As this turbulent offseason swirls around us, I have tried to remain focused on actual football-related matters. I read just as much as anyone on the CBA negotiations and I want to see an agreement reached, but I attempt to make my writing a platform for football as it relates to the Houston Texans. I don't see the point in getting heated and writing angry messages about a business transaction that ultimately has nothing to do with me.
My simple philosophy on the labor strike is that neither side really cares about the fans; both are trying to get the best possible deal for themselves that they possibly can. I don't have a huge problem with that either; it's as American as apple pie. To take it personally is a little silly in my opinion. I would compare it to going to a used car lot and watching two strangers negotiate over a used car all the while getting angry at the car salesman for "being unfair". This situation is just a little different because our pastime hangs in the balance.
Having said all that, I am amazed by the League's lack of PR savvy. Throughout this process, both the NFL and the NFLPA have tried to garner fans support, and while the players association has its slip-ups from time to time, they look like public relations masters compared to the NFL. Take yesterday, when the league filed a labor claim saying that the players aren't negotiating in good faith. Doug Farrar did a great job encapsulating the hypocrisy of the owners.
In the end, the ugly truth that no one wants to admit is that the owners have the leverage, and that's all a negotiation is about. It also seems that they are willing to damage their reputations with the fans to an unknown degree in order to use every bit of leverage they have, which scares me because there could be a lengthy lockout at the end of that road. Despite my wish to remain impartial, it's hard to watch the game getting damaged and not point fingers.
Now that I broke my own rule, follow the jump to check out the Texans daily links.
I'm not the only one with thoughts about the looming lockout; Rivers McCown weighed in with his thoughts on what the fans can do in this situation.
The lockout was supposed to be one of the factors that made Ray Rhodes decide to retire. I guess that decision was short-lived as yesterday he signed to coach for the Browns defense. I have nothing against the man personally, but considering he was the head defensive assistant for the Texans when they were spinning out of control with no clear direction, I have no regrets of him leaving.
One of the few players that might benefit from a little time lost in the season next year is DeMeco Ryans as he recovers from a torn Achilles tendon. DeMeco talked to Nick Scurfield about his recovery and his thoughts on moving to the 3-4.
Luckily, the draft will not be affected if there is a lockout. Lance Zierlein posted his top five players at each perspective position. Lance also got into a Twitter discussion with ESPN's Todd McShay about rising and falling draft statuses.
Alan Burge continued his draft watch series with Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan. I would have liked Kerrigan a lot if we were still utilizing a 4-3, but in my opinion he doesn't have the athleticism that you're looking for from a 3-4 linebacker.
Rob Rang did an interview with Prince Amukamara in which the Nebraska cornerback impressed me. Many people are questioning Prince's speed these days, mainly because of his inability to stop Oklahoma State's Justin Blackman. Amukamara addressed the issue with the accountability that you'd like to see from a pro:
"We were in a Cover-4 scheme, and I was expecting safety help over the top initially. Now our safeties are taught to come up to support the run aggressively and on this play, it was a flea-flicker, so they were coming up hard. Blackmon ran a great route, completely catching me by surprise. He came off the line slow and then accelerated past me. I caught up to him, but he got out of my tackle. It was good planning and execution on their (Oklahoma State's) part and I just didn't make the play when I had the opportunity."
Also, he stated that if an NFL team wanted to move him to safety, he'd be willing. I think even if the Texans aren't a realistic landing spot for Amukamara that he will be one of the more interesting players to watch throughout the whole draft process.