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Packers will finish virtual offseason program one week before NFL’s extended deadline

Matt LaFleur revealed that the team will not take full advantage of the two-week extension that the NFL approved.

Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

A few weeks ago, the NFL announced that teams would receive an extra two-week window to continue their virtual offseason instruction programs. While the league initially was planning to allow teams only to conduct virtual meetings through the end of the normal minicamp window — ending June 12th — the league gave teams until June 26th to keep working, if they so chose.

The Green Bay Packers took advantage of some of that window to finish up their instruction, but will end up using only one of the extra two weeks. In an interview with Larry McCarren of Packers.com, head coach Matt LaFleur discussed the team’s plans to conclude their virtual offseason by June 19th, the end of this week.

“We’ve pretty much wrapped it up,” LaFleur said of the program. “For the most part, the rest of this week is just review with the guys and (then) they’re on their own until we get to camp.”

An extra week of recap should allow the team and its coaching staff some additional time to reinforce the broader themes of the offensive and defensive schemes and to answer any lingering questions that the players have. Given the league’s late announcement about the extension, which came just one day before the original June 12 end date, the team had probably already planned to finish out the instruction at that time.

LaFleur enjoyed this unusual offseason format, however, and it sounds like the Packers’ players largely did as well. “It gave us a chance for these players to learn the system at their own pace,” LaFleur said, before complimenting both his staff and his players. “It’s a credit to our coaches, it’s a credit to our players, how attentive they were. We had great communication throughout and I really do think our guys got a lot out of this.”

Starting Friday, the view ahead will be towards training camp. However, the league has not clarified when camps may begin, in large part due to continuing uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although dates for camp are still yet to be determined, the team’s expectations for the players are clear: keep yourself ready to go at all times. LaFleur alluded to this when discussing the team’s overall expectations for the whole offseason, saying priority number one was “take care of your bodies — come back for training camp in the best possible shape.”

Hopefully the players did just that and coronavirus numbers will allow camps to start on time in late July. If not, expect the preseason to be cut back to two games.