Coaches claim new NFL staffs like 49ers 'at risk'

May 26, 2011, 3:06 am
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May 25, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVE49ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEOMatt MaioccoCSNBayArea.comThe NFL's offseason is stuck in neutral because of a labor dispute pitting the owners vs. the players.On Wednesday, the coaches publicly chose a side in the matter.The NFL Coaches Association filed a brief in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the players' antitrust lawsuit designed to force an end to the lockout. The coaches made the claim that they will also suffer irreparable harm with a continued lockout."The burdens of little job security and frequent moves mean that a prolonged lockout would inflict significant economic harm and career risks on the coaches," according to the brief filed on behalf of the NFL Coaches Association.The NFLCA is a non-union voluntary association represents the interests of NFL coaches and assistant coaches, as well as many retired coaches formerly employed by those NFL teams, according to the brief.RELATED: Latest on the NFL lockout
Larry Kennan, the executive director of the NFL Coaches Association, told CSN Bay Area in March that 49ers assistant coaches had it written into their contracts that 20 percent of their salaries would be withheld immediately if there were a work stoppage. The lockout has been in effect since March 12.In August, if there is still a lockout, an additional 20 percent -- or 40 percent total -- will be withheld from the salaries of 49ers assistants, Kennan said.But 49ers assistant coaches would recoup all their losses if no games are lost due to the work stoppage, Kennan said. The 49ers will pay back 10 percent of the money withheld for each of the 49ers' 10 home games that is played this year, he said.Assistant coaches generally sign two-year contracts, and there is little job security, the brief stated. Every two years, approximately 40 to 45 percent of NFL coaches change jobs, according to the filing."(G)iven the imperative to produce immediate results, a lockout also threatens coaches' career prospects," the brief read. "Coaches desperately need time with their players to prepare for the upcoming season. The spring and summer months are crucial both to prepare players physically for the demanding season and also to teach the players the offensive and defensive schemes that will be used throughout the year."NEWS: NFL headlines
The brief suggests that the new 49ers coaching staff is more vulnerable than most of the others in the NFL. New coach Jim Harbaugh, who spent the previous four seasons at Stanford, put together a staff comprised of seven coordinators and position coaches who were not in the NFL last season."The lockout, if left in force, will prevent the coaches from meaningfully preparing and readying themselves for the season," the brief stated. "While all coaches will be exposed to greater risk of failure, the eight teams with new coaching staffs are at particular risk."Since unforgiving expectations for immediate results will persist regardless of any lack of opportunity to prepare, these eight coaching staffs are losing irreplaceable time to prepare for a job that demands success."On April 25, Judge Nelson of the U.S. District Court granted the players' request for a preliminary injection, ending the lockout. But four days later, during the second day of the NFL draft, a three-member panel of the Eighth Circuit granted the NFL a temporary stay. The court later made the stay -- and the lockout -- permanent.The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals announced an expedited appeals schedule for the case with the oral arguments set to take place June 3 in St. Louis.