It started with the NFL draft. That excitement you get right around the start of preseason. That warm comforting feeling knowing football is right around the corner and every Sunday is like Christmas morning. Normally around this time of year I’m completely in tune with the baseball season. But since the Draft I have lost all interest in other sports other than football. Baseball has suddenly become boring, I’m starting to care less and less about my fantasy baseball team, and the NBA playoffs have very little affect on me. I guess my football addition has gotten to the point where nothing else seems to fill the void as football does. It’s my sports drug of choice. This year unlike others, Sunday’s still have not felt the same since football ended. I wake up with excitement that I have on a Fall Sunday, only to come to realization that it’s May and chances are I’ll be mowing the lawn instead of sitting on the couch with beers screaming at the Lions’ game.
While I’m still confident the NFL lockout will get resolved. The thing that worries about the lockout is that the players and owners will not resume talks until mid July. If the owners and players continue to disagree about the new CBA who knows how long it will go into the season. Even worse, the longer this ordeal continues more preparation time is wasted. Coaches and players haven’t had contact with each other since March, with the exception of draft week. I’m worried that the progress the Lions are making will slow to a halt if this labor issue continues past September and into late fall.
The other worry I have is that this is a very young team. Even though players are organizing team events by themselves, I worry without coaches there how much can they really accomplish other than getting in shape for the season? How can a team of young players still be expected to learn from the playbook and schemes when there is no guidance from the people who designed these systems in the first place? If they are not running the play correctly, there isn’t a coach there to make the correction.
Another question I have about no have offseason team activities, is how are coaches going to make roster decisions if there is no time to have players battle for positions? One of the reasons why offseason workouts and preseason are as long as they are is for teams to determine which players they want to keep for depth. This is especially important for the Lions who need to figure out who’s playing in their back seven on defense. They also need time to figure out depth for their linebackers and defensive backs.
I think these questions will be answered later than sooner. If the lockout goes into the late fall we may never find the answer to those questions. Once both parties agree and this labor issue is resolved, you better believe the NFL will get the season going the second the ink is signed on the agreement. So the Lions will have to get practices going on the fly, game plan on the fly, and hopefully get on the same page as a team in a short period of time. I just hope we can win on the fly and no be hindered by this labor disaster.