Ben Leber predicts regular season will start on time

There is a chance Ben Leber will not return to the Minnesota Vikings this coming season, but that hasn’t prevented him from taking a leadership role this offseason.

Leber serves as the team’s assistant representative to the NFLPA, and he’s been doing his best to keep other players up to speed on the constantly shifting situation in the labor negotiations. He took time away from a football camp he was helping run Thursday to take part in the conference call with NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith.

The bottom line? Leber tells Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune he is confident the regular season will start on time.

“The only thing I’ll say about the call was it was nothing enlightening. It was pretty vague and rightfully so,” Leber said. “We’ve had some issues I think with guys not being totally confidential after those phone calls so it was pretty vague. (Smith) did sound a little bit more optimistic than he has in the past, but very cautiously optimistic. I think that things are moving in the right direction. It sounds like there are a lot of things that have been talked about, nothing totally agreed upon, but I think they are making progress.

“My gut tells me, and this is my own opinion, that it will be an abbreviated training camp. We might get in three preseason games. I’m going to guess we’ll get in two preseason games. Get our normal couple of days off before the season starts and I think the season begins the way it should be (on Sept. 8) and is normal.”

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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