When the NFL lockout was briefly lifted last week, players were able to talk with coaches and pick up playbooks if they were being handed out. Draft picks that were flown in and introduced to the media (i.e. first-round selections like Nick Fairley) also had the chance to talk with coaches and potentially pick up playbooks.
Many coaches decided against handing out playbooks for the time being, opting instead to wait until later in the offseason. Jim Schwartz is one of those coaches, and he explained the decision to hold off on giving a guy like Fairley a playbook until a later date.
"Our blood pressure's pretty low on stuff like that," Schwartz said. "We don't want to rush things. You give somebody a set of instructions without being able to communicate with them, it really might not do a whole lot of good so we haven't done a whole lot."
When I first heard that Fairley didn't get a playbook, it didn't make sense to me. After reading Schwartz's comments on the matter, however, I get it completely. If you hand a calculus book to a student the first week of the school year but provide him/her no instruction, how much learning is actually possible? Schwartz's attitude is that there isn't much point in confusing players by giving them a playbook and no instruction, so he is going to wait until the lockout is lifted and coaches can actually coach to start teaching rookies the Lions' system and plays.