Many fans and media assume that a new labor deal reached in mid-to-late August, allowing the season to start on time, will be perfectly acceptable.
Tell that to the teams with new coaches, quarterbacks, and/or coordinators.
Slapping together preparations for a season will hurt franchises like the Panthers, 49ers, Vikings, Titans, and Browns. On the other hand, established teams with continuity in their coaching staffs and veteran leadership will be just fine. Or, more accurately, better off than the teams trying to process change.
On the spectrum of teams that need a fair opportunity to get ready for the season, the Dolphins fall close to the front of the pack. And their General Manager, Jeff Ireland, recently expressed general concerns regarding the quality of play in 2011, if the lockout lingers.
“I think it could be a little watered down at some point early on, but I think it could get going early fast,” Ireland told WINZ’s The Finsiders, via Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “Football is football. We’re going to attack it the way we’ve always attacked it. We’ll get back to full-blown gameplans probably by game one. We need a little bit of the preseason [to get up to speed], and we need a little bit of the getting going process.”
It’ll get going a lot faster if a new labor deal is reached in time to provide all teams a chance to have a full training camp and preseason.