Archive for August, 2010

Indy Star: “Despite NFL’s wish for safety, most Colts prefer to wear as few pads as possible”

In a weekend story in the Indianapolis Star, Colts beat writer Mike Chappell writes under the header “Despite NFL’s wish for safety, most Colts prefer to wear as few pads as possible.”

“Helmet, shoulder pads, that’s it,” said wide receiver Pierre Garcon (left).

Cornerback Kelvin Hayden seconded Garcon. “Shoulder pads. That’s all,” said Hayden.

“Helmet, shoulder pads and cleats,” linebacker Gary Brackett added. “It’s just a personal preference and I’m comfortable that way. It’s a speed game and if you can get that one second faster, it will help you out. We’ll wear as little as we have to.”

Cornerback Jerraud Powers agrees with Brackett. “Obviously the more pads the better,” he said, “but guys feel like they’ve got an advantage if they can have lighter pads or no pads at all.”

For the complete story, click here.

CDC works with NFL on concussion awareness

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently launched a page on its website entitled “Partnering to help take concussions out of play” to provide information on concussion prevention, recognition and treatment. The CDC also reached out to more than 40,000 organizations and individuals to deliver a similar message.

“As the fall sports season kicks off, we encourage you to take this opportunity to talk with your coaches, parents, athletes, and others about concussions in all sports and the steps to take to help prevent, recognize, and respond to this serious injury,” the CDC wrote to those 40,000, which includes the organization’s ‘Heads Up’ sports medical partners. “We can help athletes of all ages stay active and healthy by knowing the facts about concussions and when it is safe for athletes to return to play.”

The CDC website features a new NFL locker room poster (above right) stressing the importance of recognizing a concussion, taking time to recover, and not returning to play too soon. The poster was developed by the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Medical Committee, the NFL Players Association, the CDC, the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society, and the NFL Physicians Society.

For more concussion-related information from the CDC, click here.

San Diego Chargers salute military

The San Diego Chargers this weekend are honoring local military as part of the team’s 22nd Annual Salute to the Military.

“The Chargers are grateful to the men and women in all branches of the United States military for the commitment they have made and the service they provide to our country,” said Chargers Executive Vice President A.G. Spanos.

The team yesterday held its final practice before tonight’s game against Dallas as part of a special Military Appreciation Day at nearby Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. 

“The Marines and their families have been looking forward to this event for quite some time,” Miramar’s Public Affairs Director, Maj. Manuel Delarosa said. “They realize having the Chargers team aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar is a unique experience. Friday [was] a well-deserved change to the hectic training schedule as many of these Marines are preparing to deploy overseas to places like Afghanistan and the Far East.”

The Salute to the Military continues tonight at Qualcomm Stadium with members of every branch of the U.S. military in attendance. Marine Corps Sergeant Dewayne Meats will sing the national anthem as a formation of four F/A-18 Hornets from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing fly past Qualcomm Stadium. Additionally, Maj. Gen. Thomas Conant and several rear admirals will serve as co-team captains during the coin toss.

“I think our active duty service members truly appreciate the Chargers taking time out of their busy schedule to meet with them,” Miramar’s Marine Corps Community Services special events manager Denise Fairbanks said. “It’s a very exciting time. Our active duty service members feel great knowing that the Chargers are thinking of them.”

For more information, click here.

Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt: Enhanced season “such a positive for fans”

“It’s such a positive for the fans,” Kansas City Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt (right) said of the proposed enhanced season in an interview with Randy Covitz of the Kansas City Star.

“We’ve all seen over the last half-dozen years that the interest in the preseason games has decreased,” Hunt added. “The athletes are better conditioned now, they practice year-round, and I think making the switch to 18 and two (preseason) games might be a positive for everybody involved.”

Owners will discuss the enhanced season at next Wednesday’s league meeting. The enhanced season would be negotiated as part of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association.

Said Hunt of the CBA talks, “I feel confident that a deal will get done. I can’t predict when.”

For the complete story, click here.

Statement by NFL spokesperson on Brian Cushing suspension:

At the request of Texans owner Bob McNair, Commissioner Goodell reviewed additional medical information presented on behalf of Brian Cushing. The club and Cushing were notified today that after carefully considering all the information, including a review by outside medical experts, the commissioner finds no basis for changing the decision and that Mr. Cushing’s suspension for the first four games of the regular season remains in place.

Ask NFLlabor.com – Contract implications of full-season holdout

Following is the answer to a recent question in the NFLlabor.com mailbag. To submit a question, send an email to NFLlabor@nfl.com.

What happens if a player under contract decides to sit out for the whole season? Does the team have the right to demand that player fulfill his contract in the following year at the agreed to salary listed in the contract for the year he skipped?

Under the scenario you have posed, where a player under contract sits out for the full season, he would have to play the next season under the contract for the year he missed.  For example, if a player sits out for the entire 2010 season and returns to his team, he would be subject to the 2010 contract terms for the 2011 season.

NFL’s Jeff Pash: “We have shown the union how and why the current system does not work”

At the request of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, NFL Executive Vice President Jeff Pash (right), who leads the owners’ CBA negotiating team, responded to an opinion piece written by former Green Bay Packers lineman Ken Ruettgers which focused on financial transparency in the labor negotiations.

Following is Pash’s column as it appeared in today’s Press-Gazette.

Packers’ falling profits a glimpse of NFL’s shaky revenue structure

The goal of the NFL clubs is to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement that is forward-looking and fair to everyone — clubs, current and retired players, and, most of all, the fans.

We know that an agreement can and will be reached to improve the game and build a better league. It can and should be done with no work stoppage, which would hurt everyone.

We have shown the union how and why the current system does not work. The Green Bay Packers’ recent financial statement illustrates the point — operating profits declining every year since 2006 while player costs continue to rise. Last year, the union said the Packers’ profits proved the NFL is very healthy. This year, when Green Bay’s profits fell in half, the union changed its tune, saying one club’s financials do not reflect the overall league.

Every fan knows times have changed. We have to change as well. If we do so thoughtfully, together with our players, the game will continue to grow. We can present even better fan experiences and improve the quality of everything we do.
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Tom Brady on Patriots owner Robert Kraft: “We’re so well taken care of. It’s a great place to play.”

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady discussed his relationship with Robert Kraft and his contract status this morning in an interview with WEEI-Radio as reported by the Boston Globe.

“Mr. Kraft and Jonathan and the family, they’ve done everything they could to make this organization the best one in the league,” Brady said. “The way that they treat us, with our stadium, with our practice facility, with the way they handle our travel and our food, we’re so well taken care. It’s a great place to play and obviously I hope I’m here for a long time.”

“Every player on the team wants a contract, and to be fairly compensated,” Brady added. “So does Logan (Mankins), you know? So did Vince (Wilfork) last year, so do all the other third-year guys, so does Wes (Welker)…We all want to be compensated fairly, but we also understand we signed contracts and that’s why we’re here, to show up and give our best.”

To listen to the complete WEEI interview, click here.

Boston Globe: “Business as usual” in uncapped season

In his Sunday notes column, Boston Globe NFL writer Albert Breer discusses the uncapped season under the subhead “Business as usual: Chaos didn’t rule, despite expectations.”

“The ‘Final League Year’ rules of 2010 have forced some general managers to become as much accountant as football man,” Breer writes. “But now that the season is finally here, most didn’t change their decision-making significantly. If anything, the rules restricting fourth- and fifth-year free agents might have simplified things a bit.”

“Contracts have gotten more complicated, yes,” Breer adds, “but the truth is they’ve never been easy.”

Said general manager Mickey Loomis (above, right) of the New Orleans Saints, who had limitations on signing unrestricted free agents under the Final Four rules: “I don’t know that it’s made it any tougher. Every year is tough. Every year you have players you want to keep and you have different sorts of opinions on what a player’s value is, so I don’t know from my standpoint that it’s been any tougher.

“We had a couple deals we were able to do and a couple deals we were not able to do. That sounds like a typical year to me.’’

For the complete story, click here.

Bengals to hold weekend practice in Dayton to benefit local schools

Cincinnati Bengals fans living in Dayton will get the chance next Sunday to watch their team practice locally, Bengals.com reported.  The free practice on August 22 will accommodate 11,000 fans at Welcome Stadium in Dayton.  Parking fees will benefit the Dayton Public Schools and a local youth education program.

“We know we have great fans in the Miami Valley, and we count on them for their support,” said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis (left, with wide receiver Chad Ochocinco). “There’s a lot of excitement and high expectations for the coming season, and we are working hard to deliver. We’re looking forward to practicing in front of a big crowd in Dayton.” 

For the complete story, click here.