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NFL lockout ending? Gauge the yelling.

NFL lockout may be winding down. If so, yelling at the bargaining table during the NFL lockout will switch to the playing field.

By Mike BerardinoSun Sentinel/MCT / July 18, 2011

Jeffrey Kessler, a lawyer for the NFL Players Association, arrives for negotiations with the NFL July 16, 2011 in New York. Owners and players wrapped up a round of intensive talks on Friday, without a full agreement to end the four-month NFL lockout, but determined to keep pushing for an agreement.

Mark Lennihan/AP


HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Now that negotiators for the NFL owners and players have pretty much stopped yelling at each other, now that this senseless lockout finally seems to be winding down, we're that much closer to the return of a different sort of yelling.

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The more traditional form, you might say.

Coaches yelling at players.

On the field. In the weight room.

Loudly. Publicly. Daily.

Dolphins wide receiver Davone Bess, overseeing a 3-on-3 charity basketball tournament to benefit his Bess Route Foundation, smiled Saturday when I reminded him he really hasn't been yelled at since the end of the 2010 regular season.

"Quite frankly, we kind of miss it," Bess said in the blazing-hot parking lot at Seminole Hard Rock. "We'll get a rude awakening real quick when we get back."

Bess and the rest of the Dolphins have been enjoying a rare form of peace and quiet the past 6½ months, a period that's about to come crashing down as soon as training camps open.

On time, it now appears.

Oh, sure, most NFL players have been keeping themselves in top shape during the four-month lockout, whether through grueling workouts with their personal trainers or via player-organized sessions.

Panthers wide receiver David Clowney pointed out his two-a-day workouts have occupied him five days a week.

There also was a two-week camp in Charlotte that more than 50 Panthers attended.

"We're all still working hard, we all still push each other," Clowney said. "Whether the coaches are there or not, we all still have the work ethic to make sure we're in shape and get the job done the right way."

Maybe so, but there's a big difference between getting urged on by your peers, whether current teammates or respected opponents, and hearing the shrill anger of a middle-aged man in coach's shorts.