The emphasis is more on learning

John from Fredericksburg, VA

I just received the NFL UK tickets e-mail and it looks like the chances of single-game tickets being available to anyone stateside are slim to none. The UK season ticket holders have a five-week head start before single tickets go up for sale. Does the NFL not want U.S. fans to travel to Europe to watch their favorite teams?

The NFL plays games in Europe so Europeans can go to the games and/or watch them on TV at a “normal” time and become fans. The ticket priority makes perfect sense to me.

George from North Mankato, MN

Good morning II. The departure of Lucas Patrick to the Bears makes me wonder who is next in line to be the enforcer on the OL? Do we now have a new first player off the bus since the draft?

I don’t know, or much care, about the first player off the bus thing. But the enforcer question is an interesting one. My pick would be Elgton Jenkins when he’s back healthy. Otherwise, Jon Runyan or Royce Newman might also be candidates.

Hey fellas, I’ve always taken discipline and assignment surety as the opposite of speed and physicality in terms of an emphasis. Obviously the coaches want the whole package, but when it comes to this or that based on emphasis, which do you think makes the team better? I’ve always felt like missing a splash play or two based on discipline is better than giving up big plays because you’re playing fast and physical and in the wrong place.

I think it depends on where a unit is in its development. Discipline and assignment surety are the starting points, and the rest comes with progress when those first two elements become second nature. It’ll be Year 4 of LaFleur’s offense with a mostly veteran cast, aside from the young receivers. It’s Year 2 for Barry’s defense, with all veterans except the two first-round draft picks. There isn’t going to be much tolerance on either side of the ball for not being assignment sound.

Matt from Indianapolis, IN

I am making plans to attend training camp this year. Instead of attending the first couple of weeks we are looking at attending the week of the joint practices with New Orleans. We did attend one day of joint practice with Houston a few years ago. Can I expect the joint practices with New Orleans to be open for public to watch?

Welcome back, Spoff. Not sure if you have had the opportunity to get back into the locker room yet, but here’s my questions: Are the players more comfortable with the media in their faces in the locker room or standing behind a podium in a conference room when taking questions? What do you media types prefer and why?

I’ll always prefer talking to a player at his locker, and it was nice to get back to doing that Tuesday. From the other side, it depends on the player. I think for the most part they’d rather be at their lockers, but some are not comfortable when there’s a huge horde crowded around them with a ton of cameras right in their face. I’ve seen many a player relax a bit when all the cameras leave and they’re just talking to a small group of print/digital reporters with voice recorders. Those are usually the best interviews.

Are the Chargers as for real as the pundits think? Every year they seem to have a talented roster but fall short. Anyone in the NFC jumping out as the new “it” team on paper?

There’s plenty of reason to be excited about the Chargers, but that’s going to be a very competitive AFC West top to bottom. As for a non-playoff team from the NFC climbing into contention, I have my eye on the Saints.