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Off Topic Open Thread: NFL Un-Lockout Day

Yay! Football is back! (I think)
Yay! Football is back! (I think)

I need of a distraction, I'm going to open up the phone lines (so to speak) to football talk. It appears that the NFL lockout will end today (knock on wood)!

Labor update: Players, owners expected to announce a new deal on Monday - Shutdown Corner

We always want to be cautious about these reports, because the news is so big and we've been fooled before by the complexity of the process. However, there are too many reliable sources out there telling us this to avoid disbelief anymore: On Monday, the lockout that has been on since March 12 will come to an end.

I know not all of you are Patriots fans, but many are (and I am) so here's a link with some thoughts on what New England has to do right away.

patriots - Once lockout ends, a to-do list for the Patriots - WEEI | Christopher Price

The Patriots do have an edge on other teams coming out of the lockout — they have a level of continuity with their coaching staff and roster which should provide an advantage when it comes to picking up where they left off last season. While other teams will be undergoing a crash course with new GMs, coaches, assistants and quarterbacks, traditional powers like New England, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis that have had the same people in place at key positions means there won’t be any getting to know you time, which should give them an edge, at least through the early part of the season.

The Celtics have some of those advantages with the core 4 guys but will have to get a lot of other new faces up to speed quickly after the lockout ends.

Feel free to discuss all things NFL and football related in the comments and in the forums.

For other updates on the Patriots, check out Pats Pulpit and SBNation Boston.