The Browns might be one of the teams hurt most by the offseason lockout. Cleveland has a first-year coach in Pat Shurmur, who wants to switch to the West Coast Offense and has yet to have a practice with the players to install the offense. Colt McCoy is learning the offense with just a playbook, and he is trying to teach it to the other players in voluntary workouts. Dick Jauron is the defensive coordinator, and he is switching the Browns to a 4-3 defense -- after several years in the 3-4, with personnel fitted for that scheme. Currently, the Browns don't have players to line up in the 4-3.
— Fred Greetham, TheOBR.com
The Jaguars are one of the teams hurt most by the lockout, as the franchise is looking for a new start under rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Jacksonville has been a victim of its own mediocrity, as a pair of seven- and eight-win seasons, respectively, have supplied its fans with just enough blind hope without seeing the big picture: that what they have at QB just isn't enough. Without any offseason training activities and a limited training camp, it appears Gabbert will have a difficult time winning the starting job that the franchise needs him to win. If Jacksonville decides to keep David Garrard for a year of "on-the-job teaching," it will cost them approximately $8 million in salary and they'll put off rebuilding for yet another season. Everyone in the Jaguars' front office, whose jobs will not be measured on wins and losses in 2011, wants Gabbert to play immediately. The lockout just may cost him the job and the Jaguars several million dollars.
— Charlie Bernstein, JagNation.com
Kansas City Chiefs
Last season, the Chiefs' offseason was a teaching ground for some young players. With all but one draft pick from the 2010 draft class logging serious playing time in Kansas City a year ago, it'll be very difficult for the 2011 class to make the same impact as that heralded class. Led by first-round pick Eric Berry, he set the tone for the rookies by showing up for every OTA, mini camp and cram session with the coaching staff. That rubbed off in his fellow draftees, and that's why the Chiefs improved on both sides of the ball in 2010. But it's likely going to be different in 2011. The Chiefs drafted a pair of critical players on offense, Pittsburgh receiver Jon Baldwin and Florida State center Rodney Hudson. Each is expected to start, but their learning curves will make a sharp spike because, to date, they've yet to receive any instruction from their coaches. But even more so, they've yet to work with a single teammate and will be thrown to the wolves whenever training camp opens.
— Nick Athan, WarpaintIllustrated.com
The initial reaction is to suggest that when it comes to the Dolphins, the position most affected by the lockout is quarterback because Chad Henne was so inconsistent last year. He needs all the practice reps he can get, and it's going to be very difficult for any veteran to come in at the last minute and be able to be a difference maker immediately. But the Dolphins also have a major question mark at running back, where second-round pick Daniel Thomas likely will be asked to play a significant role with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams both possibly on the way out.
— Alain Poupart, DolphinDigest.com
New England Patriots
When you look at how the lockout affects teams in the NFL, one team in particular stands out as being nearly impervious to the delay: New England. Actually, the longer the lockout goes, the better off the Patriots will be compared to their rivals. See, New England has a core group of returning veterans at nearly every starting position on offense and defense. They were a team in transition in 2010, and those same transition players are expected to be starters in 2011. Only first-round pick Nate Solder, an offensive tackle, has any real shot of earning playing time this year as a newcomer, and that's only if the team decides to part ways with either veteran lineman Matt Light or Nick Kaczur. Whatever the case with a shortened offseason, expect the Patriots to be ready to go right out of the gate.
— Jon Scott, PatriotsInsider.com
San Diego Chargers
The Chargers have new coordinators on defense and special teams, but the latter area poses the more concern. San Diego's special teams were historically bad in 2010, allowing long kick returns and blocked punts on a seemingly weekly basis. New coach Rich Bisaccia needs to rebuild the special teams from the ground up and will be working with a handful of rookies. 2011 draftees Marcus Gilchrist, Jonas Mouton, Shareece Wright and Andrew Gachkar will be asked to play major roles in the kicking game. These youngsters need all the reps they can get.
— Michael Lombardo, SDBoltReport.com
|John Crist is an NFL analyst for Scout com, a voter for the Heisman Trophy and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America.|