ALPHARETTA - The hope around the NFL is that this coming season will look a lot more normal than last year's did. The current offseason, however, is a different story.
"We just try to work the best we can, work around what we can," said private defensive backs coach and trainer Oliver Davis, II. "Keep working. They've got to play, they gotta eat, they gotta make money. We do what we can."
Davis, who runs Sweet Feet Sports Performance, may be busier than normal these days. He always works with pros during their time away from team facilities, but this year, that looks like it will last quite a bit longer.
So far, players from about 20 teams -- including the Atlanta Falcons -- have put out statements through the NFL Players Association saying some or all of those teams' players will not participate in voluntary offseason workouts at team facilities as a COVID-19 precaution.
We spoke to Davis before these statements started coming out, but he was already planning ahead in case this offseason started to look more like last year, where players were largely held out of club facilities until training camp.
"The coaches send them stuff to do, stuff to work on, like last offseason," said Davis. "We were communicating with coaches, we were virtual, we would send it back and forth to the coaches."
One of the players working at a recent session with Davis in Alpharetta was Kindle Vildor, a defensive back for the Chicago Bears and former standout at North Clayton High School and Georgia Southern. Vildor is getting ready for his second season in Chicago, and says in addition to the on-field work, he finds value in building a network of players at his position around the league.
"Even when we go back to our teams, we hit each other up," said Vildor. "We play the teams they play, ask how you defend players, it's a big bond."