Washington Redskins coaches were not part of the group of coaches that filed a brief Wednesday with the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals requesting that NFL owners lift the lockout, according to a letter the coaches sent to the league Thursday.
The letter, signed by every coach except Head Coach Mike Shanahan, who is part of the team’s management, says that “we stand united with our ownership and the brief does not reflect our thoughts on the matter.”
A source familiar with the situation said the Redskins’ coaches grew concerned that the court document filed by the Coaches Association Wednesday could jeopardize their relationship with management and possibly cost them their jobs.
Larry Kennan, director of the NFL Coaches Association, organized the effort that resulted in Wednesday’s filing of a friend-of-the-court brief in the NFL lockout case.
The NFLCA stated in the court filing that the NFL “is attempting an end-run around a unanimous Supreme Court,” which had clearly stated that the league is subject to anti-trust laws in a decision last year.
The coaches association isn’t an official governing body and doesn’t speak for all coaches as the players association does for players. The players association was a labor union until the players chose to dissolve it a day before the March 12 lockout. It is now technically a trade association.
Names weren’t included in the coaches association brief, but Kennan told NFL.com that names weren’t necessary.
The Redskins coaches obviously felt differently and on Thursday sent the two-paragraph letter to the league, signed by 17 assistant coaches.
“The Washington Redskins’ coaching staff has not given its backing to the brief filed with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of the National Football League Coaches Assocation,” it reads. “Our former representative, Kirk Olivadotti, is no longer with the organization and no member of our coaching staff was consulted prior to this action being taken.”