By Tom E. Curran
NEW ORLEANS - A whole mess of baseball kept me (happily) from reporting to New Orleans for the NFL Owner's Meetings until this morning. Now I'm here at the Motel 6 on the outskirts of Slidell Roosevelt Hotel (a Waldorf Astoria joint) in downtown New Orleans, settling in to hear owners 'splain themselves and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick gum flap on Tuesday for the first time since the Pro Bowl. You can't swing a polo stick without hitting someone of NFL note. Just walking from the front door to get my credentials, I saw Jerry Jones, Ken Whisenhunt, John Elway, Mike Smith and Chan Gailey and Pete Carroll. These meetings are going to be "compressed." Usually, they run into Wednesday when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell brings the curtain down with an address to the media. This week, they are slated to end Tuesday afternoon. The entire labor situation has cast a pall over the atmosphere here. Still, I may be an idiot optimist, but I have sensed a cooling-off in the rhetoric between the owners and players since Goodell fired off his "Dear NFL player" letter. It's as if both sides have shouted their points from the rooftops, name-called and accused and they're all set with that. Troy Vincent, the NFL's VP of Player Development and a finalist for the executive director's job now held by DeMaurice Smith, agreed there's been some creeping civility and genuine interest in dialogue that's emerged.I wouldn't be at all surprised if major progress is not made among the owners this week. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy just told me we'll have some of the NFL's all-star lawyer revue coming out in the next couple of hours (fascinating). There may be a chat with Goodell today as well. Currently, I'm hanging out in a high-back chair outside a ballroom where the owners are trying to catch a word with any of the Patriots' principals. Don't move a muscle, we'll keep you updated.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran
Football is coming.
The Patriots announced on Thursday that veterans will report to training camp on Wednesday, July 26 and that the first public practice will take place the following day.
Each of the team's first four practices -- from July 27-30 -- are scheduled to take place on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium "in the nine o'clock hour," according to the Patriots. Updates to the training camp schedule, including more specific start times for practices, can be found at patriots.com/trainingcamp.
The Patriots Hall of Fame will hold its induction ceremony for former corner Raymond Clayborn on Saturday, July 29 around midday following that morning's training camp practice. Held on the plaza outside the Hall at Patriot Place, the ceremony will be free and open to the public.
The Patriots will host the Jaguars for two days of joint practices open to the public on Monday, Aug. 7 and Tuesday, Aug. 8. The preseason opener for both clubs will take place at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 10.
Tom Brady's off-the-field workout habits are the subject of serious curiosity for those in New England and beyond. Thanks to Under Armour's Instagram account, followers got a brief glimpse of what Brady does to stay in shape.
OK. It was more like a glimpse at what he did one day in Tokyo.
The video of Brady in the dohyo ring was shot at the Sakaigawa sumo stable in Tokyo on Thursday. According to Kyodo News, leading the training session was ozeki Goeido, who won last year's Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.
"For them to welcome me means very much to me. It's hard to describe in words how special that was," Brady said.
Brady bounced around China before heading to Japan to continue to help promote Under Armour and in particular its "recovery sleepwear" line. He threw a pass on the Great Wall, and he explained that it was his "dream" to play a game on the continent.