Archive for July, 2014

Browns’ Manziel Tops NFL Jersey Sales

With the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns selected quarterback JOHNNY MANZIEL. His jersey now finds itself topping the list of NFL player jerseys sold on NFLShop.com.

Flying high behind Manziel at No. 2 is Seattle quarterback RUSSELL WILSON, who guided the Seahawks to the franchise’s first Super Bowl championship. The Seahawks dominated the charts with cornerback RICHARD SHERMAN (No. 5) and the distinctive 12TH FAN (No. 10) in the top 10, as well as running back MARSHAWN LYNCH (No. 11) and safety EARL THOMAS III (No. 20) in the top 20.

In addition to Manziel, jerseys of rookies MICHAEL SAM (No. 6) of St. Louis, TEDDY BRIDGEWATER (No. 13) of Minnesota, JADEVEON CLOWNEY (No. 16) of Houston and BLAKE BORTLES (No. 18) of Jacksonville all cracked the top 20.

For the top-selling player jerseys from April 1 – July 17, 2014, click here

NFL Media’s 2014 NFL Preseason Coverage

‘Inside Training Camp Live’ Provides Nine Hours of Live Coverage Daily July 24 – August 5

All 65 Preseason Games on NFL Network – Including Record 14 Live Games

Homecoming Week – NFL Network Analysts Return to Former Teams for Training Camp

It’s time to get ‘Back to Football.’

NFL Media – comprised of NFL Network, NFL.com, NFL Mobile from Verizon, NFL Now & NFL RedZone – remains the go-to destination for football fans during the preseason, with comprehensive coverage of all 32 training camps provided by former players, front office personnel and reporters, and all 65 preseason games – including a record 14 live games on NFL Network.


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NFL Training Camps Open This Week; Bills, Ravens and 49ers Rookies First in Today

Back to work!

NFL clubs will begin their on-field preparations for Kickoff 2014 this week, starting today with the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers as their rookies report. Buffalo’s veterans will follow on Saturday, July 19, as the Bills become the first team to fully begin training camp. By Sunday, July 27, every NFL team will be in camp.

More and more, teams are training at their regular-season headquarters. This year, more than half the league (18 of 32, 56 percent) will be “staying home” for training camp. In 2000, only five of 31 (16 percent) teams stayed close to home.

The numbers may prove home-base popularity is a growing league-wide trend, but there are still teams employing the “old-time” philosophy of encamping away.

The Minnesota Vikings are one of the teams that “come together” away from home (Minnesota State University, Mankato in Mankato, Minnesota).

“It’s a beautiful setup, the facilities are outstanding,” says Minnesota head coach MIKE ZIMMER of the Vikings’ training camp site in Mankato. “We’re excited to get going in Mankato.”

The NFL training camp longevity king? The Green Bay Packers, who return on July 25 for their 57th consecutive summer at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin.

New Orleans will conduct portions of their training camp away from the Saints’ training facility in Metairie, Louisiana for the first time since 2009. The Saints will hold training camp this year at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

“By splitting training camp between New Orleans and The Greenbrier, we will have a great opportunity to further enhance our training camp in 2014,” says Saints head coach SEAN PAYTON. “We all understand the importance of training camp and ultimately, that’s to get the team ready for the regular season. As far as the time we will spend at The Greenbrier, it offers a tremendous opportunity to our team in a more moderate summer climate.”

For the complete release, click here

NFL Update—July 16, 2014

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NFL Training Camp Dates & Locations

For the complete list of Training Camp Dates and Locations, click here

NFL Names Matt Birk Director of Football Development

Former Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens center MATT BIRK has been named director of football development, the National Football League announced today.

Birk, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, was a standout center for the Vikings and Ravens from 1998-2012, concluding his career by helping Baltimore to a victory in Super Bowl XLVII. He spent the 2013 season working as an NFL-NFLPA appeals officer.

In his new role, Birk will assist in developing the game at all levels of the sport, from players to coaches to front office personnel. He will also assist in the administration of NFL game day operations.

Birk will guide the continued evolution of the Scouting Combine and Regional Combines as well as the annual all-star games for aspiring NFL players, such as the Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Game.

“I’m very excited to begin this next chapter of my football career,” says Birk, who becomes the eighth former player to take a job at the NFL office, joining Merton Hanks, Dwight Hollier, Patrick Kerney, James Thrash, David Tyree, Troy Vincent and Charles Way. “It’s a real honor for me to be entrusted with developing the game in so many different ways.”

A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Birk will play a leading role in the continuing evolution and emergence of the Career Development Symposium, oversee the Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship program and NFL-NCAA Future Football Coaches Academy initiative.

“Matt’s experience as a terrific NFL player, a model citizen in his community and a reputation as a forward-thinking leader make him ideally suited for this role,” said NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations TROY VINCENT. “There is no doubt he will continue to make a positive impact on our game and be a trusted advocate for those who play and coach at every level.”

Birk, who will also serve as a liaison for the Football Operations department on the international development of the game and assist in further strengthening the NFL High School Player Development program, will be based at NFL headquarters in New York.

A graduate of Harvard University with a degree in economics, Birk was the recipient of the 2011 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award for his excellence on and off the field, including his commitment to emphasizing the importance of education through his H.I.K.E. Foundation (hope, inspiration, knowledge and education).

Birk and his wife, Adrianna, are the parents of six children.

 

NFL Update—July 9, 2014

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For the complete release, click here.

NFL Foundation Awards $750,000 in Grants for Youth Football Camps

252 Current and Former NFL Players and Coaches Received Grants to Host Camps

The National Football League Foundation (NFL Foundation) kicked off its summer by granting $750,000 to 252 football camps through its Youth Football Camp Program. The camps are hosted by current and former NFL players and coaches for children across the country.

To qualify for a grant, the football camp must be a free, non-contact camp for children ages 5-18 with a focus on teaching proper technique and sportsmanship. All camp coaches must complete Coach Smart, an online education course with instruction on injury prevention, concussion awareness, and heat and hydration tips.

Among the recipients, 72 current and former NFL players and coaches are working with USA Football to host FUNdamentals camps this summer. All drills run at FUNdamentals camps are based on USA Football’s Player Progression Development Model, which ensures that participants receive training appropriate for their age. The USA Football FUNdamentals program is an official program of NFL PLAY 60 – the NFL’s campaign to encourage kids to be active for 60 minutes every day.

“The NFL Foundation is proud to support hundreds of current and former NFL players and coaches who are making an impact in their communities by hosting youth football camps,” said CHARLOTTE JONES ANDERSON, NFL Foundation chair and executive vice president of the Dallas Cowboys. “These camps provide children with an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of football in a positive and enjoyable environment that encourages physical activity.”

In addition to providing children a chance to have fun and develop new skills, some camps supported by NFL Foundation grants offer unique opportunities for the campers: Former coach DARON ROBERTS is providing a six-day intensive camp where athletes will receive football training and SAT/ACT tutoring from business leaders and college admissions staff; former player ERIC DICKERSON is basing his two-day camp around teaching the fundamentals of team building through sport; ROY MILLER (JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS) will host a camp near the Fort Hood military base in Texas for more than 400 children; and former player MARCUS STROUD has invited medical specialists to his Sacking Obesity camp to promote overall health and fitness.

For the complete release, click here

 

NFL Update—July 2, 2014

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For the complete release, click here.

NFL Names Charles Way Head of Player Engagement

Former New York Giants fullback CHARLES WAY, who spent the past 14 years as the team’s director of player programs, has been named head of the NFL’s Player Engagement department, the National Football League announced today.

Way will replace Troy Vincent, who was promoted earlier this year to NFL executive vice president of football operations. Way played for the Giants from 1995 to 1999, also serving as the team’s player representative to the NFL Players Association. The following year he began his career in player support services.

In his new role, Way will oversee the continued evolution and implementation of a broad array of support programs and services for players and their families across the Prep, Life and Next platforms, including the Rookie Symposium, NFL Total Wellness, and career development programs. Way will work closely with NFL clubs, coaches and players to ensure that these league programs are both effective and fully utilized.

“Charles’ passion, knowledge and experience, both on and off the field, serve as a strategic addition to the NFL as we evolve our programs and services for players and their families at all levels of the game,” says ROBERT GULLIVER, NFL chief human resources officer. “By joining the league office, Charles will expand his impact by overseeing the programs and services that are provided to all NFL teams and players.”

“This is a tremendous opportunity to continue to advance the initiatives of the Player Engagement department,” says Way. “I am thankful to Ernie Accorsi for envisioning the importance and significance of the role I have had with the Giants and grateful for the support of John Mara, Steve Tisch, Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin in implementing and developing the programs we have instituted. We will continue to build on the foundation of NFL Player Engagement that has been established over the past 25 years.”

During his tenure leading player services with the Giants, Way was instrumental in developing new programs, including leadership training, professional development and team building. Most recently, he participated in the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace at the United Nations to discuss the NFL’s impact on local communities.

Way resides in New Jersey with his wife Tahesha, an administrative law judge for the state of New Jersey, and four children. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Virginia and an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Centenary College.

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About NFL Player Engagement

NFL Player Engagement assists players in reaching their highest potential on and off the field with guidance, support, and resources provided before, during, and after their NFL experiences. NFL Player Engagement works with three core audiences: Prep, Life, and Next. NFL Life and NFL Next reach thousands of current and former players and their spouses each year through programs and services focused on career development, financial and continuing education, as well as personal, psychological, and physical wellness. NFL Prep provides high school and college student-athletes of all sports with tools to help them succeed in life, focused on awareness, prevention, and education. More information can be found at www.nflplayerengagement.com.