There's not a ton to cover this morning. The lockout has everything at a standstill, and there's only so much sifting through the rubble to be done. Sure, I might mention last night's NBA Draft, but only to laugh at NBA Commissioner David Stern trying to work his way out of the boos or to note that Ron Artest's proposed name change is more interesting than the draft itself was. But only in passing. I'm a football guy, and if all that's left is the bottom of the barrel, I'll scrape with whoever's left with me.
Got your barrel scraper? Let's go.
Rams/NFC West (w/ mandatory lockout lead)
- There's nothing incredibly new on the lockout front. Minnesota Vikings LB Ben Leber offered his take yesterday evening after a pretty headline-less call from NFLPA/whatever it is in its current fashion Head Guy DeMaurice Smith. Leber suggested we might see a shorter training camp with a couple preseason games cut out, but a full 16-game regular season. Yay. You can follow any updates through the SBN StoryStream on the lockout if you crave lockout details.
- Pro Football Focus has been sifting through their data to compare pass rushing results from different positions for both 2010 individually and the last three years. They released their chart on linebackers this morning, and Laurinaitis fares pretty well for someone not known for his pass-rushing skills. ManBeast. No other Rams make the top 20 for either last season or the last three years collectively. For reference, here's their data on edge rushers (not great numbers for George Selvie and C.J. Ah You), and here's their data on inside rushers (Fred Robbins barely snuck into last year's top 20).
- Good piece from Will at Rams Herd this morning on fan relations and the league. I've always believed the best fan experiences are to be had from smaller leagues more desperate to curry favor. I've always had a great time going to minor league baseball games and college football games in the South. Mark Cuban made fan satisfaction a key point when he took over the Mavericks. NFL teams? Meh. I've never really been blown away, but I think that's largely because Americans are by and large addicted to football and owners can get away with it.
- NFL.com's Jason La Canfora was on the radio in Seattle the other day to talk about Matt Hasselbeck, and Field Gulls has the money quotes. Interesting read on a situation that will certainly have an impact on the Rams this year.
- Fuzzy Thurston, who was part of those great Green Bay Packers teams in the early '60s, owes the IRS a lot of money. Their solution? Sell his Super Bowl ring. That really sucks.
- Is Chris Johnson about to get paid by the Titans, or do they want to win football games? Oh running backs. You're so silly.
- Speaking of silly running backs, I should be creeped out that Reggie Bush is now dating a Kim Kardashian doppelganger, right? It's too similar to Colbert and Charlene (great week for the Colbert Report BTW).
- And what is this stuff with Brian Urlacher and Dhani Jones? If there's a psychologist in the house, hit us up with a good medical term for the lockout making people do/say dumb crap.
Mascot injury updates
- The Phillie Phanatic is funny even through injury. Get well, brave warrior. The world needs you now more than ever.
Stick with us this weekend. We'll try to keep the football fires going, and I'm going to throw the TST map out there again later today, so if you're not on it you can jump in.