Right now is crunch time for the NFL and the NFLPA. If they can't make significant progress this week, it's likely they will lose some pre-season games, particularly the HOF Game between the Rams and the Bears. From the beginning of the lockout it has been said that no deal would be reached until one or both sides are feeling the pressure to get a deal, and right now is that time for both sides.
To the links
According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, the two side's layers are currently primarily the language of the potential deal with the lead negotiators coming back tomorrow and Friday. Now this doesn't mean that a deal is done, there are still many issues to solve, but it does show that they've made good progress in some areas and that they are expecting to get a deal done. From what I hear, they have about 10 days to finalize the CBA to not miss any pre-season games so hopefully they aren't too far apart.
According to NFL.com, a group of about 40 plantiffs have filed a class action lawsuit to put a halt to negotiations, and to demand that they are given a seat at the table. They argue that the NFLPA isn't representing the retired player's interest. The want 3% (1.5% from both sides) set aside from retired players. My thoughts are this will be ignored and won't be looked at before a deal is reached. I don't see why they are demanding a seat now. They should have done that about 3 months ago.
Another NFL.com article discusses a new documentary made by former NFL RB Dorsey Levens. He thinks that it will be very difficult to change the mentality of a defensive player. Ellis Hobbes said in the film that after the Eagles watched the illegal hits film, the D Coordinator said that this doesn't change their mentality and we will play the same way. It will be interesting to see how teams react when they are getting fined as well as players getting suspended for hits to the head. They will either have to change or suffer the consequences.
Ethan Novak form bleacherreport.com took a look at what he thinks Danny's role should be next year. He says he wants to see the team maximize Danny and keep him fresh. He stated that he saw times where he was completely exhausted in the fourth quarter. As a reciever, Ethan says what everyone says, put him in the slot, he's the man there! He also thinks we should use him in the kick return game for the reason that he has the most experience of anyone on the team, and with the new kickoff rules, that will be at a premium. He says that Amendola should not return punts though. He says that it puts Danny at too much of an injury risk and also one of the three roles he played last year should be cut so he may be fresher in games, and the punt game is the one he believes has the highest risk of injury and the least impact. I would have to agree with everything Ethan said. Amendola will need to be fresh as his role as a WR will increase next year.
Have a good one and GO RAMS!!
(extra link from 3k)
Matt Bowen had a great breakdown of the Rams' first touchdown from the Raiders game. He goes into much further detail (with more NFL-level nomenclature) on the Bradford-to-Clayton touchdown. It's definitely worth your time, and don't miss out on the comments section for those who don't know what high hat vs. low hat recognition is. For 4-3 pass defense, it's a crucial part of the linebackers' assignments.