Coaches who disavow NFLCA brief could have locker-room issues


With coaching staffs from 15 teams and counting making known their disagreement with the “friend of the court” brief filed last month by the NFL Coaches Association, the next wave in the development of this story arises from the players’ reaction to the news that their coaches are picking a side other than the players’ side.

“Like they say, you’re either with us or against us,” an unnamed Texans player told Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle, in response to coach Gary Kubiak’s comments regarding the NFLCA brief.

If the owner and the players can continue to make progress toward a settlement without further court action, chances are that the NFLCA issue will fade.  Still, in those 15-and-counting locker rooms in which the coaches have picked their employers over their employees, the rebuilding of the bridge between the NFL and the NFLPA* could be followed by some significant fence mending.

30 responses to “Coaches who disavow NFLCA brief could have locker-room issues

  1. What a joke, the coaches don’t make anything close to what the players make and the new CBA is not going to increase their pay like the players. The coaches have to go with the flow and backing their head coach makes sense..

  2. Coaches who support the players retaining 59% are going to have paycheck issues the next time they are looking for a new contract.

  3. Soon as a new CBA is reached, players will be fat and happy again…..and will not be anymore diva than they already are.
    You are either with us, or against us? Well duh…..those are the only two choices dumbass. And if I were a coach, and two other sides were fighting, I think I’d side with the guys that sign my paycheck.

  4. I remember when I played high school football. Our coach would call the same two plays, first to the right and then to the left and we would all be saying things to each other about how he was an idiot. Why didn’t we say anything to him? Well because we kind of understood that the coach was the boss and we respected his decisions whether we agreed with them or not. Unfortunately it seems as if players don’t have that respect for their coaches these days. But ultimately the coach determines who plays and who doesn’t so to quote the coward unnamed player: “You’re either with us, or against us”. How about some da*n respect before you get benched?

  5. It seems like the coaches just want to stay out of it. Which they should. It’s not their fight, their only interest in it should be it ending soon.

    They don’t have the power to sway either side, all they have the power to do is hurt themselves by picking sides. Especially iif they pick the side of the guys who don’t write their paychecks.

  6. An “unnamed” Texan, eh?

    I know his name. It rhymes with Ike Clorio and he’s just writing an article to waste time during the lockout. Most people have never heard of and don’t care about him just like they’ve never heard of and don’t care about the NFLCA.

  7. Unless the new CBA comes with guaranteed contracts the players will shut their mouths and play for what ever coach is in front of the room.

  8. This is where the NFLCA really messed up. Instead of keeping it’s distance and not sticking it’s nose in a place it doesn’t belong, in between their employer and co-workers dispute, the NFLCA just had to get a word in and go against it’s members own best interest. I’m sure the majority of other coaches already went to their employer and told them they didn’t agree with it as well but don’t want to start some bad feelings with the players.

    The NFLCA really messed up in this one.

  9. First off–what a surprise–ANOTHER pro-player article–this from the author who says he tries to keep blanced reporting.

    Secondly–coaches are management–period.

    Thirdly–maybe Larry Kennan would have had more success if, you know, he ACTUALLY TOLD EACH TEAM what he was going to do. With, as you say, “15 teams and counting” that are against it, I doubt he did any talking to him. To me, it seems like this was a unilateral decision.

    And finally, how do we know that De Smith wasn’t behind this?

  10. I don’t think denouncing the brief means they’re against the players or for the owners. I think it just means “Hey, we didn’t have a hand in this, these aren’t our words and no one asked us about this before submitting it”. That isn’t being anti-player or pro-owner. That’s just a reasonable response. Basically saying “don’t put words in my mouth”.

  11. It seems like this friction should have occurred to this site before it spent the last week blasting the NFLCA.

  12. Considering it does not look like even all the players agree with the NFLPA*** ‘s position I doubt this will be an issue.

    Also many of them are simply saying they had no clue it was happening not really saying they agree or disagree, only a few said that.

  13. There are some well-known “player’s coach” coaches on the list. Smells like a non-story.

    Speculation Stick, meet beehive.

  14. “Hey, we didn’t have a hand in this, these aren’t our words and no one asked us about this before submitting it”.

    The NFLCA is not a union. It does not require membership. The NFLCA’s brief was submitted on behalf on the ‘interests’ of NFL coaches. Some of those general interests – e.g. the lockout is harming the coaches’ ability to properly prepare their teams – are common sense and not specific to any particular coach or team. It is no big thing. The NFLCA brief has not received much/any attention on any other major sports website. but this site needs content to feed the anti-NFLPA faction.

  15. At the end of the day the coaches have no union and no protection other than what is detailed in their contract and those are far from standard. Once this mess is over the players who are true professionals will go to work and play for whom ever is the coach. No different than a messy contract dispute once it is over it is over. I believe the coaches association spoke out with out input as a lot of teams coaches are considered management and cant be a part of the coaches association.

  16. By this logic then the coaching staffs who don’t disagree with the statement will have trouble with their employers, which I doubt will happen. Only a few dumb players may harbor any bad feelings.

    Most players understand the process enough know the coaches who spoke out weren’t saying they’re taking the owners side but more that they didn’t have a side. It’s like when one player decides to holdout or leave the team over a contract dispute, most teammates publicly try to stay out of it.

    Plus, it’s pretty clear what the “leaders” of the NFLCA said was their own personal take and had little to do with what the ppl they “represent” believe.

  17. Obviously with at least 15 staffs, there was no interest in filing a brief on behalf of the players in the first place.

    It was the arrogant presumption by the NFLCA leadership that caused any rifts. Let them mend the fences.

  18. Who cares if the players think the coaches are against them. I assure you, a coach can make a players life more miserable than the other way around.

    If a player really wants to ruin his career, all he has to do is make it evident that he doesn’t try in practice or causes locker-room problems.

  19. @ebenezergrymm …

    The unnamed Texan was quoted in an article in the Houston Chronicle and Mike even provided the link so you could read the article yourself. He’s simply passing on the info. Duh. 🙄

  20. In typical labor disputes, management would never side with the union against the owners. Management represents the owners–and in the NFL, coaches are management. So when the NFLCA brief was first reported, it seemed an extraordinarily gutsy move. Now it seems Larry Kennan decided to make a foolish, ill-considered gesture without considering the impact it could have on coaches.

    Kennan said he wouldn’t worry unless a lot of teams began protesting. Half is a lot. He says he sent out an e-mail informing coaches he planned to file the brief, but I’d like to know if he received any replies. It’s not unusual for busy professionals to let association e-mails go unread. Did he have written or verbal approval from a single active coach before taking this action? Has he considered withdrawing the brief?

  21. These statements are not from “The Coaches” they are from the teams. More posturing. Unfortunately the coaches have to get back to work with the players moreso than the owners do. So this whole thing is stupid.

  22. canuck54143 says: Jun 6, 2011 10:40 AM

    Coaches are management so it’s only natural for them to side with the owner that signs their paycheck.

    I would bet most coaches just want to get back to football and aren’t concerned with backing this or that side.

  23. This is simpler than people are making it; it’s not a matter if the coaches have the players back; it’s that these coaches were never even told about a brief, then the court was told they represent a class that had never heard of them. It was unfair to expect the coaches to endorse a statement they never saw, concerning an organization they didn’t know they were a part of. No player will expect anything from a coach, beyond the loyalty they ususally get. This issue will be a non starter once the lockout is over.

  24. I’ve supported the players side of this, but I hope that these ”locker-room issues” will not occur very often. The coaches were placed between a rock and a hard place, and should not be expected to sacrifice their careers. Hopefully only a handful of the more tempermental players will react that way.

  25. “Now it seems Larry Kennan decided to make a foolish, ill-considered gesture without considering the impact it could have on coaches. ”

    @Deb: Welcome to the Darkside. I guess they have worn you down.

  26. @endzonezombie …

    No no no no … I am absolutely with the players. But coaches are management, and even if they privately agree with the players (which I’m sure they do–the lockout is not in their interest), it was wrong for Kennan to put them in the middle without their express consent … if that’s what occurred.

  27. The fact that the coaches are saying anything publicly at all (rather than speaking privately or saying nothing at all) can only mean that they were pressured by ownership, and their lawyers, to do so.

    Honestly, why would they even care that strongly one way or another about the brief? 0 0

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