To me, the real story here is the NFL's apparent unwillingness to stand up to the NFLPA. For the league to take action against the team on this one, they had to determine that the offensive and defensive linemen were engaging in "live" contact. Their interpretation of what that means would seem to render the term almost meaningless.
I don't blame the NFLPA here, they're just doing what they think is in the best interests of the players (though one wonders why they'd not actually listen to the players on the team they're looking to take issue with first, rather than simply running to the league. The REdskins 3 union reps, one of whom is a national member, have all categorically stated that in their view the practices were well within the guidelines). Who I do take issue with is the league, which seems to have simply taken the easy way out. I'd have hoped they'd show a bit more backbone. Hopefully, they'll at least promulgate some language now, to make available to teams for future reference, explaining how guys going 1/2 speed with no pads constitutes "live" contact work.
I have suggested the Redskins might find it worthy of an appeal should the league cave to the union like they seem to have ... but even if they DID care what I think, I doubt they will since the penalty the league chose to impose is so minimal. That's probably not an accident, either---Tags seems far more interested in simply making this go away as quietly as possible than he is in actually dealing with the issue.
Disappointing outcome all around; both as a Skins fan and fan of the NFL.
Last edited by Om : 06-10-2005 at 09:07 AM.