Posted by Andy Benoit
With the doors locked at team facilities, players have to organize their own offseason workouts. You’ve probably heard stories here and there about players making arrangements to train with teammates (off the top my head, Josh Freeman and a few Bucs, Michael Vick and a few Eagles, Dallas Clark and a few Colts, Kyle Vanden Bosch and a few Lions and Drew Brees and a few Saints come to mind).
These workouts are not the same as true offseason team workouts, of course. For one, there’s no coaching guidance. For two, it’s not Drew Brees and the Saints working out…it’s Drew Brees and A FEW Saints. These are more player-organized positional workouts than player-organized team workouts. But, boutique offseason programs are better than nothing.
The fact that Brees is organizing workouts indicates that the NFLPA is OK with players setting up their own OPA’s (Organized Player Activities – you like it?).
Jim Corbett of USA Today asked people around the league about offseason preparations in the event of a lockout. He shrewdly went to former Redskins GM Charley Casserly, who observed firsthand how organizations get ahead during a work stoppage. The Redskins, after all, won titles after the strike-shortened ’82 season and the three-week replacement players ordeal in the ’87 season.
"A number of teams have already employed the Redskins strategy before this started," Casserly said. "They had team meetings, gave outlines to players, discussed strategy for workouts."
We know the Cowboys did that with new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan in February. You can bet they weren’t the only team that had extensive meetings that month.
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