Coaches caught in middle of lockout mess

INDIANAPOLIS -- Larry Kennan of the NFL coaches union believes several NFL coaching staffs in the league could be severely affected by a long lockout.

Kennan, the executive director of the NFL coaches association, said he believes coaches on 12 teams (including San Diego) could lose 20-25 percent of their salary after the first month of the lockout with the potential for several coaches being terminated. Teams can cut up to 40 percent of their salaries. Another league source said every coaching staff could be adversely affected during a long lockout.

“The coaches are the ones who will be spilling blood during this thing,” one NFL head coach said Saturday at the NFL combine.

This is clearly a difficult situation for the coaches of the teams affected. These coaches are truly caught in the crossfire of the dispute between the players and owners. They have nothing to gain from this lockout, but certainly much to lose.

If there is a lockout coaches cannot have any contact with players. Thus, the coaches won’t have much to do if the lockout extends past the April 28-30 draft. If we hit May and the lockout is still going on with no end in sight, there is a concern around the league that teams will be desperate to chop payroll and start terminating coaches.

So, while they are not part of the negotiations and have no say in the matter, NFL head and assistant coaches are directly invested in these talks, and they are as nervous as everyone else involved.