NFL Lockout: 5 Teams That Need to Get to Practice as Soon as Possible
Of all the problems the lockout has caused, the most immediate problem is that teams haven't been able to learn their playbooks.
In addition, it will be very difficult for undrafted free agents to learn their respective teams' playbooks because they will have very little time to do so once they are chosen by a team.
It will also be hard on teams who had good draft classes, but won't be able to work with their talent.
Check out the teams who most need to lockout to end in order to get to practice.
After a second consecutive solid draft class, Detroit has a chance to improve on its recent drought.
The defensive line may be the best in the NFL and recent draftee Nick Fairley would benefit from work with his new teammates.
The offense needs work as well, after losing quarterback Matthew Stafford in Week 1 of last season against the Bears. If he can create a rhythm with the rest of the offense before the season starts, the Lions could climb over .500 in 2011.
The Bears' offensive line was the team's weakest link last year, giving up an NFL record nine sacks in one half against the Giants.
However, the unit began to get better toward the end of the season and could use more coaching in order to improve. Offensive line coach Mike Tice has done a great job with the line and the addition of Wisconsin offensive tackle Gabe Carimi should help as well.
However, it's impossible to get better without working together on the practice field and the Bears will need that extra work to improve in 2011.
Minnesota is the third NFC North team to make this list, and like its counterpart Detroit Lions, it needs work at quarterback.
Brett Favre's retirement leaves that job open for the taking, and it will likely be a battle between Joe Webb and Christian Ponder for that spot.
Webb filled in at times last year when Favre was injured, putting up OK numbers. Ponder was drafted No. 12 overall this season in a very controversial decision.
Both quarterbacks have the abilities to lead the Vikings back to the playoffs, but to do that they will need plenty of practice. That can't happen and a decision can't be made until the lockout is lifted.
A year after fielding one of the worst defenses in the NFL, Denver addressed that need in the draft, choosing six defensive players and picking up a lot of talent.
Now, in order to be successful in 2011, the Broncos need to start putting that talent to work and shaping their new defense.
Third overall pick Von Miller should be a star in the middle of the defense, and Rahim Moore will help out the secondary, which was awful against the pass.
The Denver defense will come around, but it needs to get on the practice field first. For that reason, the Broncos really need the lockout to end.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris described the effect of the lockout on player development perfectly. "Every day that goes by, you miss something, but you find a way to get it in," he told the St. Petersburg Times.
In this instance, the Bucs are missing time cultivating their newly acquired defensive front. Thier first two draft picks, DE Adrian Clayborn and DE Da'Quan Bowers, are both stars in the making and will help make the defense one of the best in the league in 2011 and beyond.
The offense will be good as well, but it was formed by putting together a number of talented team players, not big-name stars. For a team like that practice time is invaluable, and for Tampa Bay, the end of the lockout can't come soon enough.
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