Philadelphia Eagles’ safety Rodney McLeod is going online.
The 2020 season is going to be a weird one for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The pre-draft process was weird, OTAs are weird, and the entire concept of training camp as we initially knew it is going to change when team facilities open up this summer.
And apparently, the current state of the football world has also affected players’ abilities to run youth camps for kids the world over.
Fortunately, Rodney McLeod has found a unique solution to this very 2020 problem: A virtual football camp.
Initially introduced on his personal Instagram, McLeod’s latest initiative will allow young footballers aged 8-14 a chance to take part in modified, at-home versions of professional techniques and practice drills. The camp will also reportedly focus on the emotional conditions of its participants to help improve their confidence, teamwork, and overall self-esteem, which I personally believe is a wonderful idea.
And best of all, it’s free, with the first 300 kids to register getting a free shirt. How cool is that?
This is a big year for McLeod. With Nigel Bradham and Malcolm Jenkins gone, the 29-year-old free safety will be expected to take on a far more expansive leadership role both on and off the field alongside college teammate Darius Slay. He also really doesn’t have a viable backup on the roster as things presently stand, as three of the Eagles’ top four safeties – K’Von Wallace, Will Parks, and Jalen Mills – are better suited to play in the box and/or in the slot.
Marcus Epps is still technically on the roster and may still be come Week 1, but if he sees the field in place of McLeod, the Eagles’ depth is in serious trouble.
No, if the Eagles are going to take a step forward defensively in 2020 and bounce back to their 2017 form, the team is going to need stout play on the interior, sure tackling across the board, and a way to limit big-time plays down the field. Slay will certainly help with that, but McLeod is the last line of defense both literally and metaphorically.
No pressure, right?
As the regular season inches closer and closer, it’s been fascinating to see how the NFL as a whole, and the Philadelphia Eagles specifically, has adapted to our world’s current conditions. Howie Roseman has had to adapt his strategy leading up to the draft, Doug Pederson has had to develop a virtual offseason path, and every player on the roster has had to adapt their workout routine to remain physically prepared for the grueling nature of an NFL season. Even still, it’s beyond cool that Rodney McLeod found a way to still provide an educational experience for young football players the world over in these uncertain times. That deserves a ton of credit.
Want to sign up for the ‘Change Our Future’ Youth Football Camp? You can do so here.