Archive for 'Football Information'

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.

 

Roster of Officials Finalized

THREE NEW REFEREES, 13 FIRST-YEAR NFL OFFICIALS AMONG 2014 CLASS

The NFL roster of game officials for the 2014 season will include 13 first-year NFL officials – and three new referees – among the group of 119, the league announced today.

First-year official BRAD ALLEN will join the NFL as a referee from the Atlantic Coast Conference, where he has been a referee for the past nine seasons and was regarded as one of the best in college football. Allen has refereed several major bowl games, including the 2012 Rose Bowl and 2014 Sugar Bowl. Allen replaces veteran referee MIKE CAREY, who will join CBS Sports as a rules analyst.

Veteran NFL officials RONALD TORBERT and CRAIG WROLSTAD are also new referees in 2014, replacing retired referees SCOTT GREEN and RON WINTER. Wrolstad has spent the past 11 seasons as a field judge while Torbert has worked the past four as a side judge.

The 13 first-year NFL officials are all graduates of the NFL Officiating Development program, which is designed to train top college football officials in all aspects of NFL officiating.

“Our first-year officials were all among the best in college football, including Brad Allen, one of our new referees,” said NFL Vice President of Officiating DEAN BLANDINO. “Brad was an outstanding referee for many years in the ACC and we are excited about having him on the field. Ron and Craig have proven to be outstanding NFL officials and they also are ready to assume the referee position.”

For the complete release, click here

Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Leads All High Schools with Four Players Selected in 2014 NFL Draft; 239 Schools Represented

With offseason workouts now underway, the 2014 NFL Draft class has experienced its first taste of NFL life.

And while the drafted rookies enter the NFL from a variety of different backgrounds, one thing they generally all have in common is an outstanding experience playing high school football.

A total of 239 high schools contributed to the 256 players selected in the seven rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft on May 8-10, USA Football announced today.

Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida led all high schools with four players selected – LAMARCUS JOYNER (St. Louis, second round), DEZMEN SOUTHWARD (Atlanta, third round), BRANDON LINDER (Jacksonville, third round) and JAMES WHITE (New England, fourth round).

For the complete release, click here

Roster of Officials Confirmed

Two New Referees, 12 First-Year NFL Officials Among 2014 Class

The NFL roster of game officials for the 2014 season will include 12 first-year NFL officials – and two new referees – among the group of 119, the league announced today.

Veteran NFL officials RONALD TORBERT and CRAIG WROLSTAD have been promoted to referee, replacing retired referees SCOTT GREEN and RON WINTER.  Wrolstad has spent the past 11 seasons as a field judge while Torbert has worked the past four as a side judge.

The 12 first-year NFL officials are all graduates of the NFL Officiating Development program, which is designed to train top college football officials in all aspects of NFL officiating.  They will be on the field at team OTA sessions.

“The NFL is about constantly striving to improve performance, and that is certainly the case for our game officials,” said NFL Vice President of Officiating DEAN BLANDINO.  “Both Ron and Craig have proven to be outstanding NFL officials and they are ready to assume the increased responsibilities of the referee position.  Our 12 first-year officials were all among the best in college football.  We are excited about having them on the field.”

For the complete release, click here.

2014 NFL Draft Round 1 Notes

For the complete release, click here

2014 NFL Draft Notes

– 79TH NFL DRAFT –

RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, NEW YORK CITY

MAY 8-10, 2014

DATE START ROUNDS SELECTION TIME
Thursday, May 8 8:00 PM ET Round 1 10 Minutes  
         
Friday, May 9 7:00 PM ET Round 2 7 Minutes  
    Round 3 5 Minutes  
         
Saturday, May 10 12:00 PM ET Rounds 4-7 5 Minutes  

_ _ _

NEW YORK STATE OF MIND: Thirty prospects will be in attendance at Radio City Music Hall in New York City for the 2014 NFL Draft.

That includes a 2014-best three players from Alabama: S HA HA CLINTON-DIX, T CYRUS KOUANDJIO and LB C.J. MOSLEY – and three players from Texas A&M: WR MIKE EVANS, QB JOHNNY MANZIEL and T JAKE MATTHEWS.

For the complete release, click here

2014 NFL Draft – All in the Family

Every year, many players join the National Football League from families rich in athletic tradition. Here is a sampling of draft prospects who had family members compete at either the collegiate or professional level in the world of sports.

For the complete release, click here

NFL Preseason Dates & Times Announced

The dates and kickoff times of the 65-game NFL preseason schedule were announced today, beginning with the annual NFL/Hall of Fame Game between the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills in Canton, Ohio on Sunday night, August 3.

Televised live at 8:00 PM ET by NBC, the NFL/Hall of Fame Game is the first of eight national preseason telecasts carried by NFL broadcast partners CBS, ESPN, FOX and NBC that will feature eight 2013 playoff teams.

NFL Network will also provide extensive coverage of the NFL preseason, including live game broadcasts in all four weeks of the preseason. NFL Network’s preseason broadcast schedule will be announced in July.

The 2014 preseason schedule was announced on April 9, without dates and times, which now have been confirmed.

For the complete schedule, click here

Officiating Development Program Begins Second Season

TOP COLLEGE FOOTBALL OFFICIALS – INCLUDING TWO WOMEN – PART OF NFL OFFICIATING TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE

The NFL Officiating Development Program will kick off its second season with a clinic for 21 high potential college game officials in Newark, New Jersey on April 26-27.

The program is designed to train top college football officials in all aspects of NFL officiating, enabling those that ultimately earn a position in the NFL to be better prepared for officiating success at the highest level of the sport.

Participants are identified by NFL officiating scouts, supervisors and trainers and invited to join the program based on their proficiency as collegiate officials. Elements of the upcoming clinic for the most advanced participants include studying position-specific film with veteran NFL officials, reviewing mechanics and analyzing rules differences between the NFL and college football.

The officials attending the Newark clinic will work at NFL minicamps in June and officiate a preseason game as part of an NFL officiating crew in August. That group includes two females, SARAH THOMAS, a line judge who returns to the program for a second year, and MAIA CHAKA, a head linesman in her first year in the NFL program. Both Thomas and Chaka officiated in Conference USA in 2013.

“The officials at the most advanced level of our development program have proven to be outstanding at the collegiate level,” said NFL Vice President of Officiating DEAN BLANDINO. “We look forward to helping them continue to grow and become the best of the best in football officiating.”

A look at the advanced participants in the Officiating Development Program, who will be candidates for positions with NFL officiating crews beginning in 2015. The 2014 roster of NFL officials will be announced next month.

For the complete release, click here

2014 NFL Schedule Announced

Flexible Scheduling Expanded

Available on NFL.com and NFL Mobile from Verizon

The NFL announced today its 17-week, 256-game regular-season schedule for 2014, which kicks off on Thursday night, September 4 in Seattle, includes expanded flexible scheduling, and concludes on Sunday, December 28 with 16 division games.

The season begins with the NFL’s annual primetime kickoff game. The opener on September 4 on NBC (8:30 PM ET) will spotlight the defending-champion Seattle Seahawks hosting the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field.

Week 1 is a FOX national weekend with the key doubleheader game on Sunday, September 7 (4:25 PM ET) featuring the San Francisco 49ers at the Dallas Cowboys.

NBC’s Sunday Night Football gets underway on September 7 when the Denver Broncos host the Indianapolis Colts (8:30 PM ET).

Kickoff Weekend concludes on Monday, September 8 with an ESPN Monday Night Football doubleheader. The Detroit Lions will host the New York Giants (7:10 PM ET) in the first game followed by the San Diego Chargers at the Arizona Cardinals (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.

For the first time, flexible scheduling may be applied in Weeks 5-10. During that period, flexible scheduling can be used in no more than two weeks by shifting a Sunday afternoon game into primetime and moving the Sunday night game to an afternoon start time.

Also, for the first time, a select number of games are being “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences.

“Flexible scheduling” will be used in Weeks 11-17 as it has been in recent years. In Weeks 11-16, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday or Monday nights. A flexible scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to December 28. The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17, but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot. Flexible scheduling ensures quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and gives “surprise” teams a chance to play their way into primetime.

The regular season will conclude with Week 17 on Sunday, December 28. For the fifth consecutive year, all 16 games scheduled for Week 17 are division contests, enhancing the potential for more games with playoff ramifications. Over the final three weeks there are 33 division games, the most in NFL history.

The season finishes in Arizona with the Pro Bowl on Sunday, January 25 (ESPN) and Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, February 1 (NBC). Both games will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium.

For the complete 2014 NFL Schedule, click here