MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 17: NFL players' lawyers Jeffrey Kessler, James Quinn and Barbara P. Berens walk with former NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith after leaving court ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on May 17, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. . (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
The NFL Coaches Association, without naming any specific coaches, have filed a brief with the 8th circuit court in support of the players' effort to end the lockout. Their argument, which is a compelling one, is that the lockout is putting their already fragile jobs in jeopardy.
"Owners and fans increasingly demand immediate success, and coaches whose teams cannot fulfill such severe expectations face likely dismissal, which means the uprooting of families, economic dislocation, and a significantly less promising career path," lawyers for the NFLCA wrote.
As the brief further explained, every missed day of practice and preparation makes it that much harder for a coach to do all that he can to field a winning team. And in this day's NFL, if you don't win, you don't have a job. This is doubly true for young coaches, who may not get another shot at a head coaching job should they fail in their first attempt.
"To meet management's expectations, coaches need adequate time in the offseason to prepare their players for the season ahead," the filing said. "The lockout has already interfered with the coaches' offseason plans for their players, and each day lost in preparing for the season further diminishes coaches' opportunities to prove themselves and advance their career."
The brief also takes issue with teams slashing coaches' salaries during the lockout, which the coaches' association claims is in violation of their contracts. The NFL was not surprised by the coaches' association's filing.
"The Coaches Association offices with the Players Association in Washington," Aiello wrote in an email to The Associated Press. "So this comes as no surprise."
I would say that it's highly unlikely that this will sway the opinion of the 8th circuit, since they took issue with the jurisdiction of the court, rather than the veracity of the suit. This would have no bearing on the courts' jurisdiction. The 8th circuit is likely to rule that the court has no basis for deciding this case one way or the other. That said, it is interesting to see the coaches showing some solidarity with the players. Typically in a labor dispute the coaches would be seen as part of management and would be expected to side with ownership.