Archive for June, 2011

Commissioner Goodell & DeMaurice Smith to rookies: “We have to work together”

Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith stressed the importance of working together as they appeared together Wednesday morning at the NFLPA’s rookie orientation in Sarasota, according to a story by ProPlayerInsiders.com.    Smith invited the Commissioner to speak at the event.

“Every now and then you have two sides, the folks who are employees and the folks who are employers. There are issues that unite you and there are issues that divide you. At the end of the day the conclusion is that both sides have to work together,” Smith said.

“De referenced how hard we are all working together. There’s no question that you have a guy that is passionate about what you do and in representing you. I have great respect for this guy and you,” Commissioner Goodell said. “There’s no question we have some fundamental challenges to getting this done. But we do recognize that if we are going to create a business model that meets the challenges for everybody, works for the players, works for the clubs, works for the fans of the game, then we are going to have to address these issues responsibly and we know we are better off working together.”

Both Commissioner Goodell and DeMaurice Smith both stated that they are focused on preserving a full season.

“Our goal is to start the games on time,” Smith said. “Our goal is to have a training camp on time. Our goal is to hopefully get some time were we can have some off-season work. We are both committed to those three fundamental things so if we are able to get something done in time we have the ability to move heaven and earth and make sure that things happen in a way that doesn’t impact the season.”

Said Commissioner Goodell: “Our objective here is to keep pressing on and get this done so we can have a season, a full season, and that includes some off season work. If we are successful in the next couple weeks there is still the opportunity to get some off season work and then into training camps.”

For the complete story, click here.

Commissioner Goodell and DeMaurice Smith speak to rookies

Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith spoke with and answered questions from rookies this morning at the NFLPA’s rookie orientation in Sarasota. Smith invited the Commissioner to speak at the event.

Both will return to Minneapolis today to continue meetings which began earlier this week.

Following are comments Commissioner Goodell and DeMaurice Smith made to media following their talk with rookies:

Commissioner Goodell and DeMaurice Smith

After Speaking at NFLPA Rookie Orientation

June 29, 2011

DeMaurice Smith: “We obviously spoke to the rookie class here at the Business of Football Symposium. We are not going to take questions but both of us wanted to come out and tell you that.  We’re continuing to work hard. Both of us felt that it was important to come down for this event. Obviously, what we are doing on the business of football on a macro scale is about getting a fair deal done and trying to get back to the game and business of football as quickly as possible. This event was important to ensure that our young men appreciated how important we think these few days are. I’m thrilled that Roger could come down with us and talk to the rookies in a very good, direct way.”

Commissioner Goodell: “It was a great opportunity for us to be able to sit with the rookies. They obviously have lots of questions. We answered the questions as best we could. But you all know that we’re under certain restrictions. We’re taking a break because we felt it was important to be down here with the players. We both have great respect, obviously, for the players. This is an important few days. We’re going to get back to work.”

DeMaurice Smith: “So we’re going to go back in, to get back to work on other issues. Thank you all.”

Post-meeting comments from Commissioner Goodell and DeMaurice Smith

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith appeared together today and made the following comments to members of the news media that found the location of this week’s talks between players and owners in suburban Boston. 

Commissioner Goodell: “You obviously know we met over the last couple of days. We are under court order as far as what we can discuss so our comments will be brief. But obviously we’re all working hard. The players and owners were here over the last two days. De and I were here for the entire meetings also. And it’s complicated and it’s complex, but we’re working hard and we understand the fans’ frustration. But I think both of us feel strongly that we’re going to continue to work hard at it.”

DeMaurice Smith: “Someone asked me whether I was optimistic. I think we’re both optimistic when we have the right people in the room. We know we’re talking about the right issues and that we’re working hard to get it done. It is extremely complicated, it requires a lot of hard work by a lot of people, but we’re committed to getting something done and we’re going to keep working at it.  Just to wrap up: we’re working hard, we understand the fans’ frustration, I know our players’ frustration. We’re going to keep working hard and try to make sure we get a deal done.”

Following these comments, Goodell and Smith shook hands and departed along with the other attendees at the meeting.  They included players Domonique Foxworth, Tony Richardson, and Jeff Saturday plus owners Jerry Richardson, Clark Hunt, Robert Kraft, John Mara, and Dean Spanos. The talks will continue.

Former players Rocky Boiman & Nick Ferguson earn U.K. studio analyst posts for 2011 regular-season Sunday

Former NFL players Rocky Boiman and Nick Ferguson have been selected to serve as studio analysts for a 2011 NFL regular-season Sunday on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom. The announcement was made today at the conclusion of the NFL Broadcast Boot Camp in Mt. Laurel, NJ, where Boiman and Ferguson spent the past four days learning the business from talent, producers and executives from each of the NFL’s broadcast partners. This marks the first time in the five years of the NFL Broadcast Boot Camp that players were given the opportunity to earn a broadcast position as a result of their performances. The dates of the Sky Sports assignments for Boiman and Ferguson will be determined closer to the kickoff of the 2011 NFL season.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for Rocky and Nick to get right into the field,” said FOX Sports’ Curt Menefee, who worked with both players at the Broadcast Boot Camp. “Their analysis and colorful personalities will educate and entertain NFL fans in the U.K.”

Added Sky Sports NFL producer Karl Baumann, “This is a chance for us to introduce Rocky and Nick to our U.K. audience and to benefit from their insight and expertise.”

“It is great to be selected from among all the talented players at the Boot Camp,” said Boiman (above), a linebacker and special teams standout who played 103 games in eight NFL seasons with Tennessee (2002-05), Indianapolis (2006-07), Kansas City (2008) and Pittsburgh (2009). Boiman won a Super Bowl ring with the 2006 Colts. “I’m excited to continue my development on Sky Sports this season.”

“This an extraordinary opportunity for me to continue my broadcasting education, especially on Sky Sports in Europe where I won a World Bowl,” said Ferguson (left), who played 132 games at safety for the New York Jets (2000-02), Denver (2003-07) and Houston (2008-09). Ferguson’s teams posted a 77-55 record (.583) in games he played.

Sky Sports is the premier NFL broadcaster in the U.K. and airs 1:00 PM ET and 4:15 PM ET games live every Sunday as well as all Thursday and Saturday night games and all postseason games including the Super Bowl. Based in London, Sky Sports has been televising NFL games for more than two decades. Among notable NFL guest analysts on Sky in recent years were Mike Holmgren, Jerry Rice and Lynn Swann. In addition, FOX Sports’ Troy Aikman and Daryl Johnston served as analysts on Sky’s coverage of NFL Europe games.

The Broadcast Boot Camp is directed by the NFL Player Engagement and NFL Broadcasting departments and covers a wide range of topics with instructors from each of the NFL’s broadcast partners – CBS, ESPN, FOX, NBC, NFL Network, SiriusXM Radio, Westwood One Radio, plus local radio and TV.

Of the 90 players who took part in the Broadcast Boot Camp from 2007-2010, 36 have already earned broadcasting jobs as a result of their participation in the program.

Commissioner Goodell Briefs Media Following League Meeting

Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the media today following a meeting of NFL owners and club executives at the Westin O’Hare hotel in Chicago, Illinois.

Following is a transcript of the Commissioner’s press conference:


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Joint NFL-NFLPA statement:

“Discussions between NFL owners and players under the auspices of Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan took place again this week and will continue. At the request of Judge Boylan, both sides have agreed to maintain the confidentiality of the substance of the talks.” 

NFL attendees at this week’s meetings included: Commissioner Roger Goodell and labor committee members Jerry Richardson (Carolina), Clark Hunt (Kansas City), Robert Kraft (New England), John Mara (New York Giants) and Dean Spanos (San Diego). 

Leading the representation of the players were: DeMaurice Smith, Kevin Mawae, Domonique Foxworth, Tony Richardson, Jeff Saturday, and Brian Waters.

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Top performer at Broadcast Boot Camp to serve as U.K. studio show analyst on 2011 regular-season Sunday

For the first time in the five years of the NFL Broadcast Boot Camp, the event directors will select a top performer to serve as a studio analyst for a 2011 NFL regular-season Sunday on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom.

“We are very pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to a member of the NFL Broadcast Boot Camp,” said Sky Sports NFL producer Karl Baumann. “It is a chance for us to introduce a new analyst to our U.K. audience and to benefit from their insight and expertise. We have been lucky to work with some outstanding NFL broadcasters and experts over the years and we are excited to see who will be joining us later this season.”

Sky Sports is the premier NFL broadcaster in the U.K. and airs 1:00 PM ET and 4:15 PM ET games live every Sunday as well as all Thursday and Saturday night games and all postseason games including the Super Bowl. Based in London, Sky Sports has been televising NFL games for more than two decades.  Among notable NFL guest analysts on Sky in recent years were Mike Holmgren, Jerry Rice and Lynn Swann.  In addition, FOX Sports’ Troy Aikman and Daryl Johnston served as analysts on Sky’s coverage of NFL Europe games.

“This is an exciting opportunity for one of our former players to get real-world experience and apply the skills that he learns at the Broadcast Boot Camp,” said Troy Vincent, NFL vice president of player engagement.

The Broadcast Boot Camp, which runs from June 20-23 at NFL Films in Mt. Laurel, NJ, is directed by the NFL Player Engagement and NFL Broadcasting departments and covers a wide range of topics with instructors from each of the NFL’s broadcast partners – CBS, ESPN, FOX, NBC, NFL Network, SiriusXM Radio, Westwood One Radio, plus local radio and TV.

Of the 90 players who took part in the Broadcast Boot Camp from 2007-2010, 36 have already earned broadcasting jobs as a result of their participation in the program. Following are the former NFL players enrolled in the NFL Broadcast Boot Camp:

Player

Team

Tony Banks

BAL, DAL, HOU, STL, WAS

Anthony Becht

ARI, NYJ, TB

LeCharles Bentley

CLE, NO

Rocky Boiman

IND, KC, PIT, TEN

Barrett Brooks

DET, GB, NYG, PHI, PIT

Rob Davis

CHI, GB, KC, NYJ

Nick Ferguson

BUF, CHI, DEN, HOU, NYJ

John Fina

ARI, BUF

Dustin Fox

BUF, MIN, PHI

Antonio Freeman

GB, PHI

Drew Henson

DAL, DET

Dan Klecko

IND, NE, PHI

Caleb Miller

CIN

Tony Stewart

CIN, OAK, PHI

Amani Toomer

NYG

Maurice Williams

DEN, JAX

Ralph Wilson & Robert Kraft reach out in the community

AFC East owners Ralph Wilson of the Buffalo Bills and Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots this week led local community initiatives.

Yesterday, the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation donated $1 million toward the building expansion of the local Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) in order to meet growing patient needs.  The Wilsons were one of 10 families to make a collective $10 million gift to support RPCI’s 10-story, 123,500-square-foot Clinical Sciences Center.

This afternoon, Mr. Kraft, the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation and Patriots players Stephen Gostkowski and Ron Brace honored the 16 winners of the team’s 2011 Community MVP Awards program. During the ceremony the winners were recognized for their efforts and Kraft donated a total of $100,000 in the winners’ names to the non-profit organizations for which they volunteer.

Joint NFL-NFLPA statement on this week’s meetings:

“NFL owners and players have engaged in further confidential discussions before Chief Magistrate Judge Boylan this week. Those discussions will continue.”

NFL attendees at this week’s meetings: Commissioner Roger Goodell and labor committee members Jerry Richardson (Carolina), Clark Hunt (Kansas City), Robert Kraft (New England), John Mara (New York Giants) and Dean Spanos (San Diego). Representing the players: DeMaurice Smith, Kevin Mawae, Jeff Saturday, Mike Vrabel, Tony Richardson and Domonique Foxworth.

NFL offers fifth annual “NFL Broadcast Boot Camp”

Sixteen former NFL players, including Antonio Freeman, Drew Henson and Amani Toomer, will take part in the fifth annual NFL Broadcast Boot Camp at NFL Films in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, it was announced today.

The program, which runs from June 20-23, is directed by the NFL Player Engagement and NFL Broadcasting departments and covers a wide range of topics with instructors from each of the NFL’s broadcast partners – CBS, ESPN, FOX, NBC, NFL Network, SiriusXM Radio, Westwood One Radio, plus local radio and TV.  It will include hands-on work in areas such as tape study, editing, show preparation, radio production, control room operation, studio preparation, production meetings, field reporting and game preparation.  Each player will tape segments as a studio and game analyst and take part in a networking session with television executives.  Each player also will serve as a live radio host on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

Of the 90 players who took part in the Broadcast Boot Camp from 2007-2010, 36 have already earned broadcasting jobs as a result of their participation in the program.

“We continue to look for ways to help players develop skills to enhance their post-NFL careers.  Many of last year’s participants used this program as a career springboard, with some participants returning as instructors in subsequent years,” said NFL Senior Vice President of Labor Policy and Player Engagement Adolpho Birch. 

“Broadcast Boot Camp is an excellent opportunity for former NFL players who are ready to take an important step towards the next chapter of their lives and prepare for a successful career off the field,” said Troy Vincent, NFL Vice President of Player Engagement. “The program provides participants with a comprehensive look at all aspects of the sports broadcasting industry and allows them to develop invaluable professional skills and relationships that can carry them through their post-NFL experience.”

The NFL Broadcast Boot Camp is one of several NFL Player Engagement programs to assist players in preparing for their post-playing careers.  NFL Player Engagement prepares and supports players for life on the field and during their transition to post-football careers. Through NFL Prep, NFL Life, and NFL Next programming, the NFL Player Engagement department assists players in adjusting to life within the NFL, while challenging them to prepare for their next careers after their football-playing days.

Enrollment criteria for the Broadcast Boot Camp include NFL playing experience, essays, and demonstrated interest in media.

Following are the former NFL players enrolled in the NFL Broadcast Boot Camp:

Player

Team

Tony Banks

BAL, DAL, HOU, WAS

Anthony Becht

ARI, NYJ, TB

LeCharles Bentley

CLE, NO

Rocky Boiman

IND, KC, PIT, TEN

Barrett Brooks

DET, GB, NYG, PHI, PIT

Rob Davis

CHI, GB, KC, NYJ

Nick Ferguson

BUF, CHI, DEN, HOU, NYJ

John Fina

ARI, BUF

Dustin Fox

BUF, MIN, PHI

Antonio Freeman

GB, PHI

Drew Henson

DAL, DET

Dan Klecko

IND, NE

Caleb Miller

CIN

Tony Stewart

CIN, OAK, PHI

Amani Toomer

NYG

Maurice Williams

DEN, JAX

 

With more than 400 years of broadcasting experience, following are the NFL broadcasting talent and production staff who will lend their expertise to the program:
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