Archive for July, 2013

2014 Pro Bowl, Presented by McDonald’s, Features New Format for NFL All-Star Game

Major changes include elimination of AFC vs. NFC format, fantasy football-like draft for team assignments, rules and roster changes;

Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders to serve as alumni captains

The 2014 Pro Bowl, presented by McDonald’s, will feature a new format for the NFL All-Star Game based on major changes proposed by NFLPA President DOMONIQUE FOXWORTH designed to make it the ultimate fan-friendly celebration of the game, the NFL and NFL Players Association announced today.

Gone is the familiar AFC vs. NFC match-up that has existed since 1971.  Instead, players will be selected without regard to conference in voting by fans, coaches and players.  For example, the top six quarterbacks following voting will earn distinction as All-Stars, regardless of how many are from AFC or NFC teams.

Players will be assigned to teams through the Pro Bowl Draft, in which two leading vote getters will join two NFL.com fantasy football champions – who will attend the Pro Bowl – to draft players.  One of these champions will earn their spot as part of Lenovo’s Fantasy Coach of the Year program, which provides NFL.com fans a chance to be rewarded for their fantasy football skills.  The other champion can compete for a Pro Bowl role by playing at NFL.com/fantasy.

The fantasy football champions will have Hall of Fame help.  Pro Football Hall of Famers JERRY RICE and DEION SANDERS will serve as alumni team captains, assisting the Pro Bowl team captains and fantasy football champions in the draft process.

“As players, we wanted to keep the Pro Bowl to honor excellence in individual performance and connect with the fans in a different environment,” Foxworth said.  “To do that, I worked with a group of players to map out new ideas.”

The Pro Bowl player draft will air on Wednesday, January 22 on NFL Network.  Players will practice with their teams on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  The coaching staffs will be from the losing teams in the AFC and NFC Divisional playoffs with the best regular-season record.  The 2014 Pro Bowl takes place on Sunday, January 26 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii, and will be televised by NBC.

“We were very receptive to the ideas that Domonique and the players put forth,” said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL.  “From there, our office worked closely with him in developing the concept.  The players made it clear that they wanted to continue the Pro Bowl and were committed to making it better than ever.  We think these changes will enhance the game for both fans and players.”


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NFL NETWORK BROADCASTS EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE OF THE 2013 PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME ENSHRINEMENT CEREMONY

2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony: Saturday at 7:00 PM ET

Class for the Ages – Roundtable Featuring Hall of Famers Warren Sapp, Deion Sanders, Michael Irvin, Marshall Faulk, & Warren Moon: Thursday at 10:00 PM ET & Friday at 9:00 PM ET

The Road to Canton – Warren Sapp: Relentless: Friday at 8:00 PM ET

NFL Network broadcasts exclusive coverage of the 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony Saturday at 7:00 PM ET. The 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class is highlighted by NFL Network analyst and 13-year NFL veteran Warren Sapp. Former NFL players Larry Allen, Chris Carter, Jonathan Ogden, Curley Culp & Dave Robinson and former head coach Bill Parcells complete the 2013 Class. A contingent of 130 Hall of Fame legends will participate in the enshrinement ceremony to celebrate the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 50th anniversary.

NFL Network’s programming leading up to the 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony is highlighted by:

Class for the Ages — Thursday at 10:00 PM ET & Friday at 9:00 PM ET

Thursday at 10:00 PM ET & Friday at 9:00 PM ET, Class for the Ages features a unique roundtable discussion. Deion Sanders, Michael Irvin, Deion Sanders, Warren Moon, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s newest member, Warren Sapp, explain the impact and satisfaction that comes along with reaching football immortality in a candid, one-hour special.

Among the topics the five Pro Football Hall of Famers discuss:

• What does it mean to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

• What made Bill Parcells a Hall of Fame coach?

• Will wide receivers Andre Reed and Tim Brown be voted into the Hall of Fame?

• The impact of fellow Hall of Famer Deacon Jones and his passing this year.

Class for the Ages segments:

• Warren Sapp is welcomed into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

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• Does today’s passing game influence Hall of Fame voting for wide receivers?

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The Road to Canton – Warren Sapp: Relentless — Friday at 8:00 PM ET

Debuting Friday at 8:00 PM ET, The Road to Canton – Warren Sapp: Relentless chronicles the life of Warren Sapp. The one-hour special features footage of Sapp’s undeniable talent as a high school standout, his transformation at the University of Miami, and his dominance in the NFL.

Before Sapp was a 300-pound force on the defensive line, the Plymouth, Florida native was a slimmed-down tight end, punter and kicker at Apopka High School. When the future NFL Defensive Player of the Year put on 70 pounds as a freshman at Miami, he changed positions to defensive line and his Hall of Fame career was launched.

Despite being a top NFL prospect, Sapp fell in the 1995 NFL Draft. During the program, Warren Sapp opens up about the experience and mistakes in judgment which caused the fall – including his admittance to marijuana use. His mother, Annie Roberts, reflects on the tumultuous time in her son’s life.

Once solidified in the NFL, Sapp developed a fierce rivalry with quarterback Brett Favre. Relentless chronicles the long-standing on-the-field battle which turned into a friendship bonded by mutual admiration.

Relentless features interviews with the most impactful people in Sapp’s life:

• Chip Gierke –Warren Sapp’s high school football coach

• Derrick Brooks

• John Lynch

• Tony Dungy

• Brett Favre

• Jon Gruden

• Bryan Glazer

• Drew Rosenhaus

NFL Total Access – Live from Canton, Ohio — Saturday, 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM ET

NFL Total Access airs Saturday at 4:00 PM ET live from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio and leads into the 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony.

Host Rich Eisen is joined by Pro Football Hall of Famers and current NFL Network analysts Deion Sanders, Michael Irvin and Marshall Faulk. Former NFL coaches and current NFL Network analysts Steve Mariucci and Brian Billick and NFL Network reporter Stacey Dales will also be Canton, Ohio.

The three-hour broadcasts features guests and perspective on the entire 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class. Highlights include:

Bill Parcells’ Coaching Style: Willie McGinest and Harry Carson will join Eisen and Sanders, Faulk, and Irvin on-set to discuss Parcells’ coaching style. Both players played for Parcells: McGinest in New England and Carson for the New York Giants.

Chris Carter’s Journey: A special look at Chris Carter’s NFL journey which started ominously and concludes with his enshrinement. The former wide receiver opens up about former NFL head coach Buddy Ryan cutting him in Philadelphia. Hear how Chris Carter’s wife believes that move set off a chain of events which saved his life.

ABOUT NFL NETWORK

Seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, fans turn to NFL Network to receive information and insight straight from the field, team headquarters, league offices and everywhere the NFL is making news. Launched in 2003, NFL Network gives fans unprecedented year-round inside access to all NFL events, including the Super Bowl, Playoffs, regular season, preseason, Pro Bowl, Pro Football Hall of Fame induction weekend, NFL Draft, NFL Scouting Combine, Senior Bowl, league meetings, minicamps and training camps.

Currently in more than 72 million homes, NFL Network has carriage agreements with each of the country’s largest television providers including Comcast, DirecTV, DISH Network, Cablevision, Cox, Charter, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse.

For fans on the go, all NFL Network programming is streamed live on NFL Mobile from Verizon. For more information, log on to http://www.nfl.com/nflnetwork. NFL.com is the exclusive internet home of NFL Network.

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NFL Health and Safety Update—July 31, 2013

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For the complete release, click here

NFL Celebrates Heads Up Football During USA Football Month in August

The NFL, its teams and players are once again recognizing USA Football as the sport’s leader in youth player development and coaching education, with an emphasis this year on the organization’s Heads Up Football initiative.

USA Football Month will be saluted throughout the NFL preseason as youth football leagues across the country return to play. This year’s USA Football Month will also celebrate Heads Up Football, a nationwide program launched by USA Football in April with a $1.5 million grant from the NFL Foundation.

The initiative is focused on making the game better and safer. More than 2,700 youth football leagues in all 50 states have adopted Heads Up Football for the 2013 season. Youth football coaches can become Heads Up Football certified by visiting www.usafootball.com. This year’s USA Football Month campaign, which begins with the Hall of Fame game on August 4, will reach fans during nationally televised preseason games, and feature the following:

  • Heads Up Football helmet stickers worn by NFL players and youth players in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Heads Up Football-branded on-field stencils and end zone banners in NFL stadiums
  • NFL teams donating approximately 150,000 preseason game tickets to players in Heads Up Football leagues
  • USA Football messages promoting better and safer play during preseason telecasts
  • Youth football scrimmages in NFL stadiums prior to or during halftime of preseason games
  • USA Football-branded in-stadium scoreboard video messages

Approximately 2.8 million children ages 6-14 play organized tackle football in the United States. More than 400,000 American adults volunteer their time to teach and coach youth football each year.

“The health and safety of every youth football player is our No. 1 priority and the NFL shares in that commitment,” USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck said. “Commissioner Goodell and each of the league’s 32 teams partner with us to further advance a better and safer game for young athletes who enjoy the fun, fitness and other rewards gained by playing this great team sport. We value the NFL’s continued support of USA Football Month.”

“It is important for us to recognize and celebrate youth football,” said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. “Through initiatives like Heads Up Football, USA Football is educating parents, coaches, and players on proper techniques and the benefits of playing football. We are very pleased to see so many youth leagues signing on to be a part of this important movement.”


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Football is Back! Seven Inducted in Canton, Cowboys Take on Dolphins in NFL/Hall of Fame Game

It will be a celebration of both the past and present.

That’s the agenda this weekend in Canton, Ohio, birthplace of the NFL. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is celebrating 50 years with its Golden Anniversary Reunion. A record number of Hall of Famers will be in Canton – the most Hall of Famers from one sport in one place at one time.

“We are truly excited that so many Hall of Famers will be on hand this year to help celebrate both the enshrinement of the newest Class as well as our 50th Anniversary,” says Pro Football Hall of Fame President and Executive Director STEPHEN PERRY. “This will be the first time many of our Hall of Famers will see the new Hall of Fame and we’re anxious to see their reaction. We know they will be pleased.”

First, the past is saluted with the Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony on Saturday at 7:00 PM ET (NFL Network and ESPN). History will be at the forefront as the Hall of Fame class of 2013 is inducted, sporting their new gold Hall blazers in front of a record number of Hall of Fame members and thousands of fans.

“I drive up from Cincinnati every year to the induction weekend,” says former Bengals tackle and Pro Football Hall of Famer ANTHONY MUÑOZ. “Celebrating the 50th year of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and having all of those guys here, it is as good as it gets even for a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”

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Sixty-Nine 2013 NFL Regional/Super Regional Combine Participants on NFL Training Camp Rosters

With all 32 NFL teams in training camp, 69 players who attended an NFL Regional Combine and/or the NFL Super Regional Combine in 2013 currently hold roster positions. NFL clubs signed players from all nine 2013 Regional Combines hosted from January through April, including 42 players who were invited to the Super Regional Combine at AT&T Stadium in Dallas from April 7-8.

Twenty nine of the league’s 32 teams (91 percent) have at least one 2013 Regional Combine and/or Super Regional Combine participant on its roster. Six of those teams – ARIZONA (four), ATLANTA (six), CAROLINA (five), SAN DIEGO (five), SAN FRANCISCO (four) and ST. LOUIS (five) – retain at least four Regional/Super Regional Combine alums. There are currently 118 players on NFL rosters with NFL Regional/Super Regional Combine experience, 69 from 2013 and 49 from 2012.

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Two-Time Emmy Award Winner Jenn Brown Joins NFL Network

Will Host ‘NFL Total Access’ Starting Tonight 

Two-time Emmy Award-winning sports reporter Jenn Brown has joined NFL Network, it was announced today. Brown will host NFL Total Access throughout the year starting tonight, as well as serve a variety of other roles for the network.


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Veteran NFL Reporter Judy Battista Joins NFL Media

Will Write for NFL.com & Appear on Various NFL Network Shows

Veteran NFL reporter Judy Battista has joined NFL Media, it was announced today. Battista will start on August 5 and will file multiple stories per week on NFL.com to be used across all NFL Media platforms. Additionally, Battista will appear on NFL Network on a variety of shows.


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NFL.COM’S DEBUT OF ‘FANTASY GENIUS’ HIGHLIGHTS ‘FANTASY 2013’ FEATURES

‘Fantasy Genius’ is the First Collaborative Community for Shared Fantasy Football Information

 NFL.com Fantasy 2013 Offers Instant Video Highlights, Full Featured Integrated Mobile Platform, and Variety of Games

NFL Fantasy Live Returns on NFL Network and NFL.com; Daily Episodes Starting August 12

Whether young or old, novice or expert, NFL.com Fantasy 2013 (NFL.com/Fantasy) provides a fantasy game that fits your interest and knowledge.

The debut of Fantasy Genius (NFL.com/Genius), the first collaborative community for shared fantasy football information, highlights NFL.com Fantasy 2013’s features. Fantasy Genius allows every fantasy football player to have their team-specific questions answered by millions of peers and NFL.com fantasy experts to assist them in all of NFL Fantasy 2013’s games which include:

NFL.com Fantasy Football: Choose between public, custom, and prize-oriented leagues
Thursday Night Challenge Presented by Lexus: Pick the final score and players that you think will score the most fantasy points for each NFL Network Thursday Night Football game.
NFL Perfect Challenge Presented by Castrol: Pick the perfect fantasy lineup and you could win great weekly prizes or the grand prize of $1 million! It’s fast and easy to play and you have a new chance to win each week. Certain restrictions apply. See official rules (NFL.com/Perfect)
Weekly Pick’em: Compete against friends and other fans by picking the winner of each week’s NFL matchups
NFLRush Fantasy: Fantasy Football game which is designed for children

All NFL.com Fantasy 2013 Games can be found at NFL.com/Fantasy

‘Fantasy Genius’
NFL.com’s Fantasy Genius (NFL.com/Genius) is the ultimate social fantasy football community where every fantasy player can have their team-specific questions answered by millions of peers and NFL.com fantasy experts. Additionally, users are challenged to answer their peers’ questions, ultimately earning a Genius Score and the possibility to earn the title of a Fantasy Football Expert.

Fantasy Genius is available on all desktops, mobile providers and tablets for players from across the web, regardless of where your fantasy league is hosted; however, with special integration into NFL.com Fantasy Football 2013, the social community makes it easier than ever to lead your team to victory and help others along the way.


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2013 Kickoff Information Guide

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For the 2013 Kickoff Information Guide, click here