The NFL already has announced a virtual draft. Virtual offseason programs seem a certainty, too.
As offseason programs were set to begin Monday for the five teams with new head coaches, the NFL and NFLPA still are trying to figure out how to proceed with team facilities closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A virtual offseason program would allow strength-and-conditioning coaches to build and oversee workouts, head coaches to hold team meetings and assistants to conduct classroom instruction remotely.
“It’s something that we’ve talked a lot about at the league level,” Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy, a member of the Competition Committee, told Larry MCCarren of packers.com. “Times like this, you’ve got to be very flexible. Obviously, you want to have some semblance of an offseason. What a virtual program might look like would be starting off, strength coaches putting up [information] on Zoom and talking and making presentations to players on what the workouts should look like and having one-on-one meetings with players.
“[Also] position coaches sitting down, maybe going through video and talking about some of the plays. It’s certainly going to be very different.”
Murphy acknowledged questions remain, including a timeline of when the offseason workout programs might begin. Players, though, can begin studying on their own.
According to the Associated Press, “teams may provide players with playbooks and video on iPads, Microsoft Surface tablets, or other similar type units for voluntary use by the player away from the team facility. The video may include coaching or instructional voice-overs or audio content; superimposed diagrams; schematics; or written commentary.”