AFC South: Labor impact 2011

Reading the coverage …

I know reading about decertification and a lockout is not what you’d prefer to be doing. I know some of you will take a complete pass.

But the intent here is to help make things clearer and more understandable. I read a bunch of good stuff Friday night and Saturday morning, and offer you this menu of choices to make things easier:

“So now the players aren't going to play, and the owners aren't going to pay, and they're both expending plenty of energy trying to convince us that all the fault for this labor predicament should be aimed at the other side. To that I say, blah, blah, blah. Oh, and from here on out, do us a favor and save your breath, please.” Piece of the day from Don Banks.

“For the players, things got personal and stayed that way, and ultimately [DeMaurice] Smith and his members did what proud athletes usually do when they feel they’ve been threatened, disrespected and treated dismissively: They stood tall, puffed out their chests and got ready to rumble.” Michael Silver says business matters became personal for the union and control is at the heart of the fight.

A road map for what happens now, from Michael McCann.

Seven questions fans should ask about the lockout, by Will Brinson.

Andrew Brandt on the day the union died.

With a deal, the union and any optimism gone, so is civility, says Clark Judge.

If you believe either side, you have a zip code in Charlie Sheen-ville, says Pete Prisco.

Arrogance has unnecessarily put the season at risk, says Les Carpenter.

The hatred between the two sides is as intense as ever, says Mike Freeman.

This will only delay free agency, says Jason Cole.

Full access to financial info is the key from the players’ side, says Peter King.

Now it heads to court, says Jim Trotter.

Blame the owners, says Adam Schein.

Blame the players, says Peter Schrager.

Seeking class-action status, Peyton Manning and nine others have now sued the league.

AFC South labor impact

March, 11, 2011
NFC labor impact: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

A team-by-team look at how a continued labor impasse and extended NFL freeze on transactions would affect the division:

Houston Texans

A stoppage means the team will not get a jump on adding free agents who would fit defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ new 3-4 scheme and will not have as much time as they typically would to install such a system.

The positive spin from Phillips and his boss, coach Gary Kubiak, has been that it’s not a super-complicated changeover and will not take that long. Even if that’s the case, more time is better than less for a team in transition that is searching for some new personnel.

The team has good leadership under contract if players decide to gather for their own workouts.

Indianapolis Colts

No team may be as equipped to handle a frozen period as the Colts. Give them health and a draft class and they won’t be far from their opening day roster. They’ve pledged they’ll delve a bit more into free agency than their traditional approach, which has been not to touch free agents of significance. One area that’s an exception is that they do well with the rookie free-agent pool and will have to wait for that.

Even though two offensive assistants flipped positions and there is a new running backs coach, the offensive and defensive systems are in place. The veteran players also have a full understanding of those systems. No one will do better at arranging team activities without coaching supervision than Peyton Manning (though there are injury concerns in such a setup).

Chris Polian is taking on more power in the front office, while Bill Polian scales back a bit. A slower couple months may require the fleshing out of multiple plans but surely it will provide an atmosphere that helps this stage of the transition.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars may benefit most because a delay hurts two of their division foes, the Texans and Titans. Jacksonville has seen very little change on Jack Del Rio’s staff and won’t have substantial player turnover.

Gene Smith wants to be a draft-first team, and it appears it’ll be a draft-first league. And when the team still has holes after the end of April, it will be ready to add at least a few veteran free agents if and when that market opens.

QB David Garrard has spoken candidly about arranging workouts, and he can score big in the leadership department if he leads a successful campaign and has guys ready when things are settled.

Tennessee Titans

New head coach, two new coordinators and two new quarterbacks who are not yet on the roster. No one needs a full offseason and as much interaction with players as the Titans do, and they stand to suffer as badly as anyone in the league.

Mike Munchak and his staff will have plenty of time to chime in with GM Mike Reinfeldt’s scouts about draft prospects and to discuss how they’d like to tinker. But if the rookies are drafted and the new coaches cannot talk with players, it’s a hurry-up-and-wait scenario.

Munchak has already said that such a landscape may dictate that the team doesn’t change a lot system-wise for 2011 because there won’t be sufficient time to do so. Though they won’t call it a rebuilding process, many changes could be forced to wait until 2012.