Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Are Browns most hurt by a lockout?
By James Walker
The Cleveland Browns are rebuilding under rookie head coach Pat Shurmur in 2011.
Shurmur and his staff want to implement a new West Coast offense. Cleveland also wants to begin installation of a 4-3 defense, which the Browns haven't run since 2004. But everything could be put on hold with the threat of an NFL lockout.
With less than two weeks remaining until the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement, both the NFL and NFLPA have been in negotiations to reach a middle ground. The threat of missing games isn't big at this point, but delaying free agency and missing offseason workouts are much closer to a reality.
This would severely hurt the progress of rebuilding teams such as Cleveland, which has turned over an entirely new coaching staff and wants to add players to its roster. The offseason workout program and minicamps are when teams begin building its chemistry for the upcoming season and learning the playbook. The Browns' playbook will be entirely new on both sides of the football. So Cleveland's players have a lot to pick up this offseason.
During a lockout, players cannot workout or have communication with their teams. Therefore, expect the rebuilding Browns to be one of the more nervous franchises these next few weeks.