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NFL warning coaches not to talk to players during lockout

Although the NFL is downplaying the significance of today’s big meeting with all 32 head coaches and general managers, the league office does have an important message for the bigwigs who run every team: Once the lockout starts, cut off all contact with players.

Last month Charley Casserly of CBS, who was a Redskins executive during the 1982 and 1987 players’ strikes, pointed out that there was sure to be some contact between coaches and players during the looming 2011 lockout. Casserly also noted that such contact would be cheating, and the league would discipline the involved coaches.

Today Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported that coaches and executives will be reminded at today’s meeting that they’re not allowed to have any contact with players once the lockout starts. And Mortensen said coaches will be threatened with fines, forfeiture of draft picks and other discipline for breaking that strict rule.

We find it hard to believe that every coach will obey that strict directive. Surely, some individual coaches who have close relationships with some individual players will stay in contact during the lockout, and hope the league office doesn’t find out.

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30 Responses to “NFL warning coaches not to talk to players during lockout”
  1. anonymouslyanonymouscommentor says: Feb 24, 2011 1:21 PM

    How can the NFL dictate this? Why?

  2. anonymouslyanonymouscommentor says: Feb 24, 2011 1:23 PM

    On second thought, teams should just fire their coaches and re-hire them later. Not like they couldn’t still do everything they did before, Isiah Thomas style.

  3. burntorangehorn says: Feb 24, 2011 1:25 PM

    Do they have to de-friend them on Facebook?

  4. medialovesthecowboys says: Feb 24, 2011 1:28 PM

    Will players and coaches be sent to their rooms without dinner, or told to go into a corner, if they do?

    Seriously, nothing but a restraining order should govern whether two adults can talk to one another. I understand there are rules and stipulations, but too often in this country we lose sight of the big picture. You KNOW the league is going to be more concerned with this, then an actual deal getting done.

    Then Goodell after fining a team, player, or coach, will come on TV saying we made sure all teams abide by the rules, so that we could preserve the integrity of the game, and ultimately for the benefit of our fans blah blah blah…

    Anyone else tired of this?

  5. ficklebystander says: Feb 24, 2011 1:29 PM

    I thought this was all between the owners and the players. Everyone in the league loves to separate the ‘business’ side from the ‘football’ side. (i.e. “It was a business decision, thats why we traded him,” etc.). So, this lockout thing is a business side issue. Let the coaches and GM’s carry on as much business as usual as they can. Let them talk to the players, meet with players, even run minicamps with the players.

  6. chargerdillon says: Feb 24, 2011 1:34 PM

    Yah because we know how often NFL coaches follow the rules…

  7. 7370355q says: Feb 24, 2011 1:38 PM

    Smith, Why are you so certain a lockout will occur and not an impasse?

  8. norcaleagles says: Feb 24, 2011 1:38 PM

    I dont get this. I could understand not being able to talk to other teams’ players, but your own?? I think thats a little too much.

  9. Jon DiPietro says: Feb 24, 2011 1:39 PM

    “We find it hard to believe that every coach will obey that strict directive.”

    Surely, you jest. We all know that the only team in the history of professional sports ever to have cheated is the New England Patriots. None of these other fine, upstanding, choir member, pure as the driven snow franchises would ever, ever, ever consider bending the rules.

  10. conquerpeace4d says: Feb 24, 2011 1:41 PM

    So Tom Coughlin can’t have any contact with his son in law Chris Snee?

  11. papasmurfbell says: Feb 24, 2011 1:44 PM

    Just devil’s advocate but what if a player and coach are at the same event. They do run in the same circles.

  12. bengalobserver says: Feb 24, 2011 1:45 PM

    MDS – So, being a Bengals observer (fanhood must be earned), I’m very familiar with holdouts. If the Bengals draft say, a Quarterback, and want to work with him in the offeseason learning Jay Gruden’s new system, what’s to stop them from just not signing him until sometime late in the summer? If he’s not their player, then does this get around this stipulation? I’m unclear on what rules would still apply regarding rookies if there is no presence of a CBA. Early picks signing late or holding out would be SOP for this team, but in this case, could it work in their favor?

  13. steelergold says: Feb 24, 2011 1:46 PM

    I’m sure Belichick has his “burn phone” all ready.

  14. kd75 says: Feb 24, 2011 1:47 PM

    Does this mean that Tom Coughlin can’t talk to his son-in-law?

    If Chris Snee has a July 4th BBQ, Coughlin can’t attend to play with his daughter and his grandkid because of the lockout?

  15. rolandsloan says: Feb 24, 2011 1:47 PM

    These are people we are talking about. And remember, “people who NEED people are the luckiest people of them all”.

  16. ndomination says: Feb 24, 2011 1:48 PM

    *George Lopez Voice* “I cannot talk-e to moush to you”.

  17. asanab76 says: Feb 24, 2011 2:01 PM

    I guess they have to unfollow them on Twitter to? What if they take thing personal?

  18. tantrim says: Feb 24, 2011 2:03 PM

    Without supervision I would expect at least 35% of the players to be arrested for assorted crimes and arrested so without no one to bail them out they will eventually be supervised in jail.

  19. tucknrolle says: Feb 24, 2011 2:04 PM

    This is all getting way too real. I really hope they get a deal done soon.

  20. papasmurfbell says: Feb 24, 2011 2:08 PM

    I doubt that would be allowed. A player that has been drafted can be hit with conduct policy violation even if not signed.

    Guys at the Combine will be drug tested. If a guy fails he is in the substance abuse policy for the NFL.

  21. east96st says: Feb 24, 2011 2:12 PM

    This will be obeyed with all the regularity of no beer on the beach, no jaywalking, and no lying on your taxes. I guess we can all expect that when this disaster ends all 32 coaches will be fined and most of the owners will pick up the tab. If they go after draft picks, I guess an entire round will disappear from the following year’s draft. Once again, the NFL proves stupidity gets you a corner office and a six figure salary.

  22. whatchutalkinabouthillis says: Feb 24, 2011 2:13 PM

    So Mike Singletary can’t talk to his son in law (OJ Atogwe) at the wedding? This whole thing is just getting stupider by the minute.

  23. tifosi73 says: Feb 24, 2011 2:33 PM

    I’m sure coaches could talk to dads and have them run the workouts.

  24. kevinfromphilly says: Feb 24, 2011 2:48 PM

    “So Tom Coughlin can’t have any contact with his son in law Chris Snee?”

    Hey, maybe Snee would enjoy not getting yelled at by his red faced Father -in – law.

  25. scotchrocks says: Feb 24, 2011 3:03 PM


    Once drafted a player is the property of whatever team drafted him, so not signing doesn’t get around the mandate.

  26. habsman says: Feb 24, 2011 3:24 PM

    As a former employee of the NY Jets, Roger Goodell has mandated that only Rex Ryan will be permitted to talk to his players.

  27. gunnyd says: Feb 24, 2011 4:16 PM

    Oh yes…..Jerry “I’ll sell 800 seats that aren’t ready to break the all time Super Bowl attendance record” Jones will certainly abide by the NFL rules and not have contact with his players. Jason Garrett may obey the NFL edict, but not Jerry “I AM the NFL” Jones. He thinks he can do pretty well what he pleases.

  28. redgreen3b1 says: Feb 24, 2011 6:30 PM

    I’m so glad the Rams hired Coach Spygate 2.0 He will surely brake these rules. Maybe he will b able 2 keep it quiet & get a leg up on the competition.

  29. lionsfan2014 says: Feb 24, 2011 8:21 PM

    A lot of times players and coaches live in the same neighborhoods, or next door to each other, so that is that going to work. I know that Wisenhunt lives on the same street as at least 3 Cardinals and 2 other NFL players.

  30. MichaelEdits says: Feb 24, 2011 11:43 PM

    We all know that Bill Belichick would never, ever, EVER do anything to run afoul of the league’s strict rules.

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