GILLETTE, Wyo. -- John Chick and Clint Oldenburg have shared a lot of marvelous memories on the football field.
They were teammates for the Camels and won a Class 4A state championship in 2000. They both went on to play NCAA Division I football. After that, the pair fulfilled their childhood dreams by finding spots in the NFL.
Chick, 29, and Oldenburg, 28, haven't been able to be at each others' sides for each turn in their career, but they and hundreds of other NFL players were united during the NFL lockout. And both are thrilled that it ended Monday.
"Honestly, my reaction was it's about time," said Oldenburg, an offensive tackle for the Washington Redskins. "The lockout took way too long. It was unfortunate, but it was something that was necessary. ... We're all ready to get back to work."
Chick -- a former Utah State star -- had the same frustrations, but after bouncing between the NFL and the Canadian Football League for the past few years, the Indianapolis Colts defensive end was enthusiastic to end the work stoppage.
"Just excitement," he said. "You never look forward to go into training and expecting that. It's been a very long off season with a loss of income and benefits and those kinds of things. But it was a huge relief and I'm very excited for the NFL season to get under way here."
Both players were forced to do what a lot of NFL players did during the lockout by finding alternative ways outside of their teams' facilities to stay in tune with the game both mentally and physically.
Chick and Oldenburg stayed in their respective cities of Indianapolis and Washington D.C., training at any place they could find. Since they are veterans in the league, the duo knew it was necessary.
Oldenburg had to take his offseason training program a little more seriously to nurse an injury that landed him on the Redskins' injured reserve last season. So he took it upon himself to stay healthy without the help of Washington's training staff. He also took advantage of the down time by working on his passion of journalism.
"I did a lot of rehab on my various injuries, so I could come back 100 percent," he said. "To keep myself busy, I did an internship with the Washington Nationals in spring training and carried that over into the regular season."
Oldenburg also developed his Washington D.C., area internet radio show, "The O.C.," that he hosts with his friend, Chuck Caroll, during the lockout.
There won't be any new shows because the NFL will have a season and Oldenburg will be too busy to handle those duties once the Redskins' training camp begins Wednesday.
But that's a good thing for the 6-foot-5, 310-pound lineman and he's ready to get back on the gridiron.
"At this point, it is business as usual," he said. "Negotiating is a part of pro sports. It just happened to happen when I was in pro sports."
Chick, who reports to camp Sunday and begins practicing Monday, was somewhat ready for the work stoppage with his experience in the league.
He went back to the basics, using old training techniques that he learned from his college days at Utah State University and when he was with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL.
The 6-foot-4, 248-pound defensive end used several training facilities and most of the time he was on his own.
"I have a bunch of old programs and things I know work, so I was in and out of several gyms," he said. "I've been outside training and in an indoor field training, too. For me, it wasn't much change. But it was because I wasn't with a team full of guys. I was just by myself doing my own training."
Having to work on his game by himself was the biggest setback, Chick said.
"The biggest thing lost was probably just the camaraderie with all the guys and some of the practice time," he said.
Chick and Oldenburg have something special to be excited about when the NFL preseason kicks off next week.
The pair will meet on opposite sides of the field for the first time since they squared off in high school football scrimmages when the Colts host the Redskins in week two of the preseason at 5 p.m. Aug. 19 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
"It's going to be a psychological thing and it's going to be fun," Oldenburg said. "Most of the time when we're around each other, we make fun of each other and just have fun. It's going to be different when we have a job to do. It's going to be interesting."
Chick also is looking forward to the preseason game and he'll see a lot of Oldenburg when he matches up against his former teammate on the opposite side of the line.
"I'm sure we'll talk a little trash to each other, but you can beat that," he said. "It's a childhood dream and I get to experience that with another teammate. I don't think a lot of people can say that."