Nobody knows when that might be, but the coaches are relying on their veteran leaders to ensure no players are slacking off.
"That won't happen. This is their trade and livelihood," added Munchak, who was a player during the 1982 and 1987 player strikes. "Guys now back in Nashville will be working out on their own. They know how important it is to be in shape."
With a hearing set for April 6 as 10 players seek an injunction in U.S. District Court to block the lockout, and with no negotiations scheduled, the labor impasse could last a while. Players normally would report for offseason workouts now, mostly weight training and exercise. Team drills wouldn't come for several more weeks.
By mid-April, though, working on plays with teammates becomes important.
"They're on their own," the New York Jets coach said. "It's not like you organize anything. Somebody said, 'Are they working out?' I have no idea. You don't know who's working out, who's not working out, all this stuff. But I'm confident that when our guys come back, they will be ready to roll."
Ryan and the other coaches cannot contact the players during the work stoppage. They simply must rely on their players' professionalism.
Added new Oakland Raiders coach Hue Jackson: "I think a pro football player knows what his duties are and what he needs to do to prepare himself to play. There's a lot being made right now about guys getting together to work out. Is there some good to that? There's no question there is. But most players right now are probably preparing their bodies to get ready for an offseason program, so I would think if you play in the National Football League, you're doing everything you can do get your bodies and minds right so you can be ready to go play."
Whenever that is.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press