View Full Version : Veteran teams like the Steelers could have an advantage if the lockout continues

05-22-2011, 01:37 AM
If no one holds spring practice, everyone is on equal footing
There's nothing wrong with football in the spring. There wasn't any for years when I first covered the team for the PG, starting in 1985. There was a rookie minicamp shortly after the draft, and then nothing until Chuck Noll held his one-week minicamp starting Memorial Day. Many players didn't even lift weights at the "facility,'' which was then known as Three Rivers Stadium.

Bill Cowher changed much of that with an off-season program, but even he was later than others in holding practices in the spring. The union got involved trying to regulate those practices and the number that teams were permitted to hold in the spring. It wasn't that long ago that the media in Pittsburgh paid little attention to those practices, too. It's been only within the past five years or so that those spring practices became a must-see for the media in Pittsburgh, and they are covered nearly as well as the practices in September.

The reason the spring practices evolved over the past 20 years or so can be laid at the feet of keeping up with the Joneses. After a couple of teams started doing it, others worried that the teams that were practicing were gaining an advantage, and there is nothing a football coach hates more than another team gaining an edge. So, they all started doing it.

Therefore, if none of them can do it, no one gains an advantage and the absence of spring football will mean nothing except to those young players trying to make the team. Some rookies drafted later and those not drafted at all will find it more difficult, but that will benefit some fringe veterans who otherwise might have lost their jobs to those rookies. The employment number among players in the NFL won't dip, but the age of those filling the jobs might change.

Under such circumstances, a team with as stable and veteran a lineup as the Steelers might gain an advantage during a longer lockout. The real danger for all involved is that if there is no spring football and no movement in negotiations, fall football is threatened and then everyone loses ---- except those other sports competing with the NFL in the fall and other activities Americans discover during any pro football darkness.

Full Article: (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11142/1148046-66-0.stm?cmpid=steelers.xml#ixzz1N3ZJ2rud)

I can kind of see Ed's comments here, not having as many offseason sessions means the young teams, teams with a new Head Coach or installing new systems will be a disadvantage from a preparation standpoint. Still though, it hurts everyone to some degree.

However the young guys are the ones that lose out the most in a situation like this.

Phenomenal TJ
05-22-2011, 01:43 AM
I've said it all along and will say it again, the rookies lose the most, because they don't have the chance to learn their playbook before being thrust in the fire. Teams in the lower half of the draft are getting burned by this lockout, because they're depending on their rookies to make an immediate impact, especially the skill position guys.

This lockout could ruin Cam Newton's career before it's even begun. He's already behind in terms of reading defenses and being comfortable under center, and without being able to peruse a playbook or take snaps, he's in for a long, long road ahead this season. Especially since the rumors are already surfacing that he'll be starting.

05-22-2011, 09:42 AM
You have to feel bad for all of this year class but especially the lower tier draftees who would already find it hard to make an NFL roster. These poor dudes are already behind the 8 ball as it is being late round picks but now their chances are possibly cut nearly in half.

On the flip side, the veterans on the fringe could be more safe as Ed Bouchette mentioned, or teams might decide to take a chance on a guy they normally wouldn't and you end up losing out on a decent backup for possibly a bust.