- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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No individual coaches were named Wednesday when the NFL Coaches' Association filed a brief in support of the players in the 8th Circuit Court. But at least one group of coaches wants to make sure nobody thinks they're connected with it. In a statement released Thursday, the Washington Redskins' coaching staff distanced itself from the Wednesday brief and made it clear that it supports the position of the owners in their labor dispute against the players.
"The Washington Redskins' coaching staff has not given its backing to the brief filed with the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of the National Football League Coaches Association," the statement reads. "Our former representative, Kirk Olivadotti, is no longer with the organization and no member of our coaching staff was consulted prior to this action being taken.
"We stand united with our ownership and the brief does not reflect our thoughts on the matter. We, like everyone else, are hopeful that we can return to playing football. We look forward to a new CBA and welcoming back our players as soon as possible."
The statement is hand-signed by every member of the Redskins' coaching staff except head coach Mike Shanahan. A Redskins team spokesman told me the reason Shanahan didn't sign the document is because his title is Executive Vice President, and as such he represents team management (which I guess doesn't have to explain which side of the dispute it's on). Shanahan's son, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, did sign the document, as did defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and the rest of the staff.
The brief the NFLCA filed Wednesday specifically pointed out the damage it believes the lockout is doing to the staffs of the eight teams that have new head coaches this year and the "three additional coaches who have only spent one season with their teams." Shanahan and the Redskins' coaches fall into that latter category, but clearly, they don't want anybody to think they had anything to do with Wednesday's brief.
It'll be interesting to see if any other coaching staffs make a point of saying whether they do or don't support the NFLCA brief. Coaches have, after all, been caught in the middle of this whole thing.