The NFL lockout is an issue between players and owners, leaving one group left in no-mans land: the coaches.
Without having access to players, coaches have had to prepare for the upcoming season on their own. There have been no OTAs, no positional meetings, no free agent signings. Some rookies haven't even been given playbooks yet.
Because of this, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said he is scraping his standard offseason program. In an interview with PFW Patriots correspondent and Boston Herald reporter Ian Rapoport, Belichick explained that he and his staff are focused on doing as much teaching as possible whenever training camp begins.
"At one point, we had to prepare for the offseason program, and that's not really a part of it now," Belichick said, according to the Herald. "We talked about some kind of minicamp or [organized team activities], but now, we just turn our attention to training camp and get our teaching and organization straight there."
The coach also said the team's playbook could be reduced to lessen the learning curve for new players.
"Something's going to have to go, I would think," Belichick told Rapoport. "The progression's got to stay the same, but the breadth of that amount of installation could be subject to being trimmed back, maybe drastically."
The way we see it
If the league's premier coach says he is scrapping OTAs and scaling back his playbook, expect other coaches to follow suit. The Patriots were 14-2 a year ago and have high expectations for 2011, but like every other team, they are stuck in limbo waiting for the lockout to end.