Will The Lockout Make For Lesser Football?

FLOWERY BRANCH GA - JULY 30: The Atlanta Falcons stretch during opening day of training camp on July 30 2010 at the Falcons Training Complex in Flowery Branch Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

I missed this Pat Yasinskas article when it first landed, but the question he raises is one I've found myself contemplating on more than one occasion this off-season.

Will the length of the lockout end up hurting the product on the field?

The answer...is that none of us really know. It's going to depend on the conditioning players have put in, given the fact that no one is forcing them to, plus a team's ability to stuff its entire off-season program in a handful of weeks.The players and coaches are dedicated professionals, but I think we've all been down the road of having to motivate ourselves to do things when we used to have someone ordering us around. It can be tricky to keep yourself on top of your game.

Yasinskas and CBSSports columnist Pete Prisco have an interesting take on the lack of practice: They think it will actually help players who are basically bruised and battered throughout the year. It's a novel idea, and from a physical recovery standpoint it's a tough one to argue. I'm just not so sure about players who might not have had access to the playbook or the drive to study it.

We'll see, of course, but it's a slight concern.

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