Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee has a comprehensive list of which teams are doing what as far as player-organized offseason workouts go. What with the work stoppage and all, there’s a lot of confusion surrounding these practices, but Barrows does a nice job summing things up.
While most teams have had solid turnouts for their informal practices, there’s a small group of teams that have barely done anything.
The Eagles, Giants, Bears, Packers, Chiefs and Steelers have either not held substantial practices at all or have had glaringly poor attendance at their practices.
Yesterday, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that just two Eagles were present for the latest session of informal player workouts in Evesham, N.J. At least quarterback Mike Kafka and receiver Jeremy Maclin were able to complement each other (two receivers would’ve made for an awkward session), but it’s still a bit odd that the media significantly outnumbered the players at yet another Philly practice.
Kafka and Maclin didn’t seem flustered by the low attendance numbers, and players on the teams mentioned above continue to insist that they’re comfortable with the idea of working out on their own. Some have even been critical of the practices taking place all around the country.
It also strikes me that all or most of the teams not holding big events are pretty good. Neither of last year’s Super Bowl teams are meeting en masse, and the Eagles, Giants and Chiefs are all playoff contenders.
Is there a cause-and-event relation between team-wide practices and success in ensuing seasons? Fans of the Washington Redskins would argue that there is. So why does it seem as though some of the league’s hardest-working teams are lazing around while the competition gets a leg up by essentially rehearsing in groups?
Maybe these teams are just smarter than their adversaries. Maybe these informal practices really are overrated. Maybe they’re mainly for show, and maybe teams like the Eagles, Packers and Steelers aren’t preoccupied with the images projected by not coming together to work out in the public eye.
In January and February, we’ll see which strategy pays off.
At least I hope we will.