Howdy all, thanks for joining me. I shan't lie to you, this is the first time I've used these tools so please bear with me if we have any teething troubles.
@Paolo_Bandini Hi Paolo - not sure if you got my last tweet - can you ask the commish if the league could change the draft to give the worst teams access to better players to get the league back towards parity?
Hey dcb72 (SkipperD?) Afraid that to do this live I've had to position myself out of the press conference itself - so am watching it via a live stream in the media centre. Could potentially run in and try to get the mike at some point but it's likely to be packed and by the time I had left here, got in and waited my turn we'd probably have missed most of the presser.
Obviously being outside is not ideal, but in the end we thought it was important that I get used to these tools before the game on Sunday and this seemed the best way.
@ Peter - To be honest I've barely been into Miami so far - along with most of the media I'm staying up in Fort Lauderdale (maybe half an hour by car depending on traffic), where the media centre and Colts' team hotel are also based. Around here there are definitely more Saints fans than Colts fans but not that packed generally. Would imagine it's getting busy down on South Beach ...
@rjcpacker - Yeah, the players as a group seem to be painting a pretty bleak picture. Saints lb Scott Fujita spoke about it at length during the Saints media availability yesterday (very eruditely too, I might add), and he too seemed to be under the impression the owners were positioning themselves for a strike
I have to say - if all this stuff about still getting the TV money even if there are no games is true it's absolutely crazy. Why would the broadcasters agree to pay for no product? I realise there are probably repercussions for future deals if they don't agree to it, but still.
Yeah, Payton's an interesting one. He definitely didn't give off the impression of a man who was joking when he said it - he was just talking like a man who couldn't see why that would even be unusual. But just generally I don't get the impression he's one who feels the need to share the whole truth and nothing but the truth with the press.
What is definitely true, though, is that the Saints have been training in pads and for 40-50 minutes longer per day, on average, than the Colts and unlike Indianapolis have usually been in pads. Most reporters are not allowed to go to the practices, but there is one press representative at each team's sessions who files a report that we can all use.
@Lancelothogben - Yeah, it essentially makes it hard to see why the owners would back down. If there's no season, they still get paid and don't even have to worry about coughing up wages.
NFLPA have been advising players to put aside 25% of their 2010 wage packet so that they can survive a lockout, but it's one thing for a Peyton Manning or a Drew Brees and a very different one for fringe players who might be battling for a practice squad spot or to sneak onto a roster. A lot of those guys really don't earn as much as people think.