I know what you know, and that is what I read and what I hear from the various reports in our media-frenzied world. There is optimism out there, that much is certain. Meetings between the owners and player head DeMaurice Smith have happened, and based on the reports, they were positive. There is plenty of work to be done, but there appears to be a clearing in the forest.
And at this point, I will take anything I can get. It has been a tortuous offseason for everyone. The prospect of not having a season, or of having a season impaired by a work stoppage, has been painful every day since March. The uncertainty of training camp and beyond has been terribly unsettling. What happens if ...?
For this day, for this weekend, I'm optimistic. I'm hopeful that news of a resolution will come in the near future, and that the cadence of the offseason will again allow us to build the anticipation for the season ahead.
There is no insider knowledge here, just a feeling. Just a sense. The smoke from recent talks between the two sides suggests progress is being made and that there is more of an urgency to get a deal done.
Go into the weekend feeling that there is some hope, then. After weeks of extreme concern, there is reason for optimism. Cherish it and hope it comes through.
- I love all of the Plaxico Burress speculation. I certainly have no idea where he will play in 2011, but it's exciting to read all of the stories that suggest he might be interested in joining the Eagles. The team, of course, has no comment. But given the way this offseason has gone, I'll take any nugget of a rumor that I can.
- I put very little stock into the workouts the players are having. It's great to get the guys together and build some chemistry. But the injury factor is high and the reward factor is low. So when news got out there that the Eagles had a workout and only a couple of players showed, I was actually relieved. When the labor situation is resolved, the players will get their work in. In the meantime, stay healthy.
- What are the Eagles going to do after the NFL gets back to business? I can't wait to find out. Clearly the defense needs some upgrades and the offense could always use more depth, but I expect the team to be judicious in free agency. Judicious but impactful, if that makes sense.
- Is Terrell Pryor an NFL-caliber quarterback? Not now, he isn't. Maybe in the future. His case, one I have followed for years, has always been on the front pages. He seems like a good kid and he is obviously very talented. But there is more to being a quarterback at this level than pure talent. I would hate to see his football career come to a grinding halt.
- Let's allow our minds to wander a bit. Maybe the NFL and the players strike a deal by the end of June. Then a guess is that the NFL will give teams a couple of days to get their internal business in order and to review the new rules, etc. Maybe, then, free agency would begin in early July and teams would likely have the players in through the month of July and start training camp late in July or in early August. That's what is going through my head right now. I know I shouldn't do it, but I am taking every bit of positive news to the extreme right now.
- Never in my recent memory has there been a situation where so many expectations are going to be on a veteran coaching staff. I was listening to Sirius/XM NFL radio the other day when Adam Schein called the Eagles' coaching staff the "best in the NFL." That's the kind of high praise the team has heard since adding Howard Mudd and Jim Washburn. Those guys are going to have their work cut out for them when the players report for practice.