The NFL has insisted it will be business as usual despite the collapse of its labor deal with players, and league coaches and executives seemed to prove it Monday as LSU held its annual pro day. Dozens of scouts and coaches, including Saints Coach Sean Payton, General Manager Mickey Loomis and most of Payton's coaching staff, were on hand to watch prospective Tigers go through the stylized physical paces that help determine whether and where a college player will hear his name called at the NFL draft April 28-30. Payton declined to speak with reporters, but Loomis fielded an array of questions while carefully avoiding any substantive remarks about the league's labor situation. "I'm not going to answer any questions about the lockout," Loomis said. "For our football operation, it's pretty much business as usual right now because we're heavy into our draft preparation now." That was the company line, and it was endorsed on both sides, as evidenced by the comments of several former LSU players who were on hand to watch their successors work out for a shot at the pros. Away from the front lines of the contentious negotiations that fell apart in Washington last week, the players and management appear to be moving gingerly in the opening days of the game's first work stoppage since 1987. For the most part, players were reluctant to discuss the topic. Quarterback Matt Flynn, who last month won a Super Bowl ring with the Green Bay Packers to pair with the national championship ring he won at LSU in 2007, declined to comment, and wide receiver Brandon LaFell, who caught a Flynn touchdown pass in LSU's title game that year and now plies his trade with the Carolina Panthers, similarly demurred. "I'm just a rookie," LaFell said, smiling when it was noted he was actually a veteran now.
At pro day, it's business as usual
New Orleans Times-Picayune | Mar 15