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Reactions to NFLCA's brief range from surprise to anger

  • By NFL.com
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The list of coaching staff leaders publicly distancing themselves from the NFL Coaches Association's brief filed with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals continues to grow.

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The brief expresses support for the players in their labor fight with owners, a stance that puts coaching units in a difficult position.

Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid said in a statement released Thursday that his staff was unaware the brief was being filed, and he left no doubt where the team's coaches stand on the issue.

"We were surprised by the filing and do not support it in any way," Reid said.

Kansas City Chiefs coach Todd Haley expressed a similar sentiment.

"In talking to all of our guys, there was a great deal of surprise this was filed on their behalf," Haley told The Kansas City Star on Wednesday. "Nobody was aware that it was going to happen. This was not on behalf of the coaches."

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan also released a statement on his team's official website Thursday.

"I spoke with the coaches about it," Ryan said. "The thing I can say about it is none of our guys knew anything about it. It kind of came out of left field on us. Nobody knew it was filed, and nobody approved it being filed, so that's where it is.”

Bills offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins released his own statement on the issue, according to The Buffalo News:

"Our entire staff had no prior knowledge, nor were we consulted that the amicus brief was being filed on behalf of the coaches," Modkins said. "We support Mr. (Ralph) Wilson. Our focus is on our preparation for the 2011 season."

The Chicago Bears later joined the fray, issuing the following statement: "The Chicago Bears coaching staff was not made aware of the brief filed with the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals by the National Football League Coaches Association. We were not contacted and had no knowledge that any such brief would be filed.

"The Chicago Bears have not authorized the NFLCA to speak on their behalf on issues related to the litigation involving the players and the NFL. We are very appreciative of how the Bears organization has handled the conditions of employment during the work stoppage."

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Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier told ESPN Radio Twin Cities on Friday that his staff didn't know about the brief and would "always be supportive of our management."

The proclamations are just the latest in a round of commentary from representatives from multiple NFL teams expressing displeasure and surprise with the coaches association's actions.

Jacksonville Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio, Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak, Dallas Cowboys assistant coach John Garrett, St. Louis Rams general manager Billy Devaney, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and New Orleans Saints assistant coach Joe Vitt are all on record as being caught off guard or unhappy with the NFLCA. The staff of the Washington Redskins also released a statement admonishing the brief.

The NFLCA didn't identify any individual coaches in its brief to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

"Owners and fans increasingly demand immediate success," the NFLCA lawyers wrote in the brief, "and coaches whose teams cannot fulfill such severe expectations face likely dismissal, which means the uprooting of families, economic dislocation, and a significantly less promising career path."

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