Officiating Development Program Begins Second Season


The NFL Officiating Development Program will kick off its second season with a clinic for 21 high potential college game officials in Newark, New Jersey on April 26-27.

The program is designed to train top college football officials in all aspects of NFL officiating, enabling those that ultimately earn a position in the NFL to be better prepared for officiating success at the highest level of the sport.

Participants are identified by NFL officiating scouts, supervisors and trainers and invited to join the program based on their proficiency as collegiate officials. Elements of the upcoming clinic for the most advanced participants include studying position-specific film with veteran NFL officials, reviewing mechanics and analyzing rules differences between the NFL and college football.

The officials attending the Newark clinic will work at NFL minicamps in June and officiate a preseason game as part of an NFL officiating crew in August. That group includes two females, SARAH THOMAS, a line judge who returns to the program for a second year, and MAIA CHAKA, a head linesman in her first year in the NFL program. Both Thomas and Chaka officiated in Conference USA in 2013.

“The officials at the most advanced level of our development program have proven to be outstanding at the collegiate level,” said NFL Vice President of Officiating DEAN BLANDINO. “We look forward to helping them continue to grow and become the best of the best in football officiating.”

A look at the advanced participants in the Officiating Development Program, who will be candidates for positions with NFL officiating crews beginning in 2015. The 2014 roster of NFL officials will be announced next month.

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2014 NFL Schedule Announced

Flexible Scheduling Expanded

Available on and NFL Mobile from Verizon

The NFL announced today its 17-week, 256-game regular-season schedule for 2014, which kicks off on Thursday night, September 4 in Seattle, includes expanded flexible scheduling, and concludes on Sunday, December 28 with 16 division games.

The season begins with the NFL’s annual primetime kickoff game. The opener on September 4 on NBC (8:30 PM ET) will spotlight the defending-champion Seattle Seahawks hosting the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field.

Week 1 is a FOX national weekend with the key doubleheader game on Sunday, September 7 (4:25 PM ET) featuring the San Francisco 49ers at the Dallas Cowboys.

NBC’s Sunday Night Football gets underway on September 7 when the Denver Broncos host the Indianapolis Colts (8:30 PM ET).

Kickoff Weekend concludes on Monday, September 8 with an ESPN Monday Night Football doubleheader. The Detroit Lions will host the New York Giants (7:10 PM ET) in the first game followed by the San Diego Chargers at the Arizona Cardinals (10:20 PM ET).

ESPN will televise one game each Monday night in Weeks 2-16. There will be no Monday night game on the final regular-season weekend (Week 17) to provide more flexibility for the scheduling of the opening weekend of the NFL playoffs.

For the first time, flexible scheduling may be applied in Weeks 5-10. During that period, flexible scheduling can be used in no more than two weeks by shifting a Sunday afternoon game into primetime and moving the Sunday night game to an afternoon start time.

Also, for the first time, a select number of games are being “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences.

“Flexible scheduling” will be used in Weeks 11-17 as it has been in recent years. In Weeks 11-16, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday or Monday nights. A flexible scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to December 28. The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17, but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot. Flexible scheduling ensures quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and gives “surprise” teams a chance to play their way into primetime.

The regular season will conclude with Week 17 on Sunday, December 28. For the fifth consecutive year, all 16 games scheduled for Week 17 are division contests, enhancing the potential for more games with playoff ramifications. Over the final three weeks there are 33 division games, the most in NFL history.

The season finishes in Arizona with the Pro Bowl on Sunday, January 25 (ESPN) and Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, February 1 (NBC). Both games will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium.

For the complete 2014 NFL Schedule, click here

2014 Thursday Night Football Broadcast Schedule Announced

Slate of 16 Regular-Season Games Kicks Off with Steelers vs. Ravens on September 11 on CBS and NFL Network

The CBS Television Network and NFL Network announce the Thursday Night Football prime time broadcast schedule for the 2014 NFL season.  This year marks the inaugural partnership between CBS Sports and NFL Network in broadcasting Thursday Night Football and features the most marquee match-ups ever on Thursday night, including 14 divisional rivalries. The 16-game Thursday Night Football schedule kicks off on September 11 with Steelers vs. Ravens from Baltimore and ends with a Week 16 Saturday double-header on December 20.

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Castrol Announces Multi-Year NFL Sponsorship Extension

Partnership to Run Through 2017

WAYNE, NJ – April 23, 2013 Castrol® announced today the extension of a multi-year sponsorship agreement with the National Football League (NFL). The agreement renews the Castrol® EDGE® status as the official motor oil sponsor of the NFL through March 2017– continuing the relationship that began in 2010.

“Castrol is thrilled to renew a multi-year sponsorship with the NFL, following the success of our initial sponsorship deal,” said Carolyn Eckert, Director of Integrated Marketing for Castrol. “Castrol is committed to delivering strong engine performance and NFL fans have truly connected with our ‘Driven Stronger’ message. We look forward to continuing that engagement with millions of NFL fans both on and off the field.”

As a sponsor of the NFL, Castrol will be present across a number of NFL platforms, including NFL game broadcasts, NFL Network, NFL Mobile and

Castrol is renewing this sponsorship on the heels of a successful multi-year deal that promoted the “Driven Stronger” brand through multiple channels such as videos, advertising, social media, on-site activations and the use of official brand ambassador Adrian Peterson, running back for the Minnesota Vikings. The NFL highlighted the best “Driven Stronger” players by position each week of the season on to provide fans with information on some of the best players around the league.

“We are pleased to continue working with Castrol to reach our fans year round in authentic and innovative ways,” said Renie Anderson, NFL senior vice president of sponsorship and partnership management. “Castrol provides unique and interactive experiences that have resonated with football fans across the country. We are very proud of the relationship to date and excited about the future.”

During the multi-year sponsorship, the brand will maintain category exclusivity in the motor oil and related lubricants field. For more information, visit

About Castrol

BP Lubricants USA Inc. markets premium lubricants and business–building programs directly to independent lube operators, service providers, new car dealers and leading retailers. Our leadership brands include Castrol® GTX® — a premium conventional motor oil; Castrol® GTX® High Mileage™ – a premium synthetic blend designed for vehicles with over 75,000 miles; the Castrol® EDGE® line of advanced full-synthetic super premium motor oils that offer unsurpassed strength and performance; Castrol® Power RS™ – an advanced full synthetic motorcycle oil; as well as our range of commercial transport lubricants. To find out more about Castrol products and programs, please call 1–888–CASTROL or log on to

NFL Update—April 23, 2014


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Record 30 Players to Attend NFL Draft

A record 30 top prospects are confirmed to attend the 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York, the NFL announced today.

Those prospects, who are expected to be selected on Thursday or Friday night, include four quarterbacks – Blake Bortles (Central Florida), Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville), Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois) and Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M).

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Presented by Verizon, NFL Network’s Three-Hour ‘NFL Total Access: Schedule Release ‘14’ Show Breaks Down 2014 NFL Schedule Will Provide Complete Team-by-Team and Weekly Schedules of All 256 Regular-Season Games

The 2014 NFL schedule will be released on NFL Network,, and NFL Mobile from Verizon on Wednesday, April 23 at 8:00 PM ET.

NFL Network’s coverage will be highlighted by NFL Total Access: Schedule Release ’14 presented by Verizon (Wednesday, 8:00 PM ET) – a three-hour special hosted by Rich Eisen and featuring analysts Steve Mariucci, Warren Sapp, and Mike Silver – that breaks down the entire 2014 regular season schedule, division by division, analyzing the top matchups and primetime games, including the 16-game CBS/NFL Network Thursday Night Football schedule.

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Transcript & Audio File of Conference Call with NFL Network Analysts Charles Davis & Daniel Jeremiah — 4/17/14

NFL Network analysts Charles Davis and Daniel Jeremiah held a conference call today to preview the 2014 NFL Draft.

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NFL Update—April 16, 2014


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NFL Update — April 9, 2014


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