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SBD/March 23, 2011/Franchises
NFL Lockout Watch, Day 12: Bills Coaches Preparing As If There Were No Lockout
Published March 23, 2011
KEEP PLUGGING AWAY: Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris yesterday discussed the impact of the lockout on his team's preparations, saying, "The obvious downfall, when you're talking about the state of the league right now, is that you're not able to see your players as much as you did last year. It really hasn't affected us so far. Right now, we're just missing the guys being in there to lift. So we'll see. We're just concentrating on the draft and bringing in more people who can help us win" (TAMPABAY.com, 3/22).
BUSINESS AS USUAL: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell yesterday "seemed surprised that anyone would find it strange that 31 of 32 teams ... are demanding payment from season ticket-holders even though the league is currently in a lockout that may stretch for months." Goodell: "Very simple -- we're getting prepared to play for the 2011 season. We've identified policies for refunds if that is necessary" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/23). In Denver, Mike Klis reports the Broncos have asked season-ticket holders "for half payment on 2011 seats," and the "other half will come due later in the spring" (DENVER POST, 3/23).
READ AND REACT: Rams RB Steven Jackson yesterday honored St. Louis-area students as part of the Reading with the Rams contest. His appearance "on behalf of a team-sponsored program seems to rub against the grain of the labor strife between the NFL and its players," but Jackson said that he "wanted to appear because he had committed to the program months ago." Rams Dir of Community Outreach Michael Yarbrough said that the team "received special permission from the NFL to go through with the event" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 3/23).
NOTES: The Texans have launched a "Your Story, Your Glory" contest. Fans can visit the team's website to "submit your 'favorite game day rituals, routines or memories' from Texans games for a chance to be shown on the 2011 season tickets" (CHRON.com, 3/22)....Bears Chair Michael McCaskey "addressed owners, coaches and executives" yesterday at the NFL annual meetings with a "powerful four-minute speech." McCaskey "recounted how his grandfather George Halas founded pro football and shaped what has become the most popular sport in the United States." Redskins Owner Daniel Snyder described the speech as "beautiful" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/23).