New Giants inside linebacker Blake Martinez would obviously love to be in East Rutherford, signing the new $30.75 million contract he agreed to with the team during NFL free agency.
But, instead of the introductions to the front office and coaches, Martinez had to do everything virtually -- just like his introduction to the New York media on Monday.
Martinez joined a conference call to explain that he had to talk to new head coach Joe Judge and a familiar face in defensive coordinator Patrick Graham over the phone. This is the first time Martinez has ever done anything like this being that it is his first time being a free agent and joining a new team after four years in Green Bay.
"They were able to send over an iPad that only had the games from last year," Martinez said. "No playbook or anything yet because I don't think they're allowed to send stuff over yet or whatever the ruling is for that."
It's also hard to connect with teammates in these times when social distancing is the norm. That's another major part about joining a new team: building camaraderie right away so that team chemistry on the field comes sooner rather than later.
For Martinez in particular, this is crucial because he is taking over Alec Ogletree's position in the middle of the defense. And there's a very good chance that he'll be calling the plays as well. So he said he'll definitely be finding a way to reach out to his teammates instead of waiting for the time when everyone can return to the facility.
"Oh yeah, 100 percent," he said when asked if he will be reaching out. "Just use interesting ways to have fun and interact."
In the meantime, though, Martinez is preparing to study his new playbook -- whenever he's allowed to get it -- over video conferencing. It may be tough to learn a new scheme without being in person, but lucky for him, it's something that he is actually used to.
"At Stanford, we did a lot of [video conferencing], so I kinda have an understanding of how I thrive while learning through that," Martinez said. "Still be weird to not be obviously sitting in the same room, get to know each other that way. But it's one of the things you kinda make the most of it."
So, while this is an exciting time for the 26-year-old, it is also bittersweet knowing he can't make the starting steps in his new life here in New York. In time, it'll happen. But right now, he'll continue his offseason workout regimen and wait for what's to come.
"So just kinda in limbo right now," he said. "Just working out, those types of things and waiting for the next steps with the virus protocol of what we're allowed to do whether it's meetings with coaches or things like that.
"Excited to be a Giant. Can't wait to get over there."