June is usually the month where NFL teams bring the guys in for a couple weeks of organized team activities but with the lockout now in it's fourth month, it's more like disorganized team activities. At least the Packers are trying to get together. In Nashville, where Scott Wells and Chad Clifton headquarter in the off-season after college careers at the University of Tennessee, the offensive line has come together for a couple of weeks of workouts at a local gym. Mark Tauscher, T.J. Lang, Evan Dietrich-Smith and Marshall Newhouse have joined Wells and Clifton for the sessions. Wells told reporters it's good to just spend time together, be it in the weight room, on the basketball court, in restaraunts or just hanging out because it's been a stressful off-season. Another group of Super Bowl champs are together in San Diego. Brandon Chillar, Jarrett Bush and Brett Swain are working out in Southern California. Some teams have tried to organize their entire squads for practice sessions and workouts, New Orleans and Indianapolis in particular but most teams are staying in shape in smaller groups like the Pack.
Tomorrow, the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals takes up the injunction filed by players that temporarily lifted the lockout earlier this spring. That injunction was permantly stayed by the three judge panel just as the NFL draft began in April. Most observers believe the more conservative Appeals Court will side with the owners after hearing arguments Friday in St. Louis, meaning the lockout can continue. If the players lose the case and appeal, the start of training camps would clearly be in jeopardy. A victory for the owners might also compel the players to return to the negotiating table but because the union decertified to legally challenge the NFL's anti-trust status, it won't be collective bargaining. Federal mediation will likely be required to strike a deal. Commissioner Roger Goodell huddled with a few select owners this week in Chicago for a supposedly secret strategy session, until a reporter found out about the meeting.