Doug Pederson spent the last month thinking about what he would say on Monday. Pederson became the Eagles' head coach on Jan. 18, but he was not allowed to meet with his full team until the offseason workout program begins on April 4.

When Pederson spoke to the players on the roster during the last two months, the encounters were informal, and they were not allowed to discuss Pederson's scheme or how a player would be used. On Monday, Pederson will have his first chance to stand in front of the 69 players under contract and make his first formal impression as head coach.

"Those are things I've really thought about this past month," Pederson said. "For me, the biggest message is just to capture the guys. Just to show them a little bit of who I am, in a small window. We have work to do that day. I'm just looking forward to getting in there and getting to meet all the guys for the first time, face-to-face, get this thing going."

The offseason program lasts two months. The Eagles were permitted two extra weeks because Pederson is a new coach. Teams with returning head coaches will not begin until April 18.

The Eagles also get an extra minicamp before the draft, which the NFL offers to teams with new coaches. That will take place from April 19 to 21 and give Pederson and the coaching staff a chance to begin installing their systems and make roster evaluations before they add rookies the following week.

"It's going to be different," Pederson said. "I remember our time in Kansas City where they were learning the offense, they were learning the defense. You want to see who can process the information, number one, but at the same time, you're just looking for those emerging leaders of your team. You're looking for the guys [who show] that effort is not going to be an issue, hustle is not going to be an issue. The evaluation process is going to be more on will they pick up the information, to be quite honest with you."

The offseason program is split into three phases. The first two weeks are limited to strength and conditioning activities. During the second phase, coaches are allowed to work with players on the field for individual drills, but there cannot be offense vs. defense training, and players cannot wear helmets.

When organized team activities begin, the team is allowed to practice together. The Eagles cannot wear pads and cannot have live contact, but they can take part in seven-on-seven, nine-on-seven, and 11-on-11 drills. The Eagles will have 10 OTA sessions.

The final part of the offseason program is the mandatory minicamp, when practices more closely resemble what they will look like when the players return for training camp.

The Eagles have OTAs May 17-19, May 24-26, May 31, and June 1-3. The mandatory minicamp is June 7-9.

"It's not until we get into the OTA phase three part that you're really going to be able to see the improvement from that first camp to those OTAs and the last camp," Pederson said. "With the way the offseason is set up with rules, it's kind of hard to really get a gauge of where everybody's at. If you're going to play bump-and-run Cover 1, well, you know what, you can't bump-and-run in the offseason. You can't be physical that way. It'll be hard, but at the same time, who can pick up the information the best?"

But the most important part of the next two months could be Pederson learning about his team and the team learning about him. There will be time during training camp and the preseason to form the best idea of who should start, who should make the roster, and who fits where in Pederson's offensive scheme and Jim Schwartz's defensive scheme. The spring is the chance for Pederson to offer a first formal impression.

"You want to have that relationship where [players] can come to you at any time," Pederson said. "I always want them to see me as someone who's played the game. Someone who understands the dynamic of the locker room. Someone who understands the dynamic of practice and what it takes to win a championship, being on Green Bay's Super Bowl teams. What it takes to get there. I want them to see those things and me."

zberman@phillynews.com

@ZBerm