Archive for February, 2013

22 Players Selected for 2nd Annual “NFL Pro Hollywood Boot Camp” at Universal Studios

Hollywood speakers include Thomas Tull, Peter Berg & Robert Townsend

Program for current & former players runs March 11-15 in Los Angeles

Twenty-two current and former NFL players including 2005 NFL MVP SHAUN ALEXANDER and four active first-round draft picks – DARRIUS HEYWARD-BEY (Raiders), ALEX MACK (Browns) GERALD MC COY (Bucs), and JARED ODRICK (Dolphins) — will take part in the second annual NFL Pro Hollywood Boot Camp at Universal Studios in Universal City, California.

The program, which runs from March 11-15, is being directed by NFL Player Engagement and Film Life Inc., the New York-based film production company, and will cover a wide range of topics in the movie industry.

The four-day boot camp will offer a comprehensive overview of creative disciplines in the film industry including screen writing, directing, producing and film financing. Session leaders will be selected from among top industry executives and filmmakers and include Legendary Pictures partner/producer and member of the Pittsburgh Steelers ownership group THOMAS TULL (The Dark Knight, Inception, We Are Marshall), director/producer PETER BERG (Friday Night Lights), and writer/actor/director ROBERT TOWNSEND (The Five Heartbeats, Hollywood Shuffle).

Following are the current and former NFL players enrolled in the NFL Pro Hollywood Boot Camp:
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NFL Health and Safety Update—February 27, 2013

For the complete release, click here

USA Football to Lead Player Safety on Youth Level Through Heads Up Football Program’s Master Trainers

USA Football, the national governing body of the sport in the United States, will conduct its first Heads Up Football Master Trainer workshop on March 2-3 in Indianapolis.

USA Football will instruct 21 Master Trainers, including some of the top high school football coaches in the nation as well as former NFL and college players. This group will then teach the Heads Up Football program to youth league leaders across the country.

Heads Up Football is a comprehensive approach to a better and safer game, encompassing USA Football’s accredited Level 1 Coach Certification Course, Heads Up Tackling techniques, educating leagues on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concussion recognition and response protocols and instructing on proper helmet and shoulder pad fitting. USA Football’s Master Trainers bring a wealth of experience and success – including a combined 26 high school state championships – to the position.

After completing the USA Football workshop, Master Trainers will instruct youth leagues in their regions on Heads Up Football, educating youth league-appointed Player Safety Coaches who will oversee their leagues’ implementation of the highest national coaching standards for youth football. These standards include league-wide completion of the Level 1 Coach Certification Course as well as conducting a Heads Up Football Coaches Clinic and a Heads Up Safety Clinic for parents and players within their leagues. Player Safety Coaches also will monitor their leagues’ practices and games throughout the season.

“Heads Up Football promotes a safer, better game,” USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck said. “We are proud to have this group assist us in leading America’s youth football community as Heads Up Football Master Trainers, helping to set the highest standards of player safety and coaching education in any youth sport.”

“Youth leagues have a tremendous opportunity in 2013 to adopt USA Football’s Heads Up Football program,” Cincinnati Bengals head coach MARVIN LEWIS said. “USA Football has earned my trust – they put the safety of our kids first and offer the training youth coaches need to be exceptional teachers.

“All of us in the football community, at each level of the game, need to be committed to raising youth football’s standards, and Heads Up Football does that.”

Adds New York Giants head coach TOM COUGHLIN: “USA Football is establishing a set of standards by which a person becomes certified to coach, and I endorse that 100 percent. Only allow your child to play when you know that USA Football certification is there for the coach and you know that your child is being taught the proper fundamentals of the game and that real intelligence has gone into the preparation of practices.”

For the complete release, click here

Transcript: NFL Network Analyst Mike Mayock Press Conference — Sunday, February 24

Please click on the link below to view the transcript of NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock’s press conference at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday, February 24:

NFL Network Analyst Mike Mayock Press Conference — Sunday, Feb. 24

Transcript: SVP of Labor Policy & Government Affairs Adolpho Birch

Following is a transcript of NFL Senior Vice President of Labor Policy & Government Affairs Adolpho Birch’s 2013 NFL Scouting Combine media availability today at Lucas Oil Stadium.

NFL SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF LABOR POLICY & GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS ADOLPHO BIRCH
NFL SCOUTING COMBINE 

February 21, 2013 

On where the league stands on HGH testing: 

“I think where we are is largely where we’ve been since August 2011. We’ve tried to work with the union [NFL Players Association] as much as possible to address its concerns. That has consisted [of] everything from arranging meetings with the World Anti-Doping Association in Montreal where we all went.  The commissioner was in attendance and I guess the executive director [DeMaurice Smith] was not. It started there. It went from that to this notion of the population study. We hadn’t heard anything relative to that until after the meeting in Montreal, and at that point we ended up spending the better part of a year trying to work through those issues even though the consensus among the scientific community is such that the test as it stands is reliable, it’s accurate, and there is absolutely zero need for a population study of NFL players. 

“Notwithstanding, we’ve tried in every way we could to address the concerns, to put forward proposals on how to do the study. Interestingly to me, we were the ones driving the proposals for something that the players association claims to be of significant importance to it. We probably put forth the majority of the proposals. We were the ones to press the issue because to us it is very important to get this testing implemented as a part of the agreement. 

“I think you know that in December there was a hearing that Congressman Elijah Cummings held. For maybe the first time it definitively demonstrated the science was there on the test. There were no concerns about the accuracy and validity of the test and that a population study is not necessary. Couple that with baseball’s announcement that they were prepared to move forward with the full implementation of testing. We suddenly were confronted with the belief that it’s not about the population study, it’s about the appeals process.” 

On whether the NFL is still interested in game day testing:

“We think it’s important, yes. I think if you look at the effectiveness of any testing program, the point is to make sure that the window is always available to be tested. If there are any periods of time in which a person knows that they will not or cannot be tested, there is potentially an undermining of the effectiveness of that policy. Now, there are ways around certain things that can help to sure up certain issues. Ideally, certainly, the ability to be tested on game days is something we think is critical.” 

On whether a Super Bowl participant could be tested on Super Bowl Sunday: 

“Yes, in theory. A lot of it is about keeping the opportunity for testing open. And that does not mean every single person will be tested on game day or any other day. What it means is there is always opportunity and availability.” 

On whether it is inevitable that the Congressional committee begins to apply more pressure to get things resolved: 

“I have every belief that Congressmen [Darrell] Issa and Cummings are committed to seeing this through as they have been for the last two years plus. And if we can’t get it done they are going to continue to have involvement to make their presence and make their opinions known.” 

On the difference of opinion over the appeals process: 

“One issue to me that is interesting is that there is this claim that if we just had the MLB system for appeals then we would have testing by now. The reality is that many of the things that are features of the MLB appeals system have been consistently rejected in proposals that we’ve made over the course of the past two years. The question is, ‘What is it about some of that system that is important?’ For example, one of the statements was that they need neutral appeal or third-party arbitration. We’ve been proposing third-party arbitration in every proposal we’ve made since probably 2009. It’s hard to understand what it is about the system that they’re saying we have not made a proposal on. It is clear that in response to the recent set of issues, we put forth a proposal on every one of the stated concerns they had concerning the appeals process.” 

On whether his concerns grow the longer the negotiation process takes: 

“To me, I have several concerns. I have concerns about the vast majority of our players who are clean and want to compete in the right way. I am concerned that they are being sacrificed for issues that don’t involve the policy and are really about the do overs of issues that are unrelated to this particular steroid policy. I have concerns about that minority of players that are looking to game the system. That they believe, given the union’s lack of urgency on this thing, that they might be able to get away with bending or cheating the system. The fans who see this continued effort and inability to get this done as some sign the league, the NFL and its players, aren’t serious about eliminating the threat of performance-enhancing drugs. I’m worried about our kids who are looking at this and wondering about the NFL’s commitment, and the level of the players’ commitment, and translating it down to their understanding of what’s important and how they should play the game, and how they believe that sports should be handled. To me, there are a number of concerns and I think they are all legitimate if in fact we continue to go down this road and not get to a resolution. It’s just enough. We’ve been through this for two years now.” 

On what he was referring to when he mentioned ‘do overs of issues’: 

“I think [the union] are the [ones] to ask. If we’re talking about a population study for the better part of a year and a half, now we’re apparently talking about appeals processes and independent or third-party arbitration, which has been on the table in part of the proposal since 2009 and 2010. I don’t know is, I guess, the answer to the question. The reality is that the longer we continue to stall out on this issue or not have an effective regiment in place, I think it continues to do a disservice to all of us. That to me is the biggest issue.” 

On whether the union wants to appeal the science of the test or some other process: 

“We have issued a proposal to them to allow them to appeal the science of the test. Even though we believe at the end of the day if the parties agree to a system, it should not be the right or the objective to have people challenge or undermine the root of the system you put together when it has been constructed over 20-plus years by both parties. Notwithstanding that, in an effort to move this along, because we are very confident in the test and that the test is accurate, the test is reliable, and that it is perfectly appropriate for NFL players. What concerns us, and is the reason why there’s been resistance on our part, is that what we don’t want is to create a path for someone to be able to utilize the appeals process to stall the inevitability of discipline, or simply delay the imposition of discipline. We don’t want frivolous appeals, we don’t want redundant appeals, and we don’t want appeals that are designed solely to delay the inevitable. To some extent we are concerned about all of those and those are reasonable things we are looking to put into the policy as well to avoid those outcomes.” 

On whether the NFL has offered a proposal to allow the union to appeal the science behind the testing:

“Absolutely.”

On when that proposal was made: 

“Before the Super Bowl.” 

On the union’s response to the proposal: 

“I just got a response last night. I need to look at it but I guess I should withhold until I see what that says. Up until last night, we had not gotten a response.” 

On whether the two sides have stopped talking about a population study during negotiations: 

“What, in our view, has become crystal clear is that there is no need, no necessity, and no appropriateness for there to be a population study that is unique to NFL players. The population studies have been done. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that there have been population studies. There have been thousands of tests before on a variety of different athletes in a variety of different countries in a variety of different sports. So it is not as though the studies have not been done. The question is whether or not an NFL-player specific study needs to be done. That question has been answered as resoundingly ‘no’ by every credible scientist and other expert who has reviewed any piece of the information concerning the isotopes test.” 

On whether the union has conceded on a population study after review by scientists and experts: 

“You’ll have to ask them.” 

On how many times a single player could potentially be tested throughout the NFL calendar: 

“We’re operating under the 2010 policy, and under that policy players are eligible to be tested every single week of the playing season, including the postseason if your team is in it. You’re eligible to be tested up to six times during the offseason. You will have a mandatory test under any scenario. It just depends on what that computer draw brings up. As of now those are things we don’t expect to change going forward under any system that we’d have, because as I was alluding to earlier, it’s critical that you be available and potentially tested at any given time. That’s what the policy has sought to do and it would be a tremendous step backwards if it changed from that viewpoint.” 

On whether the union is adding issues unrelated to HGH testing to negotiations in an attempt to prolong an inevitable outcome: 

“I do think that there is an effort to go back and revisit a lot of things that were agreed to, negotiated on extensively, and agreed to by the parties. And you can name any number of things over the years or the past several months that represent efforts to take another look at things that have already been decided. That’s everything from the implementation of HGH testing to the commissioner’s authority on conduct-detrimental cases to any number of things. I do think at the end of the day that it is a disservice to all not to be able to focus on the issue at hand, particularly in regards to HGH testing.” 

On whether the union’s behavior resembles traditional negotiating stall tactics: 

“I know it has been a stall. I don’t know if it’s a tactic. You can classify it as you wish. There is absolutely no reason for this to have taken this long and us not to have testing implemented. We should have been more than a year into this by now.” 

On whether Adderall use is a trend in the NFL or just an excuse used by players who tested positive for PEDs: 

This probably is a point that’s worth raising. One of the features of the MLB appeals system that we have proposed from the beginning has been to be able to disclose the substance that formed the basis of the violation. It is largely for that point, to make sure that everybody is clear on what that substance was so that there is no misinformation and ability to go behind and minimize what the nature of an individual’s violation is. We think that’s very important not only for accuracy, but also to help other players understand the types of substances that potentially could lead to a positive result. We think from an educational standpoint it’s important that everyone understand exactly what substances were involved, but the union has consistently rejected it. That would be another feature of the MLB policy that they said they would take today that they apparently don’t want today. 

To the extent that Adderall and amphetamines are a part of any trend, I think you have to look at it in the context of a societal trend. Those are substances that are becoming more prevalent among youth and this generation of player. It is a reflection of the types of substances that are being utilized in colleges and more among youth and young adults. I wouldn’t necessarily expect that not to be reflected in some of the problems we are seeing in the NFL. 

On whether the NFL would like to be able to disclose or characterize the nature of a positive PED test: 

I would never characterize it as a mistake, intentional use or anything like that, but I think to know what the basis of the violation is is important for the public. I hear a lot of discussion about transparency and how important that is. When it comes to issues like this, for example, being able to correct obvious misrepresentations that undermine the effect of this whole policy – that’s another feature of the MLB policy that we have pushed for a number of years now.  In our view it undermines the policy itself when misrepresentations can be made without them being corrected because we have to make sure that those who have interest in our game understand what the policy did, what the actors of the policy did or what the testing found – things that restore the confidence in how this policy is being put together and how the people that are responsible for administering it are performing their duty. 

On whether the union using HGH testing as a way to renegotiate aspects of the Collective Bargaining Agreement: 

It is far from determined. The basis for the decisions that they are making, I don’t know. I do know that we have had a history of 20-plus years of reaching agreements for the obvious betterment of the athletes, who want to compete fairly and cleanly and not have to worry about someone next to them potentially violating the policy in a way that gives them an unfair advantage. That system is something that should not just be thrown into chaos because there’s a question about whether or not the commissioner should hear the appeal of a guy convicted of domestic violence. These are things that are important to the integrity of the game and they need to take center stage with that level of importance again. I think, to some extent, things are being caught in a web of a larger set of issues or another set of issues that’s diminishing the importance of, what we feel, is one of the most important issues.

The union is quite capable of explaining what their position is on it. We’re trying to look at it in a way that helps us to try to understand the union’s position so we can get a resolution. To some extent those are the only kind of conclusions we can draw.

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2013 NFL Draft Tentative Round-by-Round Order

The tentative round-by-round order for the 2013 NFL Draft.  The order does not include compensatory selections, which will be awarded at the bottom of Rounds 3-7 and announced next month.

For the complete release, click here

2013 NFL Combine: Club Personnel Media Availability

Please check back for additional speakers and updates

Thursday, February 21

10:00 AM        Marc Trestman, Chicago Bears Head Coach

10:15 AM        Trent Baalke, San Francisco 49ers General Manager

10:30 AM        Jim Schwartz, Detroit Lions Head Coach

10:45 AM        John Fox, Denver Broncos Head Coach

11:00 AM        Phil Emery, Chicago Bears General Manager

11:00 AM        Ruston Webster, Tennessee Titans Executive Vice President/General Manager

11:15 AM        Mike Munchak, Tennessee Titans Head Coach

11:15 AM        Jeff Ireland, Miami Dolphins General Manager

11:30 AM        Greg Schiano, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach

11:45 AM        Bruce Arians, Arizona Cardinals Head Coach

Noon        Kevin Colbert, Pittsburgh Steelers General Manager

12:15 PM        Rick Spielman, Minnesota Vikings General Manager

1:00 PM        John Schneider, Seattle Seahawks General Manager

1:15 PM        Dave Gettleman, Carolina Panthers General Manager

1:30 PM        Steve Keim, Arizona Cardinals General Manager

1:45 PM        Tom Telesco, San Diego Chargers General Manager

2:00 PM        Mike McCoy, San Diego Chargers Head Coach

2:30 PM        Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach

2:45 PM        Howie Roseman, Philadelphia Eagles General Manager

3:00 PM        Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach

3:15 PM        Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers Head Coach

3:30 PM        Gary Kubiak, Houston Texans Head Coach

3:45 PM        Rick Smith, Houston Texans Executive Vice President/General Manager

4:00 PM        Rex Ryan, New York Jets Head Coach

4:15 PM        John Idzik, New York Jets General Manager

4:30 PM        Ryan Grigson, Indianapolis Colts General Manager

Friday, February 22

10:00 AM        Rob Chudzinski, Cleveland Browns Head Coach

10:15 AM        Mike Smith, Atlanta Falcons Head Coach

10:30 AM        Martin Mayhew, Detroit Lions Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager

10:45 AM        John Elway, Denver Broncos Executive Vice President of Football Operations

11:00 AM        Ted Thompson, Green Bay Packers Executive Vice President, General Manager & Director of Football Operations

11:15 AM        Leslie Frazier, Minnesota Vikings Head Coach

11:30 AM        Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach

11:45 AM        David Caldwell, Jacksonville Jaguars General Manager

Noon        Thomas Dimitroff, Atlanta Falcons General Manager

12:15 PM        Tom Coughlin, New York Giants Head Coach

12:30 PM        Doug Marrone, Buffalo Bills Head Coach

12:45 PM        John Dorsey, Kansas City Chiefs General Manager

1:00 PM        Les Snead, St. Louis Rams General Manager

1:15 PM        Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis Colts Head Coach

1:30 PM        Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks Head Coach

2:00 PM        Jeff Fisher, St. Louis Rams Head Coach

2:15 PM        Dennis Allen, Oakland Raiders Head Coach

2:30 PM        Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco 49ers Head Coach

3:00 PM        Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers Head Coach

3:15 PM        Dr. Stanley Herring and Dr. Margot Putukian – Members of NFL Head, Neck & Spine Committee

4:45 PM        Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys Head Coach

Saturday, February 23

10:00 AM        Jerry Reese, New York Giants Senior Vice President & General Manager

11:45 AM        Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach

* Subject to change

 

John Brody Named Senior Vice President of Sponsorship & Media Sales

John Brody

JOHN BRODY has joined the NFL as Senior Vice President of Sponsorship and Media Sales, it was announced today. He will report to Brian Rolapp, Chief Operating Officer of NFL Media.

In his new position, Brody is responsible for developing national partnerships tied to the NFL brand leveraging NFL media assets and league-controlled intellectual property.

“We are pleased to welcome John to our team,” said Rolapp. “John’s experience at the league, team and agency levels make him a well-rounded executive with a wealth of experience. We look forward to working with him to further deliver value to our fans, the league, teams and sponsors.”

Brody, 40, had been a member of the Executive Management team at Wasserman Media Group since 2010 as a Managing Director of the company’s Partnership and Business Development division. Among his numerous accomplishments at Wasserman was his leadership role in securing a naming rights deal between MetLife and New Meadowlands Stadium.

A 15-year sports industry veteran, Brody spent 12 years at Major League Baseball, the last seven as the Senior Vice President of the Corporate Sales and Marketing division. Brody also spent two years as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of the Boston Celtics and began his career as an advertising executive for Young & Rubicam New York.

A three-time winner of the Sports Business Journal “40 Under 40 Award,” and a member of their Hall of Fame, Brody is a consistent guest lecturer at many colleges and universities. He is active in numerous community groups, such as Stand Up 2 Cancer, Multiple Myeloma Foundation, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and is a Board Member of the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation.

A native of Waterville, Maine, Brody is an honors graduate of Tufts University. John and his wife, Gayle, reside in Manhattan with their two children.

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NFL Health and Safety Update—February 20, 2013

For the complete release, click here

Transcript of NFL Network’s 2013 NFL Scouting Combine Conference Call

Please click on the link below to view the transcript of NFL Network’s 2013 NFL Scouting Combine Conference Call with NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock & senior coordinating producer Mike Muriano.

2013 NFL Scouting Combine Conference Call Transcript