teams try to figure out who is close to mid-season form. A couple of years back, Detroit Lions head coach Rod Marinelli was singled out because his rough approach in OTA’s was not well received by many of his own players. The Lions lost two days of OTA’s after a lineman filed a grievance with the NFLPA alleging that the team held contact drills at a minicamp.
Which brings us to the question, do NFL off-season programs have value?
Players will tell you four days a week at the facility are dry, boring and, most of the time, a nuisance to the off-season lifestyle of an NFL athlete. Some of the drills seem pointless. But there is a purpose to everything a team does on the field. There has to be, as practice time is precious.
If you talk to an NFL coach about off-season programs, they will tell you that attendance is crucial not only to the success of his team but the final roster as well. You show a coach that you don’t care about the development of the team in March, April and May, and you make it easier for him to cut you loose in August.
The OTA weight-room work and the on-field conditioning — plus speed work — is pretty standard and not up to par with what these players are used to from their college strength programs or their personal off-season trainers. And players do not feel they’re getting the best workout possible.
But the work in the meeting rooms, with your teammates in the film room and the on-the-field drill work is invaluable... Having the time to self-scout yourself... The time to get together with your position group in the film room and study divisional opponents... The time to really understand tendencies and what to expect from certain coordinators... That doesn’t happen during the season, when there’s no time to relax, and no time to study.
Quarterbacks throwing to receivers, defensive backs working on their footwork and so on... The work that can be done together with your teammates in the spring does carry over to the regular season, to the benefit of the entire team.
Fines are a tactic used by teams to motivate players to attend mandatory OTA’s. The only catch with this is, it's only effective if a player is currently under contract. Of course if you have a job, you are expected to show up for work. Happiness has never been in the job description of a pro athlete, but then again, they aren't in it for their health. It's all about the Benjamin's. When you talk about a couple thousand dollars in fines to a guy making millions, it may not get his attention.
Anyway, that's a quick portrait of both the sublime and the mundane aspects of OTA's... and I'm happy to say my initial impression from May 2012 is the Birds are leaning toward the sublime.
Interesting administrative changes: The Eagles on Thursday announced they had finalized their football operations staff for 2012 with the hiring of Tom Donahoe as senior football advisor, Ed Marynowitz (assistant director of pro scouting), Jake Hallum (senior scout), John Middlekauff (West Coast area scout), Dan Hatman (pro scout), Alec Halaby (special assistant to the general manager) and Jake Rosenberg (manager of football administration).
Donahoe was director of football operations for the Steelers from 1991-99 and general manager of the Buffalo Bills from 2001-05. Hmmmm....
Final note: Since I brought it up, I should clear the air about the Brylcreem vs. Vitalis controversy brewing on the Bored...
It was first advertised on TV by the jingle "Brylcreem — A Little Dab'll Do Ya!".... Lyrics for the Brylcreem jingle:
- Bryl-creem, a little dab'll do ya,
- Use more, only if you dare,
- But watch out,
- The gals will all pursue ya,--
- They'll love to put their fingers through your hair.
The other thing that crosses my mind in all this is that if I stay, I actually have a chance to really make a difference. Like REALLY contribute to the success/failure of the company. Essentially controlling the fate/destiny of the 43k worth of stock.
The company is already poised to make some loot over the next 20 years. When the economy first shit the bed REAL BAD they had chunk of dough in the bank. And because they had been pretty smart with their money(all their heavy equipment,Tractors, dump trucks, pick up trucks, etc) were all paid for already, so they dropped a good amount of cash on some really good bargains on land around the area. If/when the economy comes back to anywhere near it once was and development ever picks up again they are set to cash in big time. All in all I think they own something like 350 acres, a lot of it just off the grid but in the path of where major development was taking place.
Anyway, I suppose a long but fruitful day has come to an end here in nickelodeon hotel resort in Orlando. Kenny must rest, for the day started at 4am after only a 3 hr sleep. Tomorrow awaits, with a visit to the "other " outlet mall somewhere in our schedule. I will be a man about it and even enjoy it in the knowledge that it will buy me much cherished credits in this marriage institution .........and of course the kids and their desire for sea world.....ain't gonna do that
@Kenemeka Good man Kene! Living the lampoon american dream!
See at first I was certain I wanted to move on, but the more I think about it, I have SOOOOO much freedom its ridiculous. And as I mentioned, where I am at right now I am THE MAN. Course I'm in a much smaller market than the new place. If my success carried over who knows where it could take me.
@Spiffo 33 years young.
OK, then I'd say where do you want to be in 5-10 years? Do you want to be doing the same thing? Or do you see yourself owning the company or at least running it? See, if you stay where you are, you are building that trust with the company and will probably run it someday. If you move you have a greater oportunity for bigger success, but also greater oportunity for mistakes and/or setbacks. At 33 yo, you are at the tipping point where you start needing more stability in your job...
@Spiffo with 3 mouths to feed. and no of course i aint counting my wife. she can fend for herself!
Well, eventually the ownership of my current employer has visions of me taking the company over. So it is/will be whatever I wanted to make it.
Possible problems: new environment to take on, punch in, punch out, follow so and so's protocol vs doing my own thing and on my own schedule, 1 hour commute vs 15 mins, totally leave my comfort zone.
Well I told my current boss about the offer and he countered. He didn't offer me as much per year salary. He countered with an approx 10k/year bump, brand new work truck/vehicle, an immediate cash bonus of 10k, like 10k in my hand, after taxes, and about 40k worth of stock in the company.
Hudson))) I worked in Lafayette for about 2 yrs. it was about 45 mins to an hour journey each way.....throw in the inevitable speeding tickets. The real answer will be , what is your ultimate goal. If this new position gets you anywhere nearer that, then that's what you should do....... A means to an end
The company is considerably larger, does larger projects, much more recognizable, big time, etc etc. (I would just be another number, vs being the MAN where I work), so the career move would be 15k+ more per year, better bene's, more likely a chance to be recognized and picked up by an even bigger firm sometime down the road if I can sustain the kind of success rate I have enjoyed over the last year or two.
(to be cont)
Sooooo... I need some help from the collective wisdom of the bored... Or at least hear some other peoples ideas. This might carry on for a while.. So in case anyone missed my posts where i said that a headhunter found me and is doing everything he can to place me at this MUCH bigger outfit about 45 miles south of here, the initial bump in salary would be something like 15k/year, much better benefits, etc. BUT until we moved closer you have to take into account that I would be on the road for approx 1 hour morning and 1 hour night and also the spent fuel and maintenance on the vehicle.
(to be cont)
I guess you are kind of curious as to who I am, but I am one of those who do not have a regular name. My name depends on you. Just call me whatever is in your mind. If you are thinking about something that happened a long time ago: Somebody asked you a question and you did not know the answer.That is my name. Perhaps it was raining very hard....That is my name. Or somebody wanted you to do something. You did it. Then they told you what you did was wrong—“Sorry for the mistake,”—and you had to do something else.That is my name...........Nite ladies.
@briview soooo... if a priest is molesting a little boy, that's your name? if crack whore is giving $5 BJs, that's your name too? if tartuffle is shaving his sheeps ass to get ready for bed, that's your name? what about if a soldier in Iraq steps on an IED, that's your name? you're a sick fucker, you know?
Bri....this whole "we're all one person"-game we were playing is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo 7 minutes ago !
What's next....MembersOnly jackets ? As if !
I just watched an animated version of astonishing xmen. Its titled "dangerous" it was written by joss weadon (avengers director) i read the comic version of it and its fantastic. I recomended it to ppw (or go green, cant remember) but its a fantastic story and the arc only gets better. Just an fyi.
@fieldsr69Fields....you're my boy.....but that's the most nerd-O post ever.
Well. I'm tired of this. I'm leaving !
This weekend....I plan on re-inventing the meaning of laziness.
Every Memorial day weekend....there is either a Godfadder marathon.....or a Star Wars marathon. I'll plop down on me sofa........wiff plenty of carb-loaded food to sustain my inactivity....and wartch about 8 straight hours of one or the other.....come saturday or sunday !
....all these Eagle zombies in here....slurping up Loops KoolAide slop. I sure hope the bad old Giants don't win another Superbowl, now that Jason Pierre Paul wll be getting 30 sacks per season.
Well...it's martini time soon. As an appy....Spiffo Liver Soup.
Life is good. Thank you g*d !
Spiffo....Broz here..............quick question: I have 20 rolls of duct tape and two bottles of chloroform in my car.
This is going to be great ! WHOOZWIFFME ?!?!