These are troubling times in the world today. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, many people have already lost jobs, businesses, and overall lifestyles. As for sports and entertainment in general, although those come secondary to the minds of the general population, it is the primary focus of players, coaches, and executives who continue to make a living from the games.
A few weeks ago, the NFL mandated teams to remain at home, no longer able to come face-to-face with employees or players; instead only able to work from home in an attempt at some semblance of normalcy.
Much of this has already impacted people within the National Football League. New Orleans saints head coach Sean Payton contracted Covid-19 weeks ago.
Now, head coach Doug Marrone has to figure out a way to continue to keep up with and 24/7 work environment, while also maintaining the safety protocols set by himself, the league, and the United States government.
Much of this has already affected him personally. Both of Marrone’s parents currently stay at the Villages, an age-restricted community based in Central Florida. Due to mandates placed by the government amid the ongoing pandemic, there are no longer non-essential visitation privileges.
“I have been reaching out to them saying if you need anything, I can drop stuff off at the door,” Marrone told members of the local media yesterday in a video conference. “I really don’t want them out where there is a lot of contact.”
While his family is a priority at the moment, so is his football team. The inability to truly contact players face-to-face for checkups or anything of the sort has been difficult, Marrone says. With the league year officially beginning, NFL teams were slated to open up its doors to players within the building to begin their offseason workout program. That program was set to begin on April 20th. Now, there is no telling what the circumstances surrounding such date will entail.
Marrone has already reached out to several of his players for precautionary reasons, to make sure everyone is “on board” with this virus being a legitimate threat — to take it seriously. The players have been made aware on what steps to take as far as keeping up with their general health, and to contact the team if they need anything at all.
With all coaches based at home, the team has been forced to make an adjustment in working from home. Still going through tape and free agency, just in a new environment with a lot of unexpected variables at home.
“We’re getting everything prepared from a standpoint of our installations. We are getting ready to tape a lot of meetings and things of that nature, so if we are allowed to send things out to the players, they can be able to look at it at their own pace and work on their profession in a safe environment.”
The meetings, typically conducted at the team facility will now occur at home. Something new to everyone in the NFL. Marrone says the meetings will be taped as if the NFL will still allow the teams to “open” the offseason programs up in time, prepared for anything.
“Right now, we’re working on that, so this way, on April 20, if someone doesn’t tell us anything, all of the players that are under contract, we’ll shoot them all the information and meetings. There’ll be a team meeting,” said Marrone. “It’ll be exactly how we would do it as if they were here from a meeting standpoint. We’re still working on the other stuff to see what we can and cannot do from a liability standpoint and putting out workouts.”
The Jaguars will have to focus on all of these scenarios throughout their time away from the team, and the general population.
“You wake up, you go into work, you get that cup of coffee, whatever you may do. Now you find yourself having to reprogram yourself into a routine that is different at home.”