By this time next week there will be a CBA and the lockout may be lifted. Just my honest opinion, but there is evidence to support it. I read here that even if a CBA is agreed upon, the legal process will have to work itself out before the lockout can be lifted. However, on NFL Total Access, it was said that the owners can lift the lockout at will. Common sense says the court hearings have too many potential ramifications on American labor to be dropped mid-stride. We'll see.
Even if it takes two more weeks, the league's calender would not be unbearable. Per Michael Lombardi we would have almost two weeks between our team facilities opening and the beginning of TC. That is more than enough time for Woicik to assess health and coaches to assess where players' heads and skills are at, trim our roster accordingly, and sign some FAs. They will then have an additional month and a half to work together before we kick in the Jets' door.
Many of us have stated (nod to Piney Woods in particular,) that the lockout is not the worst thing that could have happened to this team. Most of what has been discussed has been in reference to the players establishing rapport with one-another, vets having time to recover and players getting ahead of the game as far as learning the playbook. The only thing that has taken me aback about player OTAs is our rookies' lack of attendance. It makes no sense to me why they are not there, especially in light of other teams' rookies having attended thier respective teams' practices.
The impact of the lockout on the rest of the organization has been understated. Jerry is one of the best owners in the league, I do not believe that the lockout has been as eye-opening an experience for him as it has been on some of his peers. He always provides the best for his team and fans. I am sure that he has probably felt hurt or possibly insulted by the players association's allegation of the owners being greedy, while most of his incredulous peers have hopefully had the veil ripped off. Hopefully Jerry has been cooking up plans to lower the cost of beers due to expected revenue increases.
As far as coaches, we have beaten the lack of interaction to death. But where may the positives come from? Garrett's predictability has been stated many times on this blog (PlinkoStar,) and debate has raged detailing Wade's veto authority and Garrett catering the playbook to a physically and mentally limited team. At the very least, Coach has had the opportunity to modernize his PB. He has been running this offense for years and his core is familiar enough that he can build upon the foundation without leaving players in the dark. Watching faces in the war room, I am sure Garrett feels confident that his team will be able to execute a broader array of plays. Whether we will have talent to execute plays or not is irrelevant. If Garrett believes he has personnel, has already done the work.
Coaches Robinson, Woicik, Houck and Ryan are in a different boat. Three of them are new to the team and most of the players. I would like to think that the position coaches and the good Mr. Woicik are experienced enough and have studied enough film that they can come in and coach with good continuity. I would like to think that coach Ryan has been updating his playbook, same as Coach. He will have a harder time installing the changes. I am looking forward to a defense that evolves as the season goes along. That is another HUGE advantage for our team.
And who can forget the cheerleaders? Our wonderful, intelligent, beautiful squad of entertainers has set the standard not only for the NFL, but all professional sports for many a year. I have got to believe that they are holding a few tricks up their sleeves. Probably been training on doing pyramids or shooting one another from a cannon. Very hot stuff.
Enough with the lockout chatter. I love this year's draft class, and believe that they have a high probability of contributing this year. Murray will definitely see time. I believe that Carter has a very high probability of being ready for training camp. He suffered a partially torn ACL November 19th, had surgery mid-December, and has been squatting and cutting since early April. To me that means that he is ready to participate. Even if he has to carry a clipboard for a week while Woicik puts the final touches on his range of motion, that would not be the worst thing in the world. Lee did the same last year and it worked out very well for us.
The biggest impact from our rookies will be on the o-line. Smith will definitely start week one. The Jets. I hope this kid has been studying hecka film and eating his Wheaties. He is going to be fighting for he and Romo's lives. Arkin. Arkin,Arkin,Arkin... One of our more esteemed members said Arkin would not be ready week 1, based on development of Free. IMO, the two can not be compared. Free is a tackle who was groomed until he was at a VERY high level. Arkin at guard will be less of a project.
Chapas at FB can contribute immediately. Harris I know very little of, but slot WR is one of those positions that if the kid has skills, he can contribute right away. Based upon the BTB chatter I would not bet against him especially if RW gets the axe. Nagy and Thomas are both going to bring a lot to the table for us, but I do not know if they will usurp the starters right away.
I recently posted on Occ's mid-term honor roll that I never would have thought I would be proud to be part of a sports blog. BTB has definently done it. During this time of little news we have kept things positive and insightful without turning into a bunch of homers. Have to send a big thank you out to everyone who contributes to the best sports site on the web.
On a recent fanshot, Birddog26 defended a certain reporter who struck me as, well, ignorant. I thanked him for clearing up my ignorance. Then the same reporter put this up, and I can say, Birddog, you are in my doghouse, man. You can not defend someone who hates on the Cowboys that openly. Rank is just mad because we beat his Rams on our way to the SB many moons ago.