With the draft still more than a month away and the biggest names in free agency finding homes, we are in a little bit of a lull when it comes to news. However, John Hansen attended the combine and Adam Caplan spent time at the owners’ meetings looking to pick up any information from coaches, executives, and other team officials. What we have here are some of the nuggets from the coaches that spoke last week in Arizona.
Bruce Arians, Cardinals
-Believes addition of Rashard Mendenhall helps because of their history. Mendenhall doesn’t need to come out of the game.
-Prefers to use one RB instead of committee
-Wants to name starting QB ASAP, possibly by end of spring. Comfortable with Drew Stanton because he knows the system already and has some athleticism.
-Outside of Levi Brown at LT, there will be competition on the OL.
-Wants flexibility at TE because he doesn’t like to use a FB. Rob Housler praised for being an excellent receiver, just scratching the surface.
Tom Coughlin, Giants
-Excited about Brandon Myers’ catch total from 2012. Believe he’s well rounded and can help with ground game.
Jason Garrett, Cowboys
-Need more than one RB. Need to run it better. Need to balance offense and healthy [...]
We are finally getting good news on the labor front, and details are starting to emerge about what a new CBA could like it. Get ready for a hectic time in fantasy football, as free agency could be just a few weeks away.
Free agency on the horizon? … The owners’ expected extended stay in Chicago ended up lasting only one day, but just about all the news coming out of their meetings was positive. Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports that the dissenting opinions in the room were not very significant, with only a handful speaking out against the progress that’s been made in labor talks. He believes there is a push to get a deal done around July 4. Negotiations with the players are scheduled to resume today in the Boston area.
Obviously, this is all good news, but perhaps the biggest story of the day was a report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that provides an overview of what the new CBA could look like:
About 48% of revenue to the players
A rookie wage scale
No mandated 18-game schedule
The potential for a 16-game Thursday night schedule
The big news Friday morning is that some owners are apparently resisting movements on the labor front, but that should not surprise anyway. Instead, we focus on the happiness of a Jacksonville tight end and the running game in New York.
Lewis looking for more … Jaguar TE Marcedes Lewis emerged as one of the league’s most complete players at the position in 2010, and he was also a very viable fantasy option because of his knack for getting into the endzone. After his strong season, the Jaguars opted to put the franchise tag on Lewis – a move he is not pleased with. Of course, we have no idea if a franchise tag will mean anything until the labor mess is resolved, but Lewis said he wants a long-term deal to stay in Jacksonville and feels he’s put in the work necessary over the last five years to warrant more than just a one-year tag. Lewis caught 58 passes for 700 yards and 10 TDs last season, and the numbers certainly jumped out considering he had a total of 7 TDs in his first four seasons. All the numbers were career bests, and he ranked 7th among TEs with an [...]
Another weekend has come and gone, and unfortunately, the lockout did not get raptured. We are still here, and so is the lockout, but we are getting closer to the June 3 day in court in St. Louis.
[Insert clichés about competition here] … You’ve got to play them one day at a time. I’m just happy to be here; hope I can help the ball club. I just want to give it my best shot, and the good Lord willing, things will work out.
Perhaps Jaguar QB David Garrard is the new Crash Davis, as he brought out the clichés – and acknowledged it – when discussing his upcoming quarterback battle with rookie 1st-round pick Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh …. or, uh, Blaine Gabbert.
Said Garrard, according to The Florida Times-Union: “My thing is the best man will play. The cream will rise to the top. All those different sayings. That’s true, you want the best person out there on the field to give the team the best chance. That’s what I believe. If it’s not me, then it’s just not me. If Blaine comes in and he is above and beyond just better than me, then best of luck to him. [...]
Thursday may have been the best day to be a football fan since the season ended, as we not only found out that the league was re-opening their doors to players, but saw one hell of a first round in this year’s draft. While the majority of picks were safe, we did see a few trades and a few shockers that shook things up significantly.
While Cam Newton may need some time to develop, fear not Panther fans, Jimmy Clausen was back to work this morning.
League allows players to return to work … as of 8 a.m. ET Friday morning. With Judge Susan Nelson ruling that the lockout was illegal and refusing to grant a stay, it took some time for the league to work out the details before they re-opened the doors to the players. Teams had been told to turn away players who reported over the last three days, but welcomed them in this morning with reports of the Panthers and Titan players already at team facilities. Team workouts have already been scheduled by the Lions (OTAs on Wednesday) and Bears (rookie camp next weekend). Players reporting for workouts will get credit towards team bonuses, which was a [...]
HAPPY COURT DAY! Ah, yes, the long countdown ends. After weeks of pointless bickering via Twitter, the NFL and its players will be meeting again today – this time in front of U.S. District Judge Susan Nelson in Minnesota.
Brady v. NFL commences … Three and a half weeks after endless mediation sessions got us nowhere, the battle between the NFL
Judge Smails has sentenced lockouts younger than this to the gas chamber. He didn't want to do it, but he felt he owed it to them.
and the players’ union trade association heads to court for a hearing on whether to grant a preliminary injunction that could prevent the lockout and force the league to operate as usual. Of course, we don’t know how Judge Nelson will rule, we don’t know when she will rule, and the granting of an injunction will result in an appeal by the league anyway. Still, even in the event of an appeal, she could order the lockout lifted while we wait. What could that mean? Well, free agency, trades, and all the usual fun that we enjoy in the off-season. Sure beats talking about the lockout. Another possibility is that Nelson could order the [...]
With the NFL at a standstill, we openly wonder if there will be anything to talk about in this blog, yet we continue to have content with either the league or the players finding the need to open their mouths to convince the fans that they’re the ones doing whatever it takes to make sure there’s football in 2011. It hasn’t changed anything and at this point, we’d like both sides to keep quiet unless they’re announcing a resolution to this mess.
Is this what Comissioner Goodell meant when he said there will be football in 2011?
Goodell sends out letter to players … detailing the final offer the league made last Friday in an effort to get back to negotiations. The letter details the proposal and tries to convince the players that that a fair offer was made to prevent a work stoppage. While the league is presenting this as the Commissioner trying to communicate with the players who weren’t at the negotiating table, it’s obvious he’s trying to create a divide among the players and pressure those who weren’t there to urge their leaders to get back to negotiations. Early reactions indicate that the players aren’t biting, as [...]
Obviously, the lockout has prevented a steady stream of news from sneaking out of NFL land, but Wednesday still saw an important meeting of the NFL competition committee, which recommended several rule changes for the 2011 season and beyond. Here is a brief rundown of the rules suggested.
The biggest change would be moving the kickoff up to the 35-yard line, and moving touchback start points from the 20 to the 25. The committee believes that serious injuries can be avoided by marginalizing the kickoff, which is tough to argue. But how will a team like the Chicago Bears, so dependent on star KR Devin Hester, feel about the rule changes? We can’t imagine they’re thrilled.
Wedge blocking, of the two or three-man variety, would be banned on returns. The competition committee banned three-man wedges last season, but teams were able to scheme around the rule changes with two-man wedges. This rule will seek to change that.
The committee has recommended expanding instant replay. If passed, the new replay rules would require a replay official to watch every scoring play and determine if the correct call was made, as opposed to a coach having to use a challenge flag on a pivotal play. [...]