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Thursday, March 25, 2010
Random reflections on owners meeting

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Some random reflections on the owners meeting that ended Wednesday in Orlando.

I know John Fox caused a bit of a stir in some circles when he spoke highly of Tim Tebow. I’m telling you right now, calm down. Let’s put this one in perspective. Fox always praises players on other teams, available free agents and every member of the year's draft crop that he’s asked about. He also never closes the door on anything. Remember last summer when everybody was sure the Panthers were going to sign Michael Vick just because Fox wouldn’t publicly close the door on that possibility? It never happened. Look, I know Fox better than any other coach in the NFC South. If the man is going to make a move that likely will shape the rest of his career, he’s probably not going to reveal it over breakfast with the media.

I agree with New Orleans coach Sean Payton on disagreeing with the changes to the overtime rules. I also respect him for having the courage to voice his displeasure with how it was handled. The owners pretty much pushed this one on the coaches. Payton’s got every right to be mad about it -- for maybe another day or two. After that, he’s got to let it go. Payton’s a big voice in the NFL right now (as he should be), but he’s not bigger than the owners. They sign the checks.

While talking with Atlanta’s Arthur Blank, Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith, I got the impression that they’re really expecting a big leap forward by quarterback Matt Ryan in the upcoming season. I’ll have more on this in a column that’s scheduled to run Friday afternoon. But I also think the Falcons have to tweak a few things in their offense to really allow Ryan to make the next step.

Nice of Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer to step forward and talk to the media. Glazer explained why the Bucs are building through the draft and said his family’s ownership of the Manchester United soccer team has no impact on how the Bucs are run. I know there are tons of fans who doubt that. But why waste your time? As long as the Glazers own the Bucs, they’re going to operate the franchise the way they want.