Archive for May, 2012

Aloha! 2013 Pro Bowl to be Played in Hawaii on NBC Week Before Super Bowl XLVII

The 2013 Pro Bowl will be played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii for the 33rd time, the NFL and NFL Players Association announced today.  The game will be televised live on Sunday, January 27 on NBC at 7 PM ET and again serve as the signature event to kick off the week leading up to the Super Bowl.  CBS will televise Super Bowl XLVII a week later on Sunday, February 3 from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

“The players have made it clear through the NFL Players Association that they would like the opportunity to continue to play the Pro Bowl in Hawaii,” said NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson. “We will support the players on this initiative to improve the Pro Bowl. We have had many discussions with the players in recent years about the Pro Bowl and they recognize that the quality of the game has not been up to NFL standards. We look forward to working with the players toward the goal of improving the competitiveness of this season’s game.”

“The players believe that the Pro Bowl is an important tradition,” said NFLPA President Domonique Foxworth.  “We worked hard with the league to make sure the best players in the NFL are honored for their achievements on the field.”

The NFL’s All-Star Game will be played the week before the Super Bowl for the fourth consecutive year. The 2012 Pro Bowl on NBC was watched by an average of 12.5 million viewers, the second most-watched NFL All-Star game since 2001 behind 2011’s game (13.4 million viewers). The Pro Bowl was the most-watched all-star game in all of sports in the 2011 season.

The Pro Bowl was held consecutively in Hawaii from 1980 to 2009. In 2010, the NFL moved the game to the week before the Super Bowl for the first time and it was held in South Florida, site of Super Bowl XLIV.  The Pro Bowl returned to Hawaii for the 2011 and 2012 games.

HBO Sports, NFL Films and Miami Dolphins join forces for “Hard Knocks: Training Camp With The Miami Dolphins” debuting August 7

HBO Sports, NFL Films and the Miami Dolphins team up for an all-access look at what it takes to make it in the National Football League when HARD KNOCKS:  TRAINING CAMP WITH THE MIAMI DOLPHINS debuts in August.  The first sports-based reality series – and one of the fastest-turnaround reality series – kicks off its five-episode seventh season, presented in HD, TUESDAY, AUG. 7 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.  Other hour-long episodes debut subsequent Tuesdays at the same time, with an encore play every Wednesday in August at 11:00 p.m., culminating in the Sept. 4 season finale.

“We are delighted that HARD KNOCKS will be returning this summer and placing the spotlight on the Miami Dolphins, a venerable franchise that had an exciting off-season activity,” says Ken Hershman, president, HBO Sports. “This marks the first time that the series has featured a first-year head coach (Joe Philbin) and we are extremely grateful to both Coach Philbin and the entire organization for agreeing to participate. As always, there will be plenty on the line for veterans, free agents and rookies.” 

“On the 40th anniversary of the greatest season in NFL history–Don Shula’s perfect ’72 Dolphins– it is perfectly fitting that Hard Knocks is heading to Miami to capture the start of a new era for one of the league’s proudest teams,” says NFL Films president Steve Sabol. “After Hard Knocks’ hiatus last summer, I know our team at NFL Films can’t wait to get back on the field.”

The cinema verité series will focus on the daily lives and routines of players and coaches as the intriguing Miami Dolphins, who compete in the ultra-competitive AFC East, prepare for the 2012 NFL season.  HARD KNOCKS:  TRAINING CAMP WITH THE MIAMI DOLPHINS will chronicle first year head coach Joe Philbin and an intriguing mix of high-profile veterans, free agents and rookie hopefuls throughout training camp and the preseason.  Each week, players will experience drills, meetings and fun, while struggling to prove they have what it takes to make the team and make their mark in the NFL.

“We are excited that the premier company in sports filmmaking history, NFL FILMS, and HBO Sports have chosen the Miami Dolphins to appear on their award-winning series Hard Knocks,” said Joe Philbin, head coach of the Miami Dolphins.   “We are looking forward to connecting with our many fans across the country as the program chronicles our 2012 training camp.  The series will highlight the outstanding men who comprise our team and represent our organization admirably, both on and off the field, as they compete for a coveted position on our roster.

“The Miami Dolphins have long been synonymous with success on the filed as evidenced by our five Super Bowl appearances and the only perfect season in NFL history,” added Philbin.  “That heritage serves as a constant reminder to our players and staff of the great legacy that has been left for us to uphold.  Our team embraces that rich past and looks confidently to the future as we begin this journey back to the top of the NFL.

“All the decisions that have been made this off-season have had one guiding principle — will it help our players and organization reach its full potential?  This one is no different.  We are convinced that our affiliation with NFL FILMS and HBO will allow football fans everywhere an opportunity to comprehend the significant sacrifices and demands that our players endure each day along their journey in training camp as a Miami Dolphin.  We eagerly await the opening of training camp on July 26 and the 2012 NFL regular season that lies ahead of us.”
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Sunday Night Football first sports series to rank as most-watched primetime show for full TV season

With the conclusion of the 2011-12 television season last night, NBC’s Sunday Night Football topped all primetime entertainment programming to become the first sports series to finish the full fall-spring TV season as the most-watched show in primetime, according to The Nielsen Company.

Sunday Night Football averaged 21.5 million viewers for the full SNF season and 20.9 million viewers for its games during the official TV season which ran from Sept. 19, 2011 through May 23, 2012. American Idol ranked second.  Sunday Night Football was also the top-ranked primetime program for the television season in household rating, and all key adult and male demographics. 

Additional TV highlights from the 2011 NFL season:

  • Super Bowl XLVI on NBC was the most-watched program in U.S. television history.
  • The AFC and NFC Championship Games accounted for the most-watched Championship Sunday in 30 years.
  • Divisional Playoff weekend was the most watched ever, with Giants-Packers on FOX ranking as the most-watched Divisional Playoff game in history.
  • The Steelers-Broncos playoff game on CBS was the most-watched Wild Card game ever. 
  • FOX posted its most-watched NFL season ever.
  • CBS posted its second-most watched NFL season since acquiring the AFC package.
  • ESPN’s Monday Night Football was the most-watched series on cable for the sixth consecutive year.
  • NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football posted its most-watched season ever.

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Transcript: Commissioner Goodell at 2012 Spring League Meeting

NFL COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL
LEAGUE MEETING MEDIA BRIEFING

ATLANTA, GA 

May 22, 2012 

We had a very productive day.  We talked a lot about and took a lot of action towards our continuing commitment to the game. We spent most of the morning on player health and safety and player engagement. We had a report from our medical committee and medical advisors, and Dr. Satcher was here. Troy Vincent took the lead on player engagement. He talked a lot about the programs we have in place to help our active players and also our retired players with the transition out of the game of football.  We spent a fair amount of time this morning on the Competition Committee and some rules we had to follow up on from March and some issues that still needed to be addressed that were tabled at the March meetings. The rest of the morning and the afternoon focused primarily on fan initiatives — what we can do to continue to grow the game and make the game better for our fans. A lot of that was stadium related. We updated our membership on stadium developments including two new waivers with respect to projects in Green Bay and Pittsburgh  and also had updates on San Francisco and Minnesota. Then we spent some time on Wi-Fi. We believe that it’s important for us to bring technology into the stadiums. We have made the point repeatedly that the experience at home is outstanding and we have to compete with that in some fashion by making sure we create the same kind of environment in our stadiums and use the same kind of technology. We also talked about the expansion of the game internationally.  There was a discussion about the Buffalo-Toronto series and how that will continue for the future and will be bigger and better than it was in the past, and also our International Series, particularly in London. 


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Transcript: NFL EVP Jeff Pash, NFL VP of Player Engagement Troy Vincent & Falcons President & CEO & Competition Committee Chairman Rich McKay at 2012 Spring League Meeting

Pash: Good morning.  Thank you.  We opened with a player health and safety presentation that included Dr. John York, the chairman of our owner committee on that subject; myself; Dr. David Satcher, the former surgeon general of the United States; and Dr. (Elliot) Pellman, our medical director.  We reviewed a series of subjects.


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NFL-NCAA Coaches Academy kicks off May 22 in Dallas

30 former NFL players to take part

The NFL and NCAA will offer the second annual NFL-NCAA Coaches Academy on May 22-24 in Dallas, it was announced today.  The program, developed last year by NFL Player Engagement and the NCAA, will provide 30 former NFL players (list below) with tools and networking opportunities for potential careers as football coaches. 

Many of the participants currently have high school or college coaching positions. The NCAA also will invite football coaches who have less than eight years of college coaching experience to take part. 

“This is an excellent opportunity for players who are looking to continue their careers on the football sidelines to learn leadership, management and administrative skills from football coaches at all levels,” said TROY VINCENT, NFL vice president of player engagement.

Sessions will include instruction from NFL, college and high school coaches, business leaders and athletic administrators.  Topics include how to build a personal and professional brand; managing budgets; successful networking; media messaging; coaching contracts; building relationships in college; effective leadership; understanding the academic landscape; and the interview process.   Participants also will experience mock interview sessions.  Keynote speakers include Baylor University head coach ART BRILES, former Notre Dame and Stanford head coach TYRONE WILLINGHAM and NFL Network analyst and former Redskins and Texans general manager CHARLEY CASSERLY.

“Our partnership with the NFL provides a broader base of networking and access to essential information and key influencers for football coaches who want to become head coaches,” said ROBERT VOWELS, NCAA vice president of student-athlete affairs. “We look at this Academy as an opportunity that could positively influence the diversity numbers in the collegiate coaching ranks and as a way to get exposure for some of the most talented coaching minds in the football industry. We believe the partnership and the Academy overall will have a positive effect for the NCAA and the NFL immediately and in the future.”

The NFL also partners with the NCAA on a Life Skills and Professional Development Summit each February. 

Click here for the complete release and a list of participants in the NFL-NCAA Coaches.

Youth Football Safety and Helmet Replacement Partnership Launches

Partnership between NFL, NFL Players Association, USA Football, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Athletic Equipment Reconditioners Association (NAERA), NCAA, National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE), Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA), Rawlings, Riddell, Schutt, and Xenith is supported by U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission

As part of a joint commitment to player safety, a group of sports entities and equipment manufacturers has entered into an unprecedented partnership to create a youth football safety and helmet replacement program for youth in underserved communities.  The initiative will remove helmets that are 10 years old or older and replace them with new helmets at no cost to the beneficiary leagues and will provide coaches with the latest educational information to help keep their young athletes safer and healthier.   

In its first year, the program is being piloted in four markets: the California Bay Area, Gulf Coast region, Northern Ohio, and the tri-state region around New York City.  The NFL, NFLPA, NCAA and NOCSAE have committed a combined total of approximately $1 million to the program in its first year. The pilot program is designed to provide valuable information on the state of youth football helmets, including the number of helmets 10 years old or older in use.  As of 2012, NAERA members will no longer recondition or recertify any helmet that is 10 years of age or older.  NOCSAE will collect the helmets when removed and use them for ongoing research programs.

USA Football, the sport’s national governing body and the Official Youth Football Development Partner of the NFL and NFLPA, will lead the execution of the program. Other partners in the initiative are the NFL, NFL Players Association, CDC, NAERA, NCAA, NOCSAE and the SGMA.  Equipment manufacturers Rawlings, Riddell, Schutt, and Xenith are providing discounted helmets.  To learn more or apply for helmets, visit www.usafootball.com/playersafety

The effort, initiated by CPSC Chairman INEZ TENENBAUM, is expected to educate thousands of youth football coaches on vital health and safety issues and provide nearly 13,000 new helmets to youth football players in low-income communities in 2012.  Helmets will be distributed beginning in July.

“We are pleased to be part of this initiative, which will give children in underserved communities access to new helmets, and to reach coaches and parents with educational information to help protect young athletes from head injuries,” said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. “This program is part of our focus on player safety at all levels of the game. We are proud to join with these well-respected organizations to make the Helmet Replacement Program a reality.”


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Former Eagles, Ravens & Browns scout Daniel Jeremiah joins NFL.com, NFL Network & NFL Mobile

First Column: Ranks NFC South as Top Division for Starting QBs

Former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah, who spent a combined eight seasons with three NFL clubs, has joined the NFL Media team, it was announced today.

Jeremiah will be a regular contributor on NFL.com (NFL.com/DanielJeremiah) and NFL Mobile, offering an Xs-and-Os look at players, teams and trends, and will play a key role in the site’s NFL Draft coverage. In addition, he will offer analysis on NFL Network. Jeremiah enjoys a wide Twitter following (@MoveTheSticks) among NFL media members.

In his first NFL.com column (http://tinyurl.com/78qr7kn), Jeremiah ranks starting quarterbacks by division – noting a shift over the past five years. “Things have definitely changed since 2007,” he writes. “The balance of power at the QB position has clearly switched to the NFC.”

Jeremiah joins NFL Media after serving for two years as the Philadelphia Eagles’ college area scout for the West.  Previously, he was a national scout for the Cleveland Browns and a west coast area scout for the Baltimore Ravens.

Prior to working in the NFL, Jeremiah was a production assistant for ESPN’s Sunday Night Football telecasts.

Jeremiah graduated in 2000 from Appalachian State, where he started at quarterback for three seasons.  He resides in Murrieta, Calif., with his wife and four children.

NFL Media properties include NFL Network, NFL Films, NFL RedZone, NFL.com, and NFL Mobile Only From Verizon.

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NFL Minicamp and OTA Dates Announced

Following are the rookie and veteran minicamp dates for 2012, as well as the organized team activity (OTA) dates.

Clubs are permitted to hold a rookie minicamp on one of the first two weekends after the NFL Draft and conduct one mandatory minicamp for veteran players.  Clubs with new head coaches, however, are permitted to conduct one additional voluntary minicamp for veteran players.  There is no restriction on the number of minicamps a club may hold for rookie players.

For the complete release, click here

Four Players Suspended for Participation in Saints’ Pay-For-Performance/Bounty Program

Four players – Scott Fujita, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith, and Jonathan Vilma – were notified today that they have been suspended without pay for conduct detrimental to the NFL as a result of their leadership roles in the New Orleans Saints’ pay-for-performance/bounty program that endangered player safety over three seasons from 2009-2011. Participation by players in any such program is prohibited by the NFL Constitution and Bylaws, the standard NFL Player Contract, and the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

For the complete release, click here