Fire Down Below

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Every camp has it’s own unique twist to it. For instance there was the “Purge of ’84” where the battle cry was “You can’t make the club in the tub” (meaning that there were too many injuries and guys were getting cut because of it) to this years version of a combined FreeAgency/Training Camp where long-term parking of your car may be a sign of someone being a tad overly optimistic.

Not to mention that with the new rules, all those calls for re-naming the NFL the NFFL (National Flag Football League) last year because of the greater emphasis in disciplining kill shots is playing itself out in camp via reduced hitting and no two-a-day practices.

And then there’s the guys who were up for contracts such as Willie Colon, Ryan Mundy and others who can’t even practice until next Thursday and the start of the NFL calendar year even though they have signed new contracts. They can observe, go to meetings etc. but cannot participate in practices.

Shoot, back in the day if you’d told players they would miss the first week of camp if they were negotiating a new contract, half of the guys in camp with signed contracts would volunteer to re-negotiate a salary reduction just to miss those double sessions.

And only three days in we’ve already said goodbye to old friends like Max Starks and Antwaan Randle El, but in the wild and wooly roller derby that is the NFL, there’s likely to be more guys gone and maybe gone guys back (Plaxico anyone?) as needed before this whole thing shakes out.

I saw Steelers chief negotiator Omar Khan and he looks like he hasn’t slept in a week. It’s a busy, turbulent time and with all the availible guys still out in the market place it doesn’t appear that Omar is going to catch up anytime soon.

What’s certain is uncertainty, which is not a totally bad thing. Because uncertainty brings laser-like concentration by guys. Competition for jobs is always a good thing. When you have a little unrest in your gullet, more often than not, you’re going to give it all you got.

A little “Fire down below” is good for the soul. And the “W” column.