Earlier this week, ESPN reported that Jay Cutler began working out with a group of offensive teammates as the NFL lockout continues to prevent teams from conducting organized workouts with their players.
It was only skill position players that participated in the Culter-led workout, and while working on the timing of routes is important, it’s not enough that only eight players were said to have taken part.
“The skill guys can get together,” Lovie Smith said, “but what’s really important right now is all of our players are out working out.”
Unfortunately, the players don’t hold that same mentality.
No defensive players took part in that workout, nor are there any plans for the defense to get together soon to start working out.
As reported in the Sun-Times, Lance Briggs doesn’t feel the defense needs to follow the offense’s example.
“Great for them,” Briggs said. “And the stuff that guys around the league are doing is fine and great for them. But that’s a team-by-team deal. That’s something we’ll address as we get closer to a decision.”
I expect that most players are working out and keeping in shape by themselves, but for Briggs and the defense to essentially admit they don’t feel they need to start practicing together, it’s an alarming situation.
If the season were to start on time, the Bears would report to training camp in roughly two months. They’ve already missed spring minicamps and if the lockout drags on into the summer, there’s a concern that players will show up out of shape and out of sync, thereby slowing their preparation for the season and getting off to a rocky start.
I’ve got a sneaky suspicion that while some players might not want to work out because they lack motivation or they just want to take an extended break from the game, others are skipping workouts in an effort to get back at the owners.
My question to the latter group is, why? What are they trying to accomplish by not getting together to work out? How will that hurt the owners?
By skipping the opportunity to work out with teammates, these players are only hurting themselves as they could wind up being unprepared for the season. They’re also going to anger each team’s fan base if they come out and play poorly.
Do they honestly think owners will suffer from this? Not at all. Because as long as there is football, owners are going to get their money. Whether their teams play well or poorly, fans will show up to watch the great sport of football.
This is evidenced by the fact that everywhere the NFL appears, fans are there to chant, “We want football!” Their chants aren’t restricted to the owners or players, but all invested parties in this labor dispute.
Once again, players don’t realize that they don’t have the upper hand in this battle and that skipping the valuable opportunity to work out with their teammates is most definitely not in their best interests.