Several more coaching staffs have tried to distance themselves from a court brief filed last week by the NFL Coaches Association with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals supporting the players in the labor dispute, following the lead of the Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Coaches File Brief Supporting Players
The NFL Coaches Association filed a brief May 25 in support of the players' hope to lift the lockout. Read the brief here. PDF
Representatives of the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texans, St. Louis Rams, Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings have made it clear they didn't support the brief.
Eagles coach Andy Reid said Thursday he and his staff were unaware the brief was being filed.
"We were surprised by the filing and do not support it in any way," Reid said in the statement.
Jets coach Rex Ryan said the brief "came out of left field" for his staff.
"Nobody knew it was filed and nobody approved it being filed, so that's where it is," Ryan said in a statement released by the team Thursday.
The Dallas Morning News reported that the Cowboys staff sent a letter to the NFLCA signed by assistant John Garrett that the Dallas coaches didn't authorize the filing.
"We did not provide (NFLCA executive director) Larry Kennan with the authority to file such brief on our behalf and do not agree with the brief's position," Garrett wrote in the letter, according to the newspaper.
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier says his coaching staff was never contacted by the association and will "always be supportive of our management."
"It really doesn't in a lot of ways pertain to us because we had no say in it as a staff. ... I just know for us being supportive of the Wilf family and the Minnesota Vikings organization is where our staff really feels is important to us," Frazier said.
Chiefs coach Todd Haley told the Kansas City Star that his staff also was surprised by the filing.
"Nobody was aware that it was going to happen. This was not on behalf of the coaches," Haley told the newspaper.
Texans coach Gary Kubiak also didn't support the filing of the brief.
"The brief didn't reflect the views of our coaching staff. We support our organization," Kubiak told the Houston Chronicle.
In a statement released by the team, Bills offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins says the entire Bills staff supports team owner Ralph Wilson. Modkins adds, Bills coaches had no knowledge of the NFLCA's intention to file a brief to a federal appeals court last week supporting the players' bid to have the lockout lifted.
Rams general manager Billy Devaney told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that St. Louis' coaches also were unaware of the filing.
"They assured me that they weren't informed or consulted about it," Devaney told the Post-Dispatch.
Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said Wednesday his staff had no knowledge the brief would be filed.
The Redskins' coaching staff released a similar statement last week in response to the NFLCA's court filing.
And Saints linebackers coach Joe Vitt told the Times-Picayune last week that New Orleans' coaches were "appalled" by the brief.
The NFLCA did not identify any individual coaches in its brief to the 8th Circuit.
Unlike the NFLPA, which represented every NFL player before decertifying and becoming a trade association, the NFLCA does not represent all of the NFL's coaches. It's up to the coaches whether to join. Vitt told the Times-Picayune that the Saints' coaches decided as a group in 2006 not to become part of the union.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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