NFL fans everywhere are preparing for a lockout when the collective bargaining agreement expires on March 3. It seems the prognostication of doom and gloom far outweighs those that predict a clean resolution. Lions beat writer Tom Kowalski paints a particularly grim picture in today’s article on Mlive.com.
A lockout would prevent any player from showing up at a team facility for off-season workouts but don’t think players around the league would be treating that as some sort of unplanned vacation. No, true team leaders will be organizing their own workouts and reports are starting to circulate about who is making such plans.
“Hopefully the CBA gets resolved,” Freeman said, “but if it doesn’t, I’ve already been in contact with all of our receivers and everybody’s excited to come (to Tampa) in March and get going.
“We’re going to hit up a couple of the local high schools here and work out that way. Hopefully, they’ll let us use their weight room or whatever it is we need, because we’re anxious to get going.”
”Coming off a good season for us, one that we need to be able to build off, to not be able to have the off-season and the time to be in there with your teammates working out and building the team chemistry by being together on a consistent basis, it’s going to be a little bit of a different off-season for us.”
Will Lions players take it upon themselves to get some work in while they wait for work to officially begin? It remains to be seen but their action, or inaction, will tell a lot about the players on the roster and where the team is headed going forward. It takes someone with initiative to pull a group of guys together, someone that commands the respect of his peers.
Will Matthew Stafford look to gather his offensive players together? Will his recovering shoulder be an excuse to stay off on his own or a chance to show he is fully invested in the team despite not being able to throw this early in the off-season?
The next few weeks will provide an opportunity for someone to stand up and prove they are a team leader. It’s not about words, it’s about action and Lions players can’t afford to not be active while the labor situation remains in limbo. There are already players on other teams that are willing to do what it takes to hit the ground running when a new CBA is in place. Someone on the Lions needs to step up.