By now, you've surely heard or read about players across the league self-organizing to workout while the NFL Lockout drags on into third month. I don't have an official tally on which teams have had players take it upon themselves to organize voluntary players-only workouts, but I'd guess the number is in the mid to high 20s at least. The most impressive according to John Clayton have occurred in New Orleans where Drew Brees is has been paying for the 35 to 40 guys that have been showing up to regular workouts. Brees even has meeting rooms, Gatorade coolers and the like at the Saints' sessions. Impressive.
In Chicago, there has been no such activity. Now, don't get me wrong. Each and every player who decides not to risk injury while uninsured can't be blamed. But even if just to build camaraderie and go over the playbook/ or film, one would think that every last team would have a group of guys taking it upon themselves to get together. Bears linebacker Lance Briggs doesn't necessarily agree. Briggs joined Boers & Bernstein on WSCR on Wednesday to talk about how the Bears haven't had any players-only workouts, why he believes it's not a big deal whatsoever, and other lockout related topics like personal finances and HGH testing.
Are there groups of Bears players getting together to work out at this point?:
"I’ve looked on the ticker tape and seen on ESPN and it looks like there are guys around the country on some teams that are getting together. I’ve heard a little about that. Each team decides what they really need to do. I think our offense is supposed to be getting together this week. Regardless if they get together this week or not, when a decision comes around, a real decision will be made."
But doesn’t he miss working out with the guys?:
"I miss all the guys and I miss football, but I’ve had years where I haven’t been in at all or caught very little of the summer and played just fine during the season."
Briggs does make a decent point. It's not as imperative for defensive guys to get together as it is for an offense. We'll see when Jay Cutler and his playmakers do in fact meet up and put some time in together.
On players who were told to save money in case the lockout happened and how many of them really did that:
"We knew that the lockout was coming for two years now. Everyone was instructed to prepare. Those guys that didn’t do that are going to get hurt, like they are. I have a good financial team and we’ve been preparing for this for a while. It’s not hitting me like it is a lot of other guys. I’m pretty comfortable in my living right now."
Good to hear, but unfortunately it's not players of Briggs' caliber that are going to increasingly feel the pinch the longer this drags on. And unfortunately, I can see solidarity being very hard to achieve amongst those who did plan well and those who failed to heed the warnings that began over two years ago. Hopefully it won't come to that and we can begin putting this all behind us sometime in mid-June.