An NFL lockout will certainly hurt the fans but how much will it hurt the teams in terms of their performance when play resumes?
A lockout would come just as it seems the Lions are poised to take a major step forward. That would be a punch in the gut but they still have a lot going for them that will help to minimize the impacts of a lockout. The biggest issue plaguing the Lions has been consistency, something they will have a hard time developing during a lockout. While that will be an issue for the Lions, it pales in comparison to some of hurdles other organizations will have to overcome.
Think about it; the excitement surrounding the Lions is more about what is already in place rather than the next top draft pick or a sexy free agent signing. Their coaching staff is in place and showed enough last year to suggest the Lions coaching carousel is screeching to a halt. The lockout will be bad news but the good news is that all those things we are so excited about will still be there when the labor situation is resolved.
NBCsports.com’s Gregg Rosenthal took a look at each NFL team and ranked them from one to 32 in terms of much a lengthy lockout would hurt that particular organization. He puts the Lions a couple spots on the good side of the middle, 18th to be exact. Here is what Rosenthal had to say about the impacts of a lockout on the Lions:
Well, quarterback Matthew Stafford probably wouldn’t be healthy enough to practice much anyway. Detroit would like to be active in free agency, but a lockout wouldn’t be crushing for Jim Schwartz’s program.
Rosenthal may be overestimating the Lions’ desire to be players in the free agent market considering what we have been reading locally for some time. That being said, there is a tacet acknowledgment that the Lions plan is already in place in the simplicity of Rosenthal’s explanation.
Let’s juxtapose the Lions situation with the mess the Cleveland Browns find themselves in. Gregg Rosenthal ranked the Browns as the third most hindered by a lockout with the following summary:
Browns football czar Mike Holmgren will pay for delaying the end of the Eric Mangini era. Presumptive starting quarterback Colt McCoy won’t get to learn his new scheme and the defensive players don’t fit the team’s new 3-4 defense. With a first-time coach in Pat Shurmur, it’s like they are starting all over again.
The Lions put the building blocks in place over the last two years while the Browns are just beginning that process (again). Some teams will be able to hit the ground running once labor peace reigns again. Others could find themselves under the gun to pull off an entire off-season’s worth of work in a matter of weeks if this lingers for longer than anyone would like.
Take a look at the full rankings by clicking the thumbnail below: