As NFL owners met for a second day Tuesday in Chicago, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he is hopeful that a new labor deal will be reached in time for players to report to training camp at the end of July.
"I feel like we'll get it done," Roethlisberger said during the two-day youth football camp he hosted at Seneca Valley High School. "The professionals on both sides will get it done."
The players have been locked out by the owners for all but a couple of days since negotiations on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement broke down March 11. The sides appear to be making progress toward ending the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987.
Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch is a member of the NFL Players' Association executive committee, and he has been keeping his teammates updated on the labor situation.
"You hear so many 'sources say this,' 'sources say that,' so you don't really know unless you're in there hearing things," Roethlisberger said. "We just have to listen to Charlie, what he tells us and just kind of go forth from there. I'm sure both sides will find a way to get it done."
The Steelers players have worked out on their own, and Roethlisberger said the offense has gathered to replicate what it would do during the offseason practices that were lost because of the lockout.
Defensive end Brett Keisel said he has used the downtime to get extra rest following a season that ran through January.
"I'm not going to lie. It's been nice being able to wake up every day and just relax with the kids and go work out and things like that," Keisel said. "We're used to, at this point, working a little bit so it will be nice when they get this thing done, hopefully sooner rather than later and we can get back to doing what we do. It's getting to the point now where we're ready to get back to work."
Big Ben's Football Camp
Steelers Brett Keisel showed up to help quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with the kids at Bens' football camp at Seneca Valley High School June 21, 2011.
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