One thing to remember about all of the new football leagues popping up, and one thing only: To the NFL, they aren’t competition.

The NFL views all of them as feeder leagues, immensely helpful in preparing men to play football at the highest level. That includes the Spring League, the new version of the XFL, the Alliance of American Football and, of course, college football. College football most of all.

“T.O. is one of the best workers of all time,” Ryan said. “He learned from Jerry Rice and kind of modeled his stuff after that. I think the more you surround yourself with guys with a work ethic like that, it’s a good thing. Julio has a great work ethic, too. He’s one of the best-conditioned and best-working athletes that I’ve ever been around.”

I’ve always believed Owens could be a tremendous coach. He has the respect of the players, and as Ryan said, his work ethic is legendary. Even the best receivers could learn from Owens.

Point being: It might look like a great quarterback class the day after the draft. But we also might look back on it as an all-time disaster.

Raiders star pass-rusher Khalil Mack didn’t show up at voluntary camp this week. I can tell you the Raiders aren’t worried. At all.

The team believes it will sign Mack to a long-term contract extension sometime soon.

If the Blue Jackets do make a deep run, it will be because the second line is also contributing. Boone Jenner, Thomas Vanek and Alexander Wennberg have all certainly looked a lot better over the final weeks of the season after being almost nonexistent in fantasy for a long stretch. Sergei Bobrovsky has an ugly playoff history, but is as likely as any goaltender to get hot and carry a team on his back.

Interestingly, the Devils beat the Lightning in all three meetings between the clubs this season. But can you really get behind an offense that has only one main threat and has been riding its backup goaltender into the playoffs because the starter has been ineffective?la_kings_010

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