I almost feel bad for the amount of posts now dedicated to the 2011 NFL Lockout. On the one hand I don't want to care, but on the other hand parts of it are almost just comical. And while there is more I plan on posting about the Raiders incoming rookies, and then on possible free agent targets for Oakland, all of that information is not going to change. The lockout is the one piece of fluid news we have in the NFL landscape.
I had expected to be able to pass on some news about the Supreme Bum-Outs ruling on the permanent stay today, but I guess the panel of 8th circuiters were too busy to decide on that quite yet. Instead, we have NFL Lockout news of the more absurd/comical variety....
Apparently, coaches and players are not completely adhering to the rules of this lockout. We already talked about teams contacting undrafted free agents, but today reports have surfaced that players are in contact with assistant coaches.
Mike Freeman of CBS Sports is reporting that he is hearing from unnamed players that they are in contact with assistant coaches often. This contact is coming via phones, emails, twitter, skype, fax machines and on the astral plane (I made one of these up).
He went onto say that players have acknowledged this contact is counter to their efforts in the labor negotiations, but in the end they are focused on improving as football players. As for the owners and the NFL they have to be thrilled with this. The more the players are prepared to play football when the season starts the better the product they are invested in will be. I wouldn't expect the NFL to try and crack down on these perpetrators anytime soon.
Freeman said player's had estimated about 25 percent of all players are in contact with assistant coaches. I would fully expect the Raiders to be solidly represented among this group for several reasons. First and foremost the Raiders players play for one of the most famous player's owners in history. If these guys show a commitment to the Raiders, Al Davis is going to take care of them. So while they are not being paid now, they can be confident that their commitment to excellence is not going to go unrewarded.
As for the coaches, while there are no reports of head coaches contacting players the head coaches are most certainly advising their assistant whom to contact. Hue Jackson is an active coach, and he has a young energetic and eager staff. These guys are not going to sit on their hands and let other coaches get a jump on them.
And of course, Stefen Wisnieski's uncle is an offensive line coach, which may be the biggest key of all. The offensive line is going to need the most work of all. It is a young group in a state of flux. These guys need all the work and preparation they can get.