Jeff Saturday is in a unique position when it comes to the National Football League and the consequences of a possible lockout next spring.
Saturday, a two-time Pro Bowl center for the Indianapolis Colts, is the team’s official player representative to the National Football League Players Association. He is also a member of the NFLPA’s executive committee, which will place him right in the middle of negotiations between the NFL and the league’s owners.
NFLPA President Kevin Mawae heads the executive committee. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch, Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Sean Morey, Kansas City offensive guard Brian Waters, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Denver Broncos safety Brian Dawkins, Baltimore Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth, New York Jets fullback Tony Richardson, Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Mike Vrabel and Saturday make up the rest of the group.
At this point in the 2010 offseason, nobody really knows for sure what’s going to happen when the collective bargaining agreement with the NFLPA expires in March. Saturday isn’t sure that something will get accomplished before a lockout actually takes place. But he certainly hopes so.
“My hope is that we’ll all see this thing for what it is, that we’ve all got it really good [in the NFL]. Our owners are making a lot of money. Players are making a lot of money. And we can all continue to make a lot of money in this game and put the best teams on the field for our fans,” he said after the Colts’ final minicamp practice Sunday morning.
“Just continue the process. That’s what we’re doing now. And just continue to do it. And my hope is that everybody puts their egos down to the side at the end and we get it dialed it. As far as if I’m optimistic, not yet. But I’m hoping there’s pressure as fans and as people begin to say, ‘Let’s move this thing forward. We’re tired of hearing about it.’ That it brings more people to the table ready to get it done.”
It’s entirely possible that nothing will get done, negotiations-wise, until deadline pressures force some sort of action.
“For a guy like me, it’s not going to have a whole lot of effect on my career. I want this thing for our future players. I want it to be right. I want our game to be right. I think all the guys on the executive committee and involved in the NFLPA have a good attitude about it. Guys want to get it done. We understand there’s going to be negotiations and there’s going to be give-and-take on both sides. We’ve just got to get it done,” Saturday said.
“I feel like everybody’s just like, “Why are we negotiating now? What’s the hurry? We have until next March. Let’s just go play this  season and see who balks first. Who gets scared first.’ I think all of us are going to wait until the end and then we’ll have to get it done in a short amount of time. I think the best work gets done then.”
n Pollack and DeVan first team — Mike Pollak and Kyle DeVan have worked their way into the Colts’ first-team offense at right and left guard, respectively.
Pollak was a second-round draft pick in 2008 who has battled injury issues the last two seasons. DeVan is an undrafted free agent who was signed by Indianapolis early in the 2009 season.
The pair of part of a reshuffled offensive line that will be under a lot of scrutiny heading into training camp. Indianapolis has struggled in the run game the last two seasons, although there was some improvement a year ago.
Short-yardage and goal-line situations have continued to plague the offense. Those are areas that both first-year offensive line coach Pete Metzelaars and offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen hope to improve on in 2010.
“We’ve changed a lot. Pete has a totally different way of coaching and one thing about Pete is that he’s gone back and made some tweaks. When you have change, I think the older players get criticized a little more than they’re used to,” Saturday said.
“I think as we’ve looked throughout the offseason at run game, in particular, there are things you have to do better. Clyde’s goal is to be 3/4th of a yard better than we were last year [in running the football]. You know it’s always tough when you’re the one getting criticized, but we have got to get better.”
While he wouldn’t go into detail into what is or has been changed in the way they do things, the Colts’ center said this offseason continues to be a learning experience.
“We’ve tweaked some things [technique-wise]. I’ve changed a lot of techniques and fundamentals in just eight days [of organized team activity workouts and minicamp]. I’ve joked with my wife that I’m 12 years in [the NFL] and I feel like a rookie,” Saturday said.
• Last week of OTAs — Indianapolis are scheduled to wrap up their pre-training camp workouts on Friday. The Colts will undergo the last week of voluntary organized team activity practices.
The defending AFC champions will then have the rest of the summer off until the team reports to Anderson University for the start of training camp on Aug. 1.