SBD/March 29, 2011/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Schaub leading Texans players through workouts during NFL lockout
In Houston, Jose De Jesus Ortiz reports Texans QB Matt Schaub "has taken it upon himself to help try to get the team ready" for the '11 season. Schaub yesterday "spent part of his morning working out with about two dozen Texans." Schaub: "You still have to go about your business and prepare for the season. Once we get something done with the league, hopefully sooner than later, we all have to be ready and in shape" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 3/29). Meanwhile, in Phoenix, Kent Somers wrote the Cardinals "seem among the least likely teams to organize such off-season workouts," as "many of their key players -- receiver Steve Breaston, center Lyle Sendlein, guards Alan Faneca and Deuce Lutui -- have no contract for 2011" (AZCENTRAL.com, 3/28).

KEEPING FANS INFORMED: Eagles Owner Jeffrey Lurie and President Joe Banner "sent a letter to season ticketholders this week to update them on the NFL meetings and the labor situation," marking the "second letter they have sent to fans since the lockout" began. The letter reads in part: "Having just returned from New Orleans earlier this week, we wanted to take a few moments to give you a report. ... On collective bargaining, we reviewed the status of the union's litigation as well as the current work stoppage. We want to assure you that we want this resolved. We believe we offered a fair proposal that would pay the players an estimated $19-20 billion over the next four years, 2 billion more than they made over the previous four. ... We know that we will have a collective bargaining agreement with the players' union at some point" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 3/29).

PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE: In Oakland, Monte Poole writes, "Any euphoria felt by Warriors fans with the fall of the Chris Cohan era has given way to anxieties and debate over the capability of the new regime." Co-Owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber "haven't been instant saviors." They "haven't delivered miracles or engineered dramatic improvement," and "with the new Warriors looking a lot like the old Warriors, impatient fans are growing restless." It is "much too early to conclude that Lacob won't find the right answers," as it is "not reasonable or rational to expect him to so quickly repair and redirect a vessel adrift for all but a few moments over the past 16 years." It is "not unfair, however, to wonder if he can repair and redirect the thing at all" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 3/29).

TIME FOR A CHANGE? In N.Y., Mitch Lawrence cited sources as saying that Knicks President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh "wouldn't be disappointed" if Owner Jim Dolan "lets him go this spring." But Walsh "isn't ready to retire, far from it." If Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird "decides to step down at season's end, Walsh would be at the top of the list to run the Pacers." He and Pacers Owner Herb Simon "have more than a long-time business relationship." The two are "extremely close and Walsh enjoyed overseeing the mom-and-pop operation when he ran the Pacers for 22 years" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/27).
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