NFL Notebook: New coach finding lockout is difficult
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The NFL lockout makes it even more difficult being a new coach with a new team in the league. Coaches can't work with the players they have on their roster, and there's no wooing of free agents who could fill gaping holes.
So the Tennessee Titans, an NFL team that went through the final and latest coaching change, are doing all they can -- watching film and prepping for the NFL draft.
Coach Mike Munchak said it is strange not being around the players and spending time around them as part of the offseason program. He does know the players well from his 14 seasons with the franchise even if he can't talk to them now.
"At least I don't have that learning curve," Munchak said. "I've watched a lot more defensive tape than I've ever watched."
Both his coordinators are new to Tennessee with Chris Palmer busy learning the offense, while Jerry Gray is studying up on his defenders for a team trying to bounce back from a 6-10 season in 2010. Gray said they understand the process they're going through with the lockout.
"So we're getting everything from film because we can't talk to them. The film is kind of getting us the direction of what we think we have to draft. I think that's really the good thing," Gray said.
The Titans are deep into their pre-draft visits with players who could fill big needs at either quarterback or on defense. They pick No. 8 overall and must replace Vince Young, whom they plan to release or trade once a labor deal is reached. Rusty Smith, a rookie in 2010, is the only other quarterback on the roster.
Attorneys for NFL players and the league held a conference call Friday to discuss mediation with the federal judge currently deciding whether to lift the lockout. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed the call took place. He said U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson wanted the details to remain private.
The players have taken steps to make sure that DeMaurice Smith, the head of the now dissolved NFL Players' Association, can participate in negotiations. Smith was formally added as an attorney for the players. An NFLPA spokesman confirms that the move allows him to participate in any mediation sessions that take place.
First Published April 11, 2011 12:00 am