During the lockout, coaches can’t communicate with their players. As a result, players throughout the league are coordinating on their own workouts and practices.
Assuming that coaches are honoring the prohibition against contacting players (while also assuming that Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and the Sandman have gotten together tonight for poker and pizza), the players would benefit from guidance. Even if some contact is occurring, players would benefit from the presence of coaches — especially coaches who understand the systems that a given team uses.
So, as mentioned earlier this week on PFT Live, why not hire fired coaches to preside over players-only practices? Former Browns coach Eric Mangini would be the perfect candidate to help the Cowboys learn new coordinator Rob Ryan’s 3-4 defense. In Philly, former Vikings coach Brad Childress could help Mike Vick and the rest of the Eagles offense with the execution of Andy Reid’s West Coast offense.
Sure, the coaches would want to be paid. By spreading the responsibility among 30 or 40 men, the per-player out-of-pocket cost would be fairly manageable. And the expenses could be added to the damages claim in the antitrust lawsuit, as reasonable expenses incurred by the players to help them prepare for football season.
With no end in sight to the lockout and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in no hurry to rule on the motion that could end the work stoppage while the appeal moves forward, the players need to make the most out of the time they’ll be putting in on their own. And they can do that by taking advantage of the various unemployed coaches who may be interested in doing a little work on the side.