The NFL lockout is the talk of the nation and the 2011 season is in question. The Oakland Raiders made big strides in 2010 and are looking to make a playoff run next season.
The 2011 season will be crucial for Oakland and the members of the Raider Nation. Hopes and expectations are high after finishing 6-0 in the AFC West. Is it possible that the NFL lockout could hurt a young Raiders team that is trying to turn things around?
A new head coach will walk the sidelines once again for the Raiders. The lockout could cut his offseason program short which would be a terrible thing for a first-year head coach. When you start with a new team, you are eager to implement your systems in the offseason.
You want the team to get a feel for the way you go about your business. During the lockout, coaches can't even communicate with their players. Rod Woodson can't call Stanford Routt or Tyvon Branch to talk about his defensive backs philosophy.
Greg Biekert can't dial up Rolando McClain to go over defensive schemes and how to study film. Players can't use the team facilities to workout.
The possible loss of time during the lockout would not only affect a new head coach, but it would affect a young roster that is in the middle of some serious changes.
It's possible the Raiders defense takes the field without Michael Huff and Nnamdi Asomugha. The Raiders offensive line will look much different without Robert Gallery. The roster is full of young, talented players who would be affected by a long lockout.
This offseason has been a bit troubling for Raider players already. Louis Murphy, Michael Bush and John Henderson have had run-ins with the law.
Jason Campbell needs as much time as possible to work with new offensive coordinator Al Saunders and new head coach Hue Jackson to go over the offense and how they want it run.
Young defenders like Matt Shaughnessy, McClain, Lamarr Houston and Mike Mitchell need to spend time with their position coaches.
Last year's new additions, Kamerion Wimbley, Quentein Groves and John Henderson, need to spend their first full offseason working with their coaches so their second year is an improvement over their first year with the team.
There are many reasons the NFL lockout could be very difficult for the Raiders, as well as many other NFL teams in a transition year.
A long lockout could prove harmful to a team that needs to get the most out of their offseason as possible.
New coaches and younger players could struggle meshing if they don't have much time during the offseason to get together and work on their chemistry and technique.
The 2011 season could be the when the Raiders return to the playoffs, but a long lockout would hurt their chances.
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