Mike McCarthy on delayed start: 'It may even help us'
A lockout isn’t good business for the NFL and no one is going to benefit from a work stoppage in the long run.
But there will be some franchises that are bigger losers than others. In an interesting article by Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, he finds reasons why the current stalemate could help the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, particularly if it’s a protracted situation.
As the report states, the Packers are a made-to-win team. They face only a few losses in free agency and what they lose they’ll make up to a degree with the return of healthy players. While teams out there are in dire situations in which massive rebuilding needs to be done, the Packers are set. They’re also in need of a rest, both physically and mentally. That’s one of the things that doesn’t get a lot of focus. Teams that win Super Bowls are playing five weeks longer than the 20 teams that don’t reach the postseason. That creates a toll on everyone involved.
Per Silverstein, most clubs will begin their offseason conditioning programs on March 21, or soon after. In the event the lockout is still going on, that won’t happen. And that will make it harder for teams like the Carolina Panthers to rebuild. It will make it more difficult for the teams with coaching changes, scheme changes and quarterback changes to get to work.
“I think when it's all said and done it may even help us," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said of a delayed start to the new league year. "It takes the focus away. When you win, you want to be like everybody else, just get back into your routine.
"I wasn't going to bring these guys back until the second week in April," McCarthy said. "I'm not as concerned about our players. The hypotheticals (of a lockout), I'm not even worried about that.
"I just want to make sure we're ready, staff-wise. We played six playoff games. I'm telling you, that's a lot of football. I'm worried about it. I'm looking at our training camp schedule already. I've already adjusted that. I'm in tune with it."
There’s no debating a long labor impasse will hurt teams trying to rebuild. Will it actually help a team like the Packers? Maybe in the sense that they would be less impacted by the time missed.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune