How the Lockout Can Hurt the Jags

It's a somewhat difficult time for NFL fans, as the labor uncertainty hanging over the game could ruin what has been America's favorite game this fall. Although we are hopeful that there is agreement to be made, what if such agreement isn't fashioned until August or September? Find out which issues the Jaguars will have if there is an extended lockout.

1. Limited or No Training Camp Will Mean Less Competition

If the Jaguars don't draft a quarterback early, they are basically throwing away another season. Even if they do draft a quarterback in the first two rounds, how could anyone expect that quarterback to compete for playing time when there is no training camp or contact with the coaches? The Jaguars aren't a legitimate Super Bowl contender with a rookie quarterback, but they're not one with David Garrard either. The longer the team waits to get a potential franchise quarterback and play him, the longer the team is just idling in neutral while the younger core of players and veterans get older.

2. Ticket Sales Gets More Difficult

The Jaguars don't have the luxury of having a fanbase that's been supporters of the team for generations. Although the Steelers, Giants, Packers and Patriots will be going through the same lockout, those teams don't have to worry about their ticket-holders not returning with the team. The Jaguars organization has done a superb job over the past 15 months of selling tickets and an extended layoff could affect that very adversely.

3. Rehab Could Be Stunted

Although players realize that their bodies are what earns them their size-able paychecks, it can be much more difficult to rehabilitate injuries without the use of team facilities. Defensive end Aaron Kampman and quarterback Luke McCown are both trying to recover from torn ACL's and the best way to rehabilitate would be with the team.

4. Team Chemistry Could Be Compromised

Jack Del Rio credited the strength of his locker room last year to why his Jaguars didn't fold after some early blowout losses. A big part of that chemistry is achieved during OTA's and other offseason activities (mandatory and voluntary). Although other teams will have to deal with similar situations, the Jaguars aren't nearly as talented as many other teams and the lack of chemistry and togetherness could play a major role when the games count (assuming we'll have a season).

5. Development of Young Players

The Jaguars are primarily a young team and most of their key players are younger. For a veteran team with a veteran system, offseason workouts don't matter much, if at all. For a team like Jacksonville, the younger players are still trying to learn their craft and receiving as much coaching as possible can only be considered a positive. In addition, the Jaguars roster is far from set and there will be younger players acquired in the draft and/or via free agency that will be expected to be contributors. This lack of coaching and cohesion will ultimately lead to mistakes this fall and the Jaguars will have a slim margin for error if they're going to compete for the postseason.

Charlie Bernstein is the host of "The Conundrum" on the Aquarius 7 Broadcasting Network (national), and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America.


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