NFL: Let the games begin … after a crazy preseason

DeMaurice Smith executive director of the National Football League Players' Association and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell address the the media.

Imagine Eminem rapping over a techno beat.

That’s what the next few days should feel like, now that the NFL has ended its five-month labor dispute. The timeline is fast and furious as teams try to cram days into hours and weeks into days.

“This is a long time coming, and football’s back,” commissioner Roger Goodell said yesterday.
As you read this, trades are being pursued, free agents are being wooed and draft picks are getting playbooks. The schedule for acquiring new players has been shrunk from a month to just 10 days.
Hopefully teams haven’t been sitting back enjoying “Entourage” reruns over the past few months.

Coaches will have less than three weeks to make key personnel and strategic decisions. Who goes? Who stays? What kind of defensive scheme? The NFL is officially in a speed rush.

And training camp … well, that starts tomorrow for some teams. Of course, that will also have a different look. Under the new CBA, traditional two-a-days are banned, meaning teams can no longer pound each other to a pulp. If they choose to practice twice a day, the second one will be without pads — no exceptions. It’s part of the league’s new player safety guidelines.


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