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Labor talks fall apart; no more scheduled

WASHINGTON — Negotiations to prevent a lockout took a grim turn Thursday with the cancellation of the second day of a bargaining session.

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"We wish we were negotiating (Thursday)," players association spokesman George Atallah said. "That's all I can say."

The collective bargaining agreement expires March 3.

No more meetings are scheduled, and commissioner Roger Goodell canceled an owners meeting scheduled for Tuesday in Philadelphia, where labor was expected to be a topic.

League spokesman Greg Aiello said negotiations would continue in private: "We will work as hard as possible to reach a fair agreement by March 4."

Neither Atallah nor union executive director DeMaurice Smith would comment on why Thursday's session was called off.

Players oppose a league-backed 18-game regular season, and no headway appears to have been made over how to divide the league's $9 billion in revenue. Wednesday players rejected a proposal for an additional $1 billion in credits that would give owners $2 billion before revenues are split. Players proposed no spending credits and splitting all revenue down the middle. Owners also seek a rookie salary scale.

Morris likes tandem

TAMPA — Bucs coach Raheem Morris had no hesitation about hiring co-defensive line coaches. He has seen the tandem approach work well for the team before.

Morris was an assistant to then-defensive backs coach Mike Tomlin and later had Jimmy Lake help him with the secondary.

On Tuesday, Tampa Bay hired Keith Millard and Grady Stretz to coach the defensive line. Millard will focus on the pass rush, Stretz on run defense.

"If you walked into a defensive backs room when it was me and Tomlin, you wouldn't know who the assistant was based on who might be running the meeting," Morris said. "I did the same thing with Jimmy Lake. It's worked so well in the past, I thought I'd get two defensive line coaches and give them pet projects."

The Bucs have a heavy investment in their defensive line. In 2010, tackle Gerald McCoy was their third overall draft pick, and tackle Brian Price was a second-rounder. In 2009, tackle Roy Miller was a third-rounder, end/tackle Kyle Moore a fourth-rounder. "We needed to make that investment in coaches for those guys … young, energetic coaches to crank that room up," Morris said.

broncos: Last year's top draft pick, receiver Demaryius Thomas, reportedly tore an Achilles' tendon during a workout in Atlanta, a Denver TV statioin reported. A full tear could jeopardize his season.

vikings: The landlords of the Metrodome voted to replace the snow-damaged roof, hoping the job would be done by Aug. 1 (possibly disrupting preseason) for $18.3 million. Insurance would cover most of the cost.

Times staff writer Rick Stroud contributed to this report.

Labor talks fall apart; no more scheduled 02/10/11 [Last modified: Thursday, February 10, 2011 9:38pm]
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