I know we're supposed to panic. In the past 15 years or so we've been conditioned to believe that the NFL season is 365 days long. So the current 70-day lockout must mean the NFL has already lost 1,680 hours that can't possibly be overcome. Therefore, even if there is a 2011 season, the quality of that season is being irreparably harmed during a lockout that appears to be heading to at least late June.
Sorry. Not buying it.
As long as teams have a week to sort out free agency/trades, a week for training camp and two preseason games, I think the 2011 season will be just fine.
Mini-camps and OTAs and working out at a team facility are good ideas, but hardly the only recipe for success. Today's players stay in shape on their own. They don't have to work, they have money to hire trainers, they're motivated and the health and fitness industry has never been better.
I was talking to Vikings special teamer Heath Farwell today. He said he meets regularly to work out and run with teammates Steve Hutchinson, Ben Leber, Chad Greenway, John Sullivan and Jim Kleinsasser. They work out four times a week at Lifetime Fitness at Crosstown. Twice a week, they meet with a trainer for cardio work at Edina High School's track.
"We're doing a lot of the same stuff we would be doing over at the [Vikings'] facility," Farwell said. "I feel we get a lot done with a small group. We know how each other works.
"I think everybody kind of has their own little group that they're working with. I think it works out good that way. We all get individual attention with these trainers. You just hope everybody is doing it. I think they are."
It's May 24. We're a long way from having to worry about the lockout affecting the quality of play in 2011.