Teams Who Have Been Hurt Most by the Lockout

NFL Lockout 2011.  Pretty depressing thought eh?  Especially because the draft happened about a month ago, so we have nothing to distract us from the fact that we might not get football.  In this post, I’ll look at a few teams who I think are really hurt by the lockout.  You’ll see a common trend in the teams I pick very quickly as I go through my explanations.  While no team is helped by the lockout, there are teams that are hurt less because they have a solid foundation, particularly at the Quarterback position.  So without further ado, teams that are hurt most by the lockout:

– The Carolina Panthers, San Francisco 49’ers, Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans, and Cincinatti Bengals.  These were all teams that drafted a Quarterback in April’s draft with the intention of starting the season with their new QB’s under center.  These are all fairly obvious picks, because none of these teams have backup QB’s that can be depended on.  Not only are these teams bringing in rookie QB’s, some of them are bringing in new coaches.  That means entire teams need to learn the new systems, but they can’t because of the lockout rules that prevent coaches from communicating with players.  So the most important player in sports doesn’t get to learn his new system, along with all the verbiage that he can’t possibly grasp very quickly, and the rest of his team might be in the dark too.  I fully expect these teams to be the bottom-feeders in their divisions this year, because there’s just too much work for them to do in too little time.  Not that I expected much from any of these new quarterbacks except Jake Locker and possibly Andy Dalton.

– The Miami Dolphins.  The owners have soured on the coaches, and the coaches have soured on starting QB Chad Henne.  This organization is rotting from top to bottom, and a lockout will only make it worse.  Henne has a great arm, but he’s had trouble with his accuracy, and I haven’t heard of him organizing his own workouts, stepping up and being a leader, or any of that kind of stuff you hear about with other players.  And while the last couple of years the Dolphins have been able to lean on an elite running game, Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are both free agents, and both were very ineffective last year.  This team lost it’s running game, which was a strength, and Chad Henne and Brandon Marshall were not effective as a tandem last year.

– The Washington Redskins.  Even with a lockout, the drama never stops with this team.  Now, you’ve got three quarterbacks all saying they want the job through the media, and even though Donovan McNabb is the best QB of the bunch, I think John Beck or Rex Grossman will win the job (and of the two, the obvious pick is Sexy Rexy.)  They also don’t really have a running game to rely on, and their Receiving corps is thin too.  Honestly, this looks like a team that will be lucky to replicate last year’s 6-10 record.  The lockout only makes it worse, because the lack of offseason camps prevents the coaches from seeing who’s looking good and who’s not.  So it’s very likely that Mike Shanahan goes with his gut and starts Beck.  Beck, by the way, hasn’t won a game in 4 years.

– The Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals.  This duo of NFC West teams are in trouble because the lockout has prevented them from signing free agents or trading draft picks to acquire players.  The Seahawks need to know if they can realistically sign Matt Hasselbeck for another year, and the Cardinals need to know if they can realistically trade draft picks to acquire Kevin Kolb.  Of the two, Kolb is a better long-term solution, while Hasselbeck is a stop-gap type solution.  And if the Cardinals have to go with their rookie QB combo again, it could spell disaster (and possibly put them in line to draft Andrew Luck next year).  If the Cards can’t trade for Kevin Kolb, they also need time to possibly sign a Marc Bulger type QB and plug him into their system.  The lockout has definitely adversely effected both points.

Overall, it should be painfully obvious that the teams that are hurt most are those trying to bring in new QB’s, or otherwise don’t know what the future of the Quarterback situations are with their teams.  I suspect that when the lockout finally ends, those two NFC West teams will figure out their situations fastest, because both teams have solid management groups from top to bottom.  Teams like the Saints, Packers, Colts, Steelers, and Patriots will be least affected because they have top-tier QB’s who are also the clear leaders of their teams, and already have rapports with their receivers.

Which team is in the most trouble to you?  Tell me with a comment!

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