Archive for February, 2012

Arizona Cardinals vs. New Orleans Saints to Open Preseason in Pro Football Hall of Fame Game

CANTON, OHIO – The National Football League announced today that the Arizona Cardinals and the New Orleans Saints will kick off the preseason on Sunday August 5, in the 2012 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The game will be televised nationally on NFL Network with kickoff set for 8 p.m. ET.

This summer’s game marks the fifth time the Saints have played in the Hall of Fame Game. They last played in Canton in 2007, in a 20-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers and have an overall 1-3 record in the Hall of Fame Game series.

The Cardinals, who played the New York Giants to a 21-21 tie in the first-ever Hall of Fame Game in 1962, return to Canton’s Pro Football Hall of Fame Field at Fawcett Stadium this summer for their fourth visit and the first since 1986. The Cardinals are 1-1-1 in their Hall of Fame Game appearances.

Arizona and New Orleans will take the field one day after the newest class of enshrinees – Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin and long-time New Orleans Saints tackle Willie Roaf – are formally enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame during ceremonies held at Fawcett Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 4. Roaf is just the second long-time Saints player to be elected to the Hall of Fame.

Tickets for the game are priced at $67, $62, and $52, and will go on sale March 13. Additional information on both the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game and the 2012 Enshrinement Ceremony including Enshrinement Festival fan packages can be found on Profootballhof.com.

NFL Kickoff Game to be Played on Wednesday, Sept. 5

The 2012 season-opening NFL Kickoff game will be played on Wednesday, September 5 (NBC, 8:30 PM ET), Commissioner ROGER GOODELL announced today. 

The game will be played on Wednesday to avoid a conflict with President Barack Obama’s Thursday night speech at the Democratic National Convention.

The Super Bowl XLVI-champion New York Giants will host the season-opener at MetLife Stadium. NBC will televise the game at 8:30 PM ET and NFL Kickoff 2012 beginning at 7:30 PM ET.

NFL Network Analyst Mike Mayock Press Conference at NFL Scouting Combine

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock spoke to the media at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Sunday, February 26. Provided below are select quotes from Mayock’s press conference.

NFL Network and NFL.com’s exclusive live coverage of the NFL Scouting Combine continues today with the defensive linemen and linebackers and Tuesday, February 28 at 9:00 AM ET with the defensive back drills. Hall of Fame defensive back and NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders joins NFL Network analysts Mike Mayock and Charles Davis and host Rich Eisen as the defensive back prospects go through each drill at Lucas Oil Stadium.

During Tuesday’s coverage of the NFL Scouting Combine, Rich Eisen will run the 40-yard dash for the eighth year in a row and will attempt to best his Personal Record set last year. (@NFL & @NFLNetwork “#RunRichRun”)

Tonight at 7:00 PM ET on NFL Total Access, Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Robert Griffin III sits down with NFL Network analyst Steve Mariucci for a one-on-one interview.

For complete results, news and additional live coverage from the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine, visit NFL.com:

http://www.nfl.com/combine

Mike Mayock on the quarterback class:

“If you look at last year’s draft and [Christian] Ponder goes at [No.] 12 and [Jake] Locker goes at No. 8, what I would tell you is that I would be stunned if [Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III] didn’t go one and two. Then [Ryan] Tannehill, even though he can’t workout, as long as he takes care through the process, shows people he can throw, what an athlete he is, Tannehill might go in the top 10. Everybody is thinking which team is going to get Griffin; in my head, I’m already slotting him 1-2 and wondering where Tannehill might end up because of how high Ponder and Locker went a year ago.”

On Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill:

“Stephen Hill killed it. I had a bunch of scouts tell me before the Combine this kid might blow the roof off of it and he did. The tough thing with Stephen Hill is coming out of that option offense, he’s hard to evaluate…From a football perspective, every team in the league has a lot of homework to do. He’s a hard guy to figure out, just like Demaryius Thomas was because you don’t see real routes; all you see are verticals, crosses and play-action and jump balls. You have to do your homework on this kid and he’s kind of pushed himself right up in the forefront of this wide receivers class.”

On Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd:

“Floyd had as good a day as just about anybody out there…I don’t think he falls out of the top 21. His bigger challenge is just to make sure people take his red flags off the field and make sure he adjusts it accordingly. If teams take him off the board, that’s one thing. But if you’re just talking to me about a football player, he’s a top 21 talent.”

On Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright:

“The guy I was most surprised with as far as his 40 on the downside was the Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright. On tape, I thought he was DeSean Jackson, just a notch below him from a speed perspective. So to see him run 4.61, I was stunned.”

On what separates Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck from Ryan Tannehill:

“Tannehill has 19 starts and he’s a former wide receiver. I can see all of the attributes of a [Jake] Locker, for instance, in Tannehill. He’s a big, strong kid who can push the ball down the field, he’s athletic. I like everything about him except for the fact that on tape he stares his receivers down and waits for them to come open before he rips it. That’s typical of a young quarterback without a lot of starts. I look at him and say kind of like Jake Locker, he’s going to take a little bit of time – a year or so. Nineteen starts is not a lot of starts for a college quarterback…He’s a first-round quarterback. He’s as good or better than a [Christian] Ponder or a Locker a year ago.”

On what positions he likes in the draft:

“I love defensive tackles, not a fan of the defensive ends. I’ve seen anywhere from 5-7 defensive tackles that have first-round grades, and the depth in it is really good too. You can go four, five rounds with the defensive tackles in any scheme – 4-3, 3-4, nose tackle, three technique. I love the defensive tackles.”

On the tight end class:

“The tight end class is a bad class. That’s not good given [Rob] Gronkowski and [Aaron] Hernandez, and what we’ve seen in the NFL – everybody is looking for that next guy. I don’t have a first-round grade in the tight end class, I have three second-round grades and then I have kind of an abyss. The tight end class is a rough one.”

On Stanford offensive guard David DeCastro:

“When you get him, you’re going to plug him in Day 1 and he’s going to be your starting guard – of course the exception could be injury or free agency – but he could be your starting guard for the next 10 years. That’s what the Cowboys need; they need to keep getting younger and more athletic in that offensive line.”

On Ohio State tackle Mike Adams:

“Mike Adams’ biggest challenges are going to be in the meeting rooms. He’s not a strong guy; 19 reps at 225, that translates on the field, both upper body and more importantly to me is his core strength. I don’t see the core strength. He’s long, he’s got good feet, he’s got a prototypical left tackle’s body. I’m not buying into the fact yet that he’s definitely going in the first round just because his strength and just some questions about immaturity.”

On the small school prospects:

“This is the best group of small school kids that I’ve seen in awhile.”

On if Alabama running back Trent Richardson is a top five pick:

“I read a list of every running drafted in the first round in the last five years, and basically what it tells you is that if you’re not Adrian Peterson you probably shouldn’t be a top five or a top ten running back…Either because of injuries or because of a lack of talent or whatever, if you go back every class to Adrian Peterson, you can’t make a case for a top ten running back.”

The following are a few of the videos from the Combine that are now available on NFL.com:

Memphis DL Dontari Poe’s 40-yard dash:

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-combine/09000d5d8273ed9e/Massive-Poe-runs-impressive-40

Baylor QB Robert Griffin III joins NFL Network’s set:

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-combine/09000d5d82738432/Griffin-going-for-greatness

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock discusses the wide receivers:

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-combine/09000d5d82737c2f/Mayock-breaks-down-top-receivers

NFL Network Combine guest analyst Colts C Jeff Saturday talks about Peyton Manning:

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-combine/09000d5d82731747/Saturday-explains-the-Manning-dilemma

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones talks about possible future changes for the NFL Scouting Combine on NFL Network’s set:

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-combine/09000d5d82732094/Jerry-Jones-all-for-all-access

2012 NFL Regional Combines Rosters Completed

All positions for the 2012 Regional Combines have been filled for the remaining three workouts. NFL Regional Combines serve as a supplement to the NFL’s National Scouting Combine and provide an opportunity for players to display their skills before veteran NFL talent evaluators.

Players are tested and evaluated by experienced NFL scouting personnel, and measurements and combine results are compiled and entered into a database available to all 32 NFL clubs. Players also have the ability to email their results to anyone they wish.

Players that attend an NFL Regional Combine may be invited to attend the NFL Super Regional Combine which will be held at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan on March 30-31, 2012. Players invited to the Super Regional will have the opportunity to work out and showcase their talents in front of current NFL team scouts and player personnel directors.

Players must attend an NFL Regional Combine in order to become eligible for invitation to the NFL Super Regional Combine.

For the complete release, click here

2012 NFL Draft First Round Order

Following is the 2012 NFL Draft first round order.  

The Miami Dolphins will select eighth, the Carolina Panthers ninth, the Kansas City Chiefs 11th and the Seattle Seahawks 12th, following coin flips held today at the NFL Scouting Combine.  

 The NFL Draft will kick off in primetime for the third consecutive year. The first round will start on Thursday, April 26 at 8:00 PM ET. The second and third rounds are set for Friday, April 27 at 7:00 PM ET. Rounds four through seven will be held on Saturday, April 28 at noon ET.  

To see the complete selection order, click here.

Transcript of NFL Network Analyst Mike Mayock’s Combine Conference Call

NFL Network Features More Than 50 Hours of Exclusive “2012 NFL Scouting Combine Presented by Under Armour” Programming Starting Thursday, Feb. 23 with Live Coverage of the Workouts Beginning Saturday, Feb. 25 at 9:00 AM ET 

NFL Draft Analyst Mike Mayock Leads NFL Network and NFL.com’s 22-Person Roster Featuring Hall of Famers, Top Talent Evaluators, Former Coaches & Reporters

NFL.com’s New ‘Combine Tracker’ Provides Immediate 40-Yard Dash Times

Click here for the transcript of the media conference call on Wednesday, Feb. 15 with NFL Network Draft Expert Mike Mayock.

Who will be the #1 Pick? NFL Network & NFL.com’s 2012 Scouting Combine Coverage

NFL Network’s More Than 50 Hours of Exclusive “2012 NFL Scouting Combine Presented by Under Armour” Programming Starts Thursday, Feb. 23 with Live Coverage of the Workouts Beginning Saturday, Feb. 25 at 9:00 AM ET

NFL.com’s New ‘Combine Tracker’ Provides Immediate 40-Yard Dash Times

NFL Draft Analyst Mike Mayock Leads NFL Network and NFL.com’s 22-Person Roster Featuring Hall of Famers, Top Talent Evaluators, Former Coaches & Reporters

For the eighth consecutive year, NFL Network and NFL.com’s exclusive coverage of the league’s next generation of talent kicks off Thursday, February 23 with more than 50 hours of programming of the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine, Presented by Under Armour. For six days, NFL Network broadcasts live from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, providing an up-close look at the more than 300 NFL prospects looking to take the next step in their careers as the ‘Path to Primetime’ 2012 NFL Draft continues.

Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Robert Griffin III, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon, USC offensive lineman Matt Kalil, and running back Trent Richardson from the national champion Alabama Crimson Tide headline the top prospects scheduled to appear in Indianapolis, with live coverage of workouts beginning on Saturday, February 25 at 9:00 AM ET with the offensive linemen, tight ends and kickers. NFL Network and NFL.com’s workout coverage continues with the running backs, quarterbacks and wide receivers on Sunday, February 26, linebackers and defensive linemen on Monday, February 27 and defensive backs on Tuesday, February 28.

NFL Network and NFL.com’s Combine coverage starts Thursday, February 23 at 2:30 PM ET with Around the League: 2012 NFL Scouting Combine Press Conferences from Lucas Oil Stadium. Daily editions of NFL Total Access: 2012 NFL Scouting Combine wrap up all of the day’s action at 7:00 PM ET.

For the complete release, click here

NFL Player Engagement announces NFL-Wharton Prep Leadership Program

Latest program for high school student-athletes runs June 25-27

 Application process underway for seniors-to-be

NFL Player Engagement and the Wharton Sports Business Initiative will host the inaugural NFL-Wharton Prep Leadership Program for student-athletes entering their senior year of high school, it was announced today.

The program, which runs from June 25-27 at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in Philadelphia, will offer leadership training and development programming with instruction from Wharton professors and NFL executives.

“With our newest NFL Prep leadership initiative, we are excited to acknowledge and celebrate those extraordinary high school student-athletes who are already demonstrating exceptional leadership qualities in the classroom and on the playing field,” said Troy Vincent, NFL Vice President of Player Engagement. “This program for male and female student-athletes features a curriculum created by top educators specifically designed to provide the skills and knowledge that are essential to becoming better leaders in academic performance, athletic experience and community service.”

“For Wharton, this is the perfect blend of sports, academics and social impact” said Kenneth Shropshire, Wharton Professor and Faculty Director at the Wharton Sports Business Initiative.  “We are excited about playing a role in developing future leaders impacted by sport, blending sports and academics at the highest levels.”
Read more

Jeff Fisher, Mark Murphy & Ken Whisenhunt Named to Competition Committee

Head coaches JEFF FISHER of the St. Louis Rams and KEN WHISENHUNT of the Arizona Cardinals, along with Green Bay Packers President and Chief Executive Officer MARK MURPHY, have been named to the NFL Competition Committee by Commissioner ROGER GOODELL, the NFL announced today.

Fisher co-chaired the committee from 2002-2010 with current committee chairman RICH MC KAY of the Atlanta Falcons.  Whisenhunt has served as a member of the Coaches Subcommittee, which consists of current and former NFL head coaches and makes recommendations to the Competition Committee.  Murphy, the Packers’ CEO since 2007, played eight seasons with the Washington Redskins from 1977-84, including two Super Bowl appearances, and was selected to the Pro Bowl following the 1983 season.

The Competition Committee studies all aspects of the game and recommends rules and policy changes to NFL clubs. 

For the complete release, click here

Super Bowl ad scores more than 1.7 million texts for NFL.com’s $1 million “NFL Perfect Challenge”

Only Super Bowl advertisement to use text message call-to-action

First time NFL used Super Bowl commercial to launch digital product

Super Bowl Sunday traffic up 35% on NFL.com & 88% on mobile properties

Ahmad Bradshaw’s game-winning TD run #1 video highlight

On Super Bowl Sunday, the NFL was the only advertiser to create a commercial with a text message call-to-action…and the fans responded with more than 1.7 million texts after seeing the 30-second spot for the new $1 million “NFL Perfect Challenge” fantasy football game.

Among those fans texting in response to the commercial, nearly 90 percent are new to the NFL.com Fantasy game. In addition, the new fantasy game was the top non-sponsored trend on Twitter despite not using a hashtag campaign in the ad.

The advertisement, which marked the first time the NFL launched a digital product with a Super Bowl ad, aired in the commercial break immediately after the end of the first half. The commercial was produced with Grey Advertising.

The advertisement can be viewed at http://nfl.com/perfect and fans can pre-register using the same NFL.com link or by texting “NFL” to 69635.
Read more