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Rams open offseason, Jeff Fisher says some CBA rules make no sense

Jeff Fisher, the new head coach of the St. Louis Rams, looks on during a news conference at Rams Park in St. Louis Reuters

As a team with a new head coach, the Rams are allowed to begin their offseason program today. That new head coach, Jeff Fisher, says he doesn’t agree with the rules that have prevented him from getting his new players to work sooner.

Fisher said last month that he worries the rules of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement could stunt the growth of quarterback Sam Bradford. Fisher said he doesn’t see why Bradford couldn’t have been in the team’s facilities working over the last two months, if he had wanted to.

“If a quarterback wants to come in the building in February and March and sit down and look at the previous year or watch [tape] cut-ups with the coordinator or get in the [playbook], I just feel like he should be allowed to do that,” Fisher said, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Not forced to go do that. But it doesn’t make sense to me that you can’t have your quarterback in the building and doing things until April when this is a quarterback driven league and we have difficulties as it is developing young quarterbacks. So I hope that they’d consider that.”

The issue, however, is that even if a player isn’t “forced to do that,” coaches have often used the threat of getting cut to compel players to participate in technically “voluntary” offseason activities. The union wanted to guarantee players some real time off during the offseason, and the only way to do that was to close the facilities completely. The owners agreed to do that during CBA negotiations, and now it’s the rule.

And Fisher says he’s still confident that Bradford will develop in the Rams’ offense.

“I think we have to be patient,” Fisher said. “This is going to be his offensive system hopefully for a long period of time.”

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41 Responses to “Rams open offseason, Jeff Fisher says some CBA rules make no sense”
  1. khuxford says: Apr 2, 2012 7:46 AM

    Simple, Fisher: if he’s “allowed to”, you can easily stealth penalize a player for not coming in voluntarily. If it’s that hard for you to understand, maybe I’ve given you too much credit in the past.

  2. steeler59 says: Apr 2, 2012 7:49 AM

    Steeler59 says some leauge rules make no sense!

    as Jeff Fisher sits on the rules commity or use to!

  3. kingjoe1 says: Apr 2, 2012 7:50 AM

    Did Fisher also say these things?

    “I don’t understand this bookface thing”

    “Why do i need a twit, i have a staff of them”

    “Why the hell don’t people read newspapers anymore”

  4. talkintrashallday says: Apr 2, 2012 7:51 AM

    yea, like the “No Hiring Hitman Defensive Coordinators” Rule…

  5. seahawksfan25 says: Apr 2, 2012 7:54 AM

    I don’t agree with that either. But at the same time, coaches would ask a player if he wouldn’t mind coming in early and then the players feels obligated. So I can see why its the rule.

  6. brasho says: Apr 2, 2012 7:55 AM

    During most of Fisher’s tenure in Tennessee… when Steve McNair or Chris Johnson wasn’t saving him, Fisher’s offenses for the Titans were totally offensive.

  7. tundey says: Apr 2, 2012 7:56 AM

    What an idiot. They made these rules because teams have shown they can’t do the right thing. If players aren’t barred from the team facilities during the “offseason”, you can be sure teams will find ways of making players show up. As it is, players already get grief from team and fans for skipping voluntary activities.

  8. petehemlock says: Apr 2, 2012 7:58 AM

    Maybe if you were part of the league last year you could’ve lent weight to this discussion prior to ratification. or maybe you’re an inconsolable whiner laying the groundwork for an excuse for failure.

  9. airraid77 says: Apr 2, 2012 8:01 AM

    Lets try that rationale with reporting…you cant write stories for a whole 2 months because you might be compelled?…..doesnt make a lot of sense. Yes the owners are idiots…..and they ultimatley will lose their dollars in this….with these stupid rules and goodell as commish.

  10. myopinionmattersandyoursblows says: Apr 2, 2012 8:05 AM

    Um, just put the game films on a flashdrive and send it to your qb. If hes not watching the film in his off time, then he doesnt have the drive to be an elite NFL qb and you better start shopping for a new.one.

  11. jmech001 says: Apr 2, 2012 8:11 AM

    I agree with the rule, but I can also understand Fisher’s frustration. “Voluntary” is often mandatory in the sports world, but I think plenty of players would honestly come in on their own to improve their game during the offseason. Sometimes a rule with the best possible intention can still do harm.

  12. paperlions says: Apr 2, 2012 8:15 AM

    Coaches only have them selves to blame. They made sure there was no such thing as a voluntary activity. If they were allowed to have it, they did everything in their power to make sure everyone showed up, including bitching publicly about players that didn’t show up.

    It isn’t even clear that all of the additional time makes a difference. With no offseason activities last year and abbreviated training camps, two rookie QBs started week 1 and had very good rookie years.

  13. keepounding1234 says: Apr 2, 2012 8:16 AM

    Does anyone remember Mangini’s nine hour “voluntary” bus ride?

  14. skinsgame says: Apr 2, 2012 8:17 AM

    Yeah Fish! You’re an idiot! The teams that pay these players tens of millions of dollars would find a way for them to have to work more than 6 months a year for it! THAT’S why there is the rule, you jerk!

  15. Max says: Apr 2, 2012 8:18 AM

    The REASON Mr. Fisher, is that employers don’t know when to retrain themselves! If the league said it’s ok for QBs to come into the facility in FEB then everyone knows you are going to expect players to be there in FEB regardless if its mandatory or not. Guys will be concerned about their job security etc, if one group of guys show up then most others will be compelled to show up.

    Case in point: It’s just like optional off-season workouts, when a guy doesn’t show up to non-mandatory camps, coaches begin to question their commitment and then the media jumps in escalates the issue. The point is coaches/employers don’t know restraint, and hard rules must be put in place, because if given the opportunity you guys will have players at the facility 365 days a year!

    Some of you coaches are nuts, the hard lines in sand must be drawn so that you know what can and can’t be done!

  16. mrbigass says: Apr 2, 2012 8:20 AM

    So, you can’t take game tapes to someone’s home and work on a new offense?

  17. majbobby says: Apr 2, 2012 8:27 AM

    Hey Fisher there is this thing called technology and FedEx you can always put the play book and cut ups on this thing called an iPad (they are pretty good) and overnight FedEx them to Sam. Guess what there you have it your QB has everything he needs before April and it is up to him to watch it our not.

  18. hailer21 says: Apr 2, 2012 8:29 AM

    Well, even the rules that aren’t in the CBA don’t make any sense. Just ask Dan and Jerry.

  19. jimbo75025 says: Apr 2, 2012 8:33 AM

    skinsgame says:
    Apr 2, 2012 8:17 AM
    Yeah Fish! You’re an idiot! The teams that pay these players tens of millions of dollars would find a way for them to have to work more than 6 months a year for it! THAT’S why there is the rule, you jerk!
    ______________

    Dude, you totally shoot down your own argument. This rule would have been fine when salaries were peanuts and players pretty much had to work menial jobs in the offseason to survive.

    In these times, when a player who never sees the field may pull in $300K or more (never mind the superstars who are pulling in multi-millions), I do not have much of an issue with year around work being expected-especially the non contact kind like film study, etc.

  20. electionconfidential says: Apr 2, 2012 8:44 AM

    Nothing is “voluntary” in the NFL… Watching a few episodes of “Hard Knocks” will make that clear.

  21. truthfactory says: Apr 2, 2012 8:58 AM

    Damn…. So the NFL owners and coaches want their players to work almost year round to earn their millions of dollars? Stop the madness!

  22. edukator4 says: Apr 2, 2012 9:04 AM

    how dare athletes who make millions of dollars be expected to work more than 6 months.
    OUTRAGE!!!!!!!!

  23. zidanevalor says: Apr 2, 2012 9:07 AM

    The reason this rule is in place is because there are people like Terry Collins, the NY Mets manager, complaining because Ruben Tejada showed up to spring training on time.

    Like some of the previous commentors said, there are no such thing as voluntary workouts. If players skip a voluntary workout, they get ripped on for “not being dedicated enough.”

  24. sportmentary says: Apr 2, 2012 9:16 AM

    This is one rule to protect players. coaches abused “voluntary” activities by threatening their players. So this is what coaches are left with.

  25. mjkelly77 says: Apr 2, 2012 9:25 AM

    I guess I didn’t realize it. Bradford must be “slow” or something.

  26. mjkelly77 says: Apr 2, 2012 9:34 AM

    Wow. Bradford is older than StafFORD of the Lions. At one time I was dissapointed that Bradford didn’t declare early for the draft because I knew the Lions wouldn’t get him. They got StafFORD, the consolation prize. Much like the Pistons got Dave Bing instead of Cazzie Russell when I was a kid. Sometimes you get lucky.

  27. CKL says: Apr 2, 2012 9:38 AM

    To me, it sounds like Fisher is making excuses in advance. The more he talks, the less I respect him (and I already didn’t have much respect for him).

  28. airraid77 says: Apr 2, 2012 9:39 AM

    the same people who are defending these rules are the same ones who want them to pay their fair share….Ironic…….

  29. thehighhat says: Apr 2, 2012 9:53 AM

    More Bradford excuses. He’s nothing but a mediocre QB now and will probably get no better under those offensive geniuses Schotteneheimer and Fisher.

  30. sickofpft says: Apr 2, 2012 10:16 AM

    Doesn’t matter. The Rams & Jeff Fisher suck anyway.

  31. airraid77 says: Apr 2, 2012 10:26 AM

    the same people who say bradford sucks or bradford excuses are trying to defend the indefensible josh freeman, michael vick, and other sorry excuses for “franchise” qb label.

  32. tombrookshire says: Apr 2, 2012 10:28 AM

    I agree. Stupid rules. What union tells employees not to enter the workplace for a couple months per year?. If I am a good worker, I want to work, in my employer’s facilities. First of all, it keeps me from getting hurt doing something I shouldn’t be doing on my own (Jason Peters). Second, whatever is going to give me an advantage down the line, in learning the new coach’s system, doing conditioning work, reviewing film, bonding with teammates and new staff is a no brainer.

  33. sj39 says: Apr 2, 2012 11:01 AM

    Hey geniuses, they weren’t even allowed to give out the playbook until today. With the new CBA a lot of things you chuckleheads take for granted are against the rules. The Rams are not the Pats or Saints.

  34. ninerdynasty says: Apr 2, 2012 11:07 AM

    And they say that Harbaugh is a whiner.. hahaha try installing your scheme in 3 weeks and then come tell us all about it.

  35. squared80 says: Apr 2, 2012 11:22 AM

    The new rules are good. Less football equals longer careers. Plus, we all know that ‘voluntary workouts’ are not really voluntary. The rules takes away a gray area.

  36. deathmonkey41 says: Apr 2, 2012 11:34 AM

    Okay, Bradford might not have been able to go to the Rams facility to look at tape, but couldn’t he just get the guy who films games for the Patriots to lend him some tape for the offseason? This way he can also learn the signs.

  37. skolvikesskol says: Apr 2, 2012 11:58 AM

    Ummm didnt u have the #2 pick to address ur qb worries?

  38. themackstrong says: Apr 2, 2012 12:00 PM

    When fans say “this guy sucks” its a big light that says they are a casual fan that never watched a game of that player and they are trash talking. I watched a few Rams games a year because they are in the same division with my team. Bradford had absolutely no protection, the o-line which wasn’t strong lost LT, RT and G in the season. He was constantly under pressure at the snap and put that with no WR or the only ones on IR I can’t think of many QB’s that will excel.

  39. toaster463 says: Apr 2, 2012 1:54 PM

    Themackstrong- you are the one with Rams colored glasses. The whole premise of a 50 million dollar qb needing to come in during february and march should be the first alarm.

    How much time did Andy Dalton and Cam Newton have? how much protection did they have? How many pro bowl WRs and RBs did they have? Bradford had Steven Jackson and Brandon Lloyd and still hasnt thrown more than 1 TD in a game in his last 15 games.

    I hear Bradford apologists always claim that he has no WRs or protection. Well they cut Laurent Robinson because he wasnt good enough to make their core, then he turns around and catches 11 TDs for Dallas, and AJ Feeley didnt seem to mind the Rams protection when he beat the Saints last year.

    Point being, if your a QB that needs to study all offseason with your coaches and system and you need to be smothered with all All-Pro caliber players just to be potentially good, you probably shouldnt be picked first in the draft. Cam Newton and Bradford should trade contracts

  40. themackstrong says: Apr 2, 2012 9:49 PM

    Oh toaster. I am not even a Rams fan but I actually watch games and and your post about Pro Bowl players tell me you probably just read a bunch of clippings and pass off as your own knowledge. Steve Smith (2011 Pro Bowl), Olson, Williams, Stewart and even Shockey all made plays for Cam who I actually like. Bengals WR Green (Pro Bowl) Gresham was a legit catching TE and Benson put up the exact numbers that Jackson did. Anything else or you still shedding tears about Cam Newton money situation due to the new rookie cap?

  41. toaster463 says: Apr 3, 2012 3:33 PM

    mackstrong- did you read your own post????

    Benson and jackson put up the same numbers, Dalton has a decent TE and 1 good WR, Bradford had Brandon Lloyd, and a WR core good enough to cause Laurent Robinson to go elsewhere for work, and yet Dalton played well with no offseason, and Bradford didnt?

    Are you feeling OK?
    (you dont know who you are dealing with so stop pretending you do)

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