Last week, we reported that the NFL Coaches Association filed a brief in support of the players with the 8th circuit court. However, since then several teams have disavowed the NFLCA filing, the first being the Redskins. The latest is the Eagles. Andy Reid released this statement today.
"The Philadelphia Eagles coaching staff was not aware that a brief was being filed by the NFL Coaches Association in the 8th Circuit Court against the NFL Owners last week. We were surprised by the filing and do not support it in any way."
The Eagles are now at least the eight team to claim their coaches had no idea that the NFLCA was going to make this filing. Staffs of the Redskins, Saints, Rams, Texans, Jaguars, Cowboys and Chiefs have all issued similar statements. Jack Del Rio of the Jaguars said he wasn't asked or even notified about it.
"I checked with our guys and not one member of our coaching staff had knowledge of last week's brief filed by the Coaches' Association prior to the news breaking,'' coach Jack Del Rio said. "None were consulted or involved in any way. This action was taken without approval. Heck, it wasn't even mentioned to any of us.''
Amazingly, Del Rio was actually mentioned as one of the coaches negatively affected by the lockout in the brief.
Apparently, there's a reason that no one has ever heard of the NFLCA before last week. It is not a union, it is a trade association that basically represents assistant coaches. Not head coaches and seemingly not even coordinators. The only thing they seem to have is a name that sounds pretty important. In reality, that doesn't seem to be a case. In the face of the negative pushback from so many coaches on their brief, Larry Kennan, the director of the NFLCA, said last week that the brief "wasn't intended to be a statement from NFL coaches, but a way to present the negative impact the lockout has had on the league's coaches."
In the end, coaches are part of management. They're still getting paid by the owners and probably made for a bit of an embarrassing and uncomfortable situation when news broke that an organization claiming to represent them had come against their employers.