Archive for 'Football Information'

2015 NFL Draft Notes

For the 2015 Draft Notes, click here

2015 NFL Schedule Announced

Available on NFL.com and NFL Mobile from Verizon

The NFL announced today its 17-week, 256-game regular-season schedule for 2015, which kicks off on Thursday night, September 10 in New England and concludes on Sunday, January 3 with 16 division games.

The season begins with the NFL’s annual primetime kickoff game. The opener on September 10 on NBC (8:30 PM ET) will spotlight the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium.

Week 1 is a CBS national weekend with the key doubleheader game on Sunday, September 13 (4:25 PM ET) featuring the Baltimore Ravens at the Denver Broncos.

NBC’s Sunday Night Football gets underway on September 13 when the Dallas Cowboys host the New York Giants (8:30 PM ET).

Kickoff Weekend concludes on Monday, September 14 with an ESPN Monday Night Football doubleheader. The Atlanta Falcons will host the Philadelphia Eagles (7:10 PM ET) in the first game followed by the Minnesota Vikings at the San Francisco 49ers (10:20 PM ET).

ESPN will televise one game each Monday night in Weeks 2-16. There will be no Monday night game on the final regular-season weekend (Week 17) to provide more flexibility for the scheduling of the opening weekend of the NFL playoffs.

A select number of games will be “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences. Some of those contests were announced today, including the Chicago Bears at Seattle Seahawks (4:25 PM ET, CBS) in Week 3 and the Carolina Panthers at Dallas Cowboys (4:30 PM ET, CBS) on Thanksgiving Day. Other “cross-flexed” games will be decided during the season.

The regular season will conclude with Week 17 on Sunday, January 3. For the sixth consecutive year, all 16 games scheduled for Week 17 are division contests, enhancing the potential for more games with playoff ramifications.

The Pro Bowl will return to Hawaii on Sunday, January 31 (ESPN) and be played at Aloha Stadium. The season concludes the following week on Sunday, February 7 with Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium (CBS), capping a year-long celebration of the Super Bowl.

For the complete release, click here

2015 Preseason Schedule Announced

The NFL has finalized its 65-game 2015 preseason schedule, which includes a slate of eight nationally televised preseason games, the league announced today.

The 2015 preseason will kick off on Sunday, August 9 (NBC, 8:00 PM ET) in Canton, Ohio when the Pittsburgh Steelers face the Minnesota Vikings in the NFL/Hall of Fame Game.

For the complete release, click here

Nine First-Year NFL Officials – Including Sarah Thomas & Walt Coleman IV – Named To 2015 NFL Officiating Roster

The NFL roster of game officials for the 2015 season will include nine first-year NFL officials, the league announced today.

The nine first-year NFL officials are graduates of the NFL Officiating Development program, which trains top college football officials in all aspects of NFL officiating. They will be on the field at team OTA sessions next month.

SARAH THOMAS will join the NFL as a line judge after officiating in Conference USA since 2007. Thomas is the first female to be assigned full-time to an NFL officiating crew and will be the second female to officiate in a regular-season NFL game. SHANNON EASTIN, an official in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, served as a line judge for the first three games of the 2012 NFL season.

For the complete release, click here

NFL Offseason Workout Program Dates Announced

Following is the NFL Offseason Workout Program calendar for 2015. Voluntary offseason workout programs are intended to provide training, teaching and physical conditioning for players.

As per Article 21 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each club’s official, voluntary nine-week offseason program is conducted in three phases:

Phase One consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.

Phase Two consists of the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.

Phase Three consists of the next four weeks of the program. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

For the complete release, click here

2015 NFL Draft Order

Attached is the 2015 NFL Draft order for all seven rounds, including compensatory selections. The 2015 NFL Draft will be held on April 30-May 2 in Chicago.

The first round will begin at 8:00 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, April 30.  The second and third rounds are set for Friday, May 1 at 7:00 p.m. (ET) followed by rounds 4-7 on Saturday, May 2 at 12:00 PM ET.

For the complete release, click here

Adopted Resolution and Rules Change Proposals

The attached resolution and playing rules proposals were adopted today in voting by NFL clubs.

To view the adopted resolution and rules change proposals, click here

 

NFL Announces 32 Compensatory Draft Choices To 14 Clubs

A total of 32 compensatory choices in the 2015 NFL Draft have been awarded to 14 teams, the NFL announced today.

Under the rules for compensatory draft selections, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks.

The number of picks a team receives equals the net loss of compensatory free agents up to a maximum of four. The 32 compensatory choices announced today will supplement the 224 choices in the seven rounds of the 2015 NFL Draft held on April 30-May 2 in Chicago.

For the complete release, click here

Competition Committee Press Conference Transcript

COMPETITION COMMITTEE PRESS CONFERENCE

RICH MCKAY, JEFF FISHER & DEAN BLANDINO

3-23-15

McKay: Okay, good afternoon. I think I will go first and then I will turn it over to Jeff and to Dean. Usually we go through all the proposals; I’m not sure we need to do that at this time – there were a lot of them. Jeff knows them by heart so he can go through them, but I don’t think we’ll start on that. I think what I’d like to start with today is there is a proposal we didn’t cover on the call the other day and that is Resolution G-2 which was given to the clubs today and that resolution deals with a medical stoppage by the ATC spotter – that’s the spotter that’s upstairs in the press box that will, if passed, will then have the authority to stop the game if they see a player that displays obvious signs of disorientation or is clearly unstable. So in other words, Dean instructs all the officials on the field to make sure we look for players that might be in distress and have them leave the game. But in case we miss a player, this ATC spotter will have the ability to stop the game, to radio to the side judge, I think it is, and have the side judge stop the game, have the player removed for a play, so the player will be looked at. So that is a resolution that we hadn’t covered with any of you last week just because we were still developing it as a committee and it was given to the clubs this morning.

I’ll have Dean cover with you ‘catch/no-catch’ because I know there is interest in that and he’s got video to show you. And I thought I’d have Jeff talk a little bit about – I know we gave you our position on instant replay – the reason we gave it to you in writing is because it was longer than we typically take a position on and there are a lot of different points to it so we just wanted to cover it in writing. So, if you want, I’ll let Jeff talk to you a little bit about replay and all the replay proposals and what we put in writing for you.

Fisher: As we talked during the week we have 13 of the 18 proposals presented by the clubs deal with instant replay in one shape or another. Whether it’s ‘review everything,’ whether it’s to be able to review fouls on defenseless players, whether it’s increase the number of challenges involving the game clock, the play clock, those kinds of things. There is one proposal that the committee favors and that’s the one with respect to the timing on the game clock, not the play clock, but the game clock at the end of the half or the end of the game. And it needs to be more than one second at issue. And so we’re going to obviously see how that goes with the vote.

The committee’s position for years has been to oppose involving fouls in replay for a lot of different reasons – for two different standards that we’ve talked about. We’ve looked at a lot of tape this offseason, we looked at the fouls particularly relating to hits on defenseless players. We had 27 of them this year, we looked at them as a group. We could not agree on a number of them, that’s just the nature of the standard in replay. A number of these fouls will go, on Monday morning, at the league office from the officiating department to player discipline and oftentimes that process will take 20-30 minutes, maybe an hour, to determine whether it was in fact a foul. So you can see the issues that we’re going to have if we involve those things in replay.

The Canadian Football League experimented – a one-year experiment last year – with adding to replay defensive pass interference, where the coach could actually generate the foul. They had 55 instances during the season. Forty-nine of those were initiated by the coach, so the coach basically in essence became an official in those instances and only six were overturned. There are a lot of things at stake and the big thing is the standard. The standard is very, very difficult. The on-the-field, full-speed standard versus the frame-by-frame review and basically what you’re doing is adding another element of subjectivity. So those are the basic reason for the committee being opposed to adding fouls to replay.

Blandino: I’ll take you through the ‘catch/no-catch’. A lot of discussion about the process of the catch. What is and what isn’t possession? This was generated, obviously, with the play from the Divisional Playoff game with Dallas and Green Bay. The committee doesn’t recommend a change to the rule, but looked at the language and tweaked the language in an attempt to make it clearer and easier to understand. For years the requirements for a catch – the way it was communicated in the rule book is control, both feet and then after that the receiver had to have the ball long enough to perform an act common to the game – and that was defined as being able to pitch it, pass it, clearly advance the ball as a runner. I think as part of this discussion around this play it was that ‘act common to the game,’ football move, whatever you want to call it, that I think created some confusion. And so in an effort to clear that up the committee looked at the language and made several changes. So in order to complete a catch, the receiver has to have control, both feet on the ground and he has to have it after that long enough to clearly establish himself as a runner. And this would fall directly in line with our defenseless player rule where we say a receiver is protected until he can clearly establish himself as a runner. What does that mean? That means he has the ability to ward off, avoid, protect himself from the impending contact. And then we get into is the player going to the ground or falling to the ground to make the catch or is he completing the catch while upright? Well, if he can clearly establish himself as a runner, then he’s not going to the ground to make the catch. If he hasn’t clearly established himself as a runner prior to going to the ground, then he has to hold on to the ball until after his initial contact with the ground. And that’s the rule that applied here. When you watch the play, Bryant is going to the ground. He is falling to the ground to make the catch, he has not clearly established himself as a runner prior to going to the ground, so he has to hold on to the ball until after that initial contact with the ground. He’s basically got to hold on to it throughout this action. If the ball touches the ground and comes loose, it’s an incomplete pass. And you’ll see the ball hit the ground and then it pops loose. That’s all part of the catch process and so the committee looked at the language and feels ‘clearly establishing himself as a runner’ makes the rule a little bit easier to understand. And when we talk about ‘clearly establishing himself as a runner,’ just a couple of examples. Where here, the receiver has control, both feet and he clearly becomes a runner and then extends the football out for the goal line. The difference between this play and the Bryant play is that here the receiver has possession, he’s become a runner and then he extends the ball for the goal line. If the ball breaks the plane in possession of a runner, it’s a touchdown at that point. Another example here where the receiver, he’s not going to the ground to make the catch. He has control, both feet down, he has the ability to ward off, protect himself from contact, so he doesn’t have to protect himself when he lands. Just one more example when we talk about holding the ball until after the initial contact you’ll see here Nelson goes to the ground, he lands on the ground and then the defender knocks it loose. That’s a catch because he has completed the requirements, held the ball until after his initial contact. His initial contact is there, then the defender knocks it loose. So the committee looked at a lot of tape, didn’t recommend a change to the rule but wanted to clean up some of the language, put it more in line with the defenseless player rule and the receiver who can clearly establish himself as a runner does not have to hold on to the football if he subsequently goes to the ground to be a catch.

Dean, in the change of that wording on the Calvin Johnson rule, the difference between time to make a football act and establishing yourself as a runner, do you feel there’s any difference in those two? Are there any plans where the ruling changes from one thing to another based on that difference in wording?
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NFL Legends Community Newsletter – March 2015

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The NFL League Office stays in regular contact with its former players, passing along vital information via email each month about benefits and services available to them & their families as well as alerting them to where other members of the NFL Legends Community are currently living and working.

The March 2015 edition of NFL Legends Community Newsletter included a list of 20 player alumni who have gone on to successful careers on and off the field. To view the full edition, click here.

 march 2015 nflcomms chart