Wrapping up what reports suggest will be the final locked out weekend in the NFL this summer:
Current NFC West franchises can claim ties to seven of the 16 players enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame this weekend. The seven: Pat Tillman and Jerry Stovall from the Arizona Cardinals; Charles Haley, Randy Cross and Alfred Williams from the San Francisco 49ers; and Dexter Coakley and Mark Herrmann from the St. Louis Rams. Stovall was a three-time Pro Bowl choice for the Cardinals when the team was in St. Louis. Herrmann was a backup quarterback when the Rams were in Los Angeles.
Frank Gore's injured hip is in "perfect" condition, according to agent Drew Rosenhaus. Gore is entering the final year of his contract with the 49ers after missing the final five games last season. His 4.2-yard average was strong, but also tied for the lowest of his career. Gore set a career high with a 9.8-yard average as a receiver. Will the 49ers siphon off carries for rookie Kendall Hunter, a fourth-round choice?
Rams running back Steven Jackson has been posting updates to his Twitter account detailing his workout regimen. One of his fans won an opportunity to work out with Jackson after submitting an entertaining video as part of a contest. The video shows Jonathan Keenum sporting fake dreads while supposedly cranking out one million reps on a leg press (actually a man seated in a rocking chair).
The expected elimination of two-a-day practices during training camp as part of a proposed labor agreement will benefit players' bodies. It will also diminish the camp experience for those traveling long distances to watch practices. In the past, it was possible to catch five or six practices over a few days. I see less reason for teams to spend weeks away from their facilities if training camps aren't going to differ much from regular work weeks. That is only an initial impression. Teams will adapt to whatever new rules take effect. They could find other ways to maximize the time.
Cris Collinsworth posted thoughts on officiating after meeting with officials during their meetings in Dallas. Consider this nugget on how teams might adapt to the rule prohibiting running starts longer than five yards before kickoffs: "Expect a lot of crossing to build momentum just before the ball is kicked. The feeling is that there will be a lot of high directional kicks as teams try to pin the receiving team inside the 20."
Former Seahawks and 49ers quarterback Trent Dilfer has put in some time coaching lately. Check out the video.
Retired Seattle Seahawks tackle Walter Jones pointed to the late Derrick Thomas as the toughest opponent he faced. Seattle and Kansas City were in the AFC West together for Jones' first five seasons. Jones singled out Thomas when answering fans' questions over the weekend. Jones and Thomas were named to a combined 18 Pro Bowls (nine apiece).
Enjoy the rest of your weekend. The next week appears more promising than any in the NFL since the lockout began in March.
One more note: Rams receiver Donnie Avery says he's running 40-yard times in the 4.2s and 4.3s. He also says he's able to change directions well. Sounds like Avery will be full strength when training camp opens. He's coming off season-ending knee surgery.