INDIANAPOLIS — The labor dispute between the NFL and the NFLPA is like playing a game of chess. An international game from the 19th century, chess is played with two people on a chessboard with 32 pieces. The goal of the game is to reach checkmate, capturing the opponent, 55 yards wide and the 32 pieces are the NFL owners. Chess players often resign if they believe they will lose, and there are several ways that a game can end in a draw.

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When asked about picking at No. 14, coach Steve Spagnuolo responded, “I like being there than sitting at the top all the time. For two straight years it was No. 2 and No. 1 so this is a little different dynamic. It’s kind of exciting and fun because you don’t know how things will fall out, (but) Billy and his staff will be ready to go.”

Spagnuolo and Devaney are preparing for their third draft together, and so far they have struck gold early. They must continue to upgrade the bottom of the roster while still hitting home runs in the early rounds. There is a very good chance that for the first time the draft will take place before free agency. My philosophy on free agency is to fill your hot spots, and use the draft to build depth through development. The draft remains the bloodline of every organization.

Spagnuolo went on to say, “We haven’t got into the players as far as free agents. It’s really about the coaches and the schemes right now. Josh (McDaniels) is coaching up our coaches on what we are going to do and the sharing of ideas amongst our staff. If there are players that have been a part of his system, they could be attractive.”

Spagnuolo was asked about what the team may be looking for in the draft and said, “Our team needs and the priority of positions have been discussed by Kevin (Demoff), Billy and I and the scouts. That process has been pretty good.”

The possibility of a lockout puts pressure on several areas of NFL daily business. The draft is coming and is really the biggest event between the Super Bowl and start of camp. Spagnuolo responded to a question concerning the lockout and said, “We have no worries about that. We are doing something like a normal offseason. We are hopeful and thinking optimistically for a normal offseason. If that doesn’t happen we will deal with that situation as it is.”

For now Spagnuolo, Devaney and their staffs are focused on narrowing the search of finding the class of 2011, and that process has started here in Indianapolis.