Despite a vote of confidence from Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie in the offseason, Andy Reid can ill afford another flop out of the gate.
On Thursday, the 14th-year Eagles coach, who played at Glendale Community College, wrapped up nine weeks of offseason workouts with a three-day mandatory minicamp that represented the team's first chance to ensure the calamity of 2011-12 doesn't reoccur.
"I love the energy and mindset right now," Reid told the Washington Post. "For nine weeks, these guys have been coming in here and grinding it. I want that to carry over to training camp."
Wilting under the glaring expectations of their self-applied "Dream Team" tag after beefing up the roster with talent via trades and free-agent acquisitions, the Eagles' tepid 8-8 finish was actually seen as a glimmer of hope when compared to the 4-8 start that preceded it.
The hope now for Reid's bunch is to resemble the Eagles that are currently on a four-game winning streak rather than the group that lost four in a row beginning in Week Two last season. It will take some work, as the Eagles won't have the luxury of using this year's training camp to get in shape as they did in the wake of last offseason's lockout.
During the minicamp, Reid looked to lay the groundwork for the start of training camp at Lehigh University on July 22. Reid told philadelphiaeagles.com he is going to run heavy practices in the afternoon following a morning of hydration, learning on the practice field with a walk-through, making sure the players have two meals in them and some classroom work.
"These last three days were all set up so that when we hit Lehigh, we hit Lehigh running," Reid said in comments to the media in a video posted on philadelphiaeagles.com. "[We did] as much as we could with the type of schedule, with the walk-through in the morning and then the practice in the afternoon."
Between Thursday and the start of training camp, veteran players can lift weights, but cannot do on-field activities, as per the collective bargaining agreement. Rookies, however, will reconvene next week to lift and drill on the field.
"This is going to be a tough training camp for them," Reid said of his players to the Washington Post. "I've talked to the team about that. It's going to be a demanding training camp, and from now until we get up there, they need to keep themselves in the shape that they're in right now."