In today's edition of Around the Pound, we make note of the legendary Jim Brown's birthday, take a look at how Josh Freeman plans to work with his teammates even if there is a lockout, what the New York Jets are thinking of doing at the cornerback position, and more.
Even if there is a lockout, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman plans on making sure he and his teammates get enough work in to stay prepared for a potential NFL season:
"Hopefully the CBA gets resolved," Freeman said, "but if it doesn't, I've already been in contact with all of our receivers and everybody's excited to come (to Tampa) in March and get going. We're going to hit up a couple of the local high schools here and work out that way. Hopefully, they'll let us use their weight room or whatever it is we need, because we're anxious to get going.''
Freeman is coming off an outstanding season in which the Buccaneers had a 10-6 record but missed the playoffs due to a logjam at the sixth wildcard spot. With a potential lockout ensuing, how many players on teams are going to take the initiative to get some "unofficial" workouts in? Could something like that give certain teams a competitive edge next season? For a team like the Buccaneers, it might be easy to work on things from the previous season with a similar offensive scheme.
If Colt McCoy tries to get together with his receivers though, maybe they could build some chemistry, but they are supposed to be operating in a different offense next season under Pat Shurmur. Maybe it is a given that the players will try to get together to stay on top of their football skills and chemistry, but who knows? It's not like these lockout situations come up every year.
Happy Birthday to former Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown, who turned 75 years old on Thursday. Even though I always crack jokes to my father that with the way today's linebackers hit, Brown would barely eclipse the production of William Green, let alone Peyton Hillis (note: it's just a running gag I do to get under his skin), there's no doubting that Brown is one of the greatest in the history of the game.
The Jets are willing to let cornerback Antonio Cromartie walk after one season with the team. Is that going to hurt their defense next season? Well, it won't if they are able to lure free agent Nnamdi Asomaugh, something that some reports have speculated. I think all 32 teams in the league would love to have Asomaugh, but I don't think nearly as many will throw their money toward Cromartie. According to Michael Lombardi, the Jets are more interested in trying to re-sign their top two receivers, Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards, than signing Cromartie to a new deal.
- I haven't commented much on this season's American Idol, but I continue to be impressed with the new judging panel. I thought the loss of Simon Cowell would make the show unbearable, but Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez have brought a very fresh, humorous, and to-the-point approach to their judging. Sure, J'Lo might play the "emotional" role at times, but she quickly gives her answer and doesn't drag things out senselessly.
- Fringe's ratings on Friday are slowly declining, which makes me very nervous about the show's future. FOX says the show is doing well on Friday, but until I hear about a renewal, I'll hold my breath. It will be tough for FOX to renew the show considering how much new programming they already have on tap for Fall 2011, such as three hours a week dedicated to Simon Cowell's "X Factor."
- I read an interesting note from Peter King in which he asked whether free agency would even make sense this year. He doesn't expect a labor deal to be done until around...Labor Day, which would give teams about three weeks to sign new players before the start of the regular season. For the negotiations, teaching of the offense, etc, it will definitely be a unique situation. I have held back some of my free agency previews due to the uncertainty of the NFL season, but I think I'm just going to progress with some write-ups soon as if things were moving along as normal.