Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 15, 2011
The NFL notebook …
NEW YORK ó An end to the NFL lockout might not be imminent, but it does appears much closer than at any point in the last three months.
Recent progress in labor talks between the league and players has sparked a new sense of optimism, and team owners have been told to be ready to extend their one-day meetings in Chicago next week.
The two sides made progress in labor negotiations held at an undisclosed location in Maryland. Those talks went through Wednesday.
A person with knowledge of the talks told The Associated Press that finalizing an agreement by next weekís ownersí meetings is unlikely. But a framework for a new collective bargaining deal could be presented in Chicago, with further tweaking extending the work stoppage until the end of the month.
A new CBA could be in place before the July 4th weekend, the person added, speaking on condition of anonymity because details of the meeting are not being made public.
FAIRFAX, Va. ó The Washington Redskins have added a new element this week in the quest to make their player-run practices look and feel like the real thing.
On Wednesday, a friend hired by quarterback John Beck stood atop a 10-foot metal platform with a camera, videotaping the plays.
“It’s tough when you don’t have tape to go back and critique,” Beck said. “That’s really the story of the lockout ó just doing what we can. It would be ideal if we could be at our facility with our coaches, talking with them, watching their tape, but we can’t. Even though it’s very basic, we can still learn a lot from this.”
Beck bemoaned that he couldn’t review his footwork and coverage reads after the first two player-run minicamps in April and May. When the players reconvened on Tuesday, he had his friend standing on the top row of the bleachers. Tight end Chris Cooley suggested using the platform instead to provide a better angle.
The players are reviewing the tape in the evenings at Cooley’s house.
“After having two weeks of not watching it and watching it for the first time yesterday, it’s nice to be able to go back, spend an hour and see how you’re running, see what your routes look like,” Cooley said. “I felt like here were adjustments that I was able to make today after just watching some subtle things instead of just coming out and running.”
BUFFALO, N.Y. ó Two-time Super Bowl-winning defensive tackle Jim Burt is one of a 12-member group to be inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame this year.
Burt is from Buffalo, and won NFL titles with the New York Giants in 1987 and San Francisco in 1990. He joins a class announced Wednesday that includes former Buffalo Bills running back Carlton Chester “Cookie” Gilchrist, who died in January, and bobsledder Steve Mesler, who was part of the “Night Train” sled that won gold at the Vancouver Games last year.
SMOOTH SUPER BOWL
INDIANAPOLIS ó The NFL wants this year’s Super Bowl to go smoothly.
Five months after the ticket debacle in Texas, NFL senior vice president Frank Supovitz came to Indianapolis to examine the Super Bowl host committee’s plan. He left town with the impression that things are on track and ready to go despite the uncertainties the lockout poses to the game scheduled for Feb. 5.