The COVID-19 pandemic might have put the NFL on a hiatus, but due to modern technology Marcus Green is still deeply into preparing for next season.
Green, a North Pontotoc High School alum and receiver with the Philadelphia Eagles, has been participating in a virtual version of organized team activities or OTAs, which normally take place at team facilities.
"We are doing our workouts and meetings through Microsoft Team, which is kind of like Zoom," Green said. "We are still doing install and learning the playbook while we are away. All the players are in the meeting. Coach will be on his Ipad and pull up the main screen and we will watch film and take notes. It is just like being in the (regular) meeting room."
The Eagles' strength and conditioning coaches are sending specific workouts regiments as part of the virtual OTAs, and Green, who is splitting his time between Pontotoc and his college town of Monroe, Louisiana, is diligently training to be prepared when football starts back up.
"I am going through the workouts that they put us through and doing the things I need to do to get job done when we get back," Green said. "I've been conditioning, running like crazy, working out every day."
After a stellar career at North Pontotoc High School, Green played his college ball at Louisiana-Monroe. He became a decorated player for the Warhawks, garnering national attention over his junior and senior years. Green was named First Team All-Sun Belt at multiple positions both seasons (return specialist and all-purpose player in 2017 and receiver and all-purpose player in 2018). He was one of five finalists for the 2018 Paul Hornung Award, honoring the most versatile player in major college football, and graduated as the school's all-time leader in all-purpose yards with 5,286.
Green was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the sixth round of last year's draft. He made it all the way to final roster cuts before being waived by Atlanta. The next day he was signed to the Eagles' practice squad, where he spent all of last season.
He feels like he was able to improve significantly over the course of his rookie year.
"In Atlanta I was in a receiver room with Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Mohamed Sanu. They took me under their wing, and I learned a lot in the short time I was there through training camp and the preseason," Green said. "I got to Philly, and I was in another room with a great group of receivers- Nelson Agholor, DeSean Jackson and Alson Jeffery. Once again they just took me under their wing; I have been around a great group of guys to learn from.
"Being on the practice squad I went against the starters every day, so I felt like I was getting better and better at my game. (Defensive starters) Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby, Rasul Douglas- I saw them a lot over the course of the season. I feel like I did a great job of preparing them for Sundays."
In January Green signed a reserve/future contract with the Eagles. Whenever a semblance of normalcy returns and traditional on-field preparation for the season gets underway, he feels like he is more prepared to compete for a spot on the main roster.
"I've just got to come in confident," Green said. "Last year I put a lot of pressure on myself. I feel like I've just got to go in and be the player I know I can be. This year I think I'll be more comfortable in the offense. We've had more time to put in the plays. Hopefully by the time we get to camp I can hit the ground running."