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Old 05-27-2012, 10:57 AM   #2
A Son of Martha

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Default Re: Roger Goodell admits to problems with NFL's live product

On if he has looked at the allegedly constituted USFL and if the NFL has discussed a developmental league:

We have talked a great deal about the idea of a developmental league. We actually think that there could be a role for that. Particularly with the changes in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the limited amount of time the younger players have to either be evaluated or develop their own skills – should we have some sort of developmental league? It is something we will continue to pursue. If we do it, my personal view is it should be defined what the actual objective is. If it is a developmental league, let’s call it a developmental league; let’s design it as a developmental league. If it is going to be a commercial league that is trying to generate fan interest or generate revenue, we should also be clear of that objective. I think our general view right now is to make it a developmental league.

On if there is any talk about releasing the proof of payment in Saints bounty scandal:

We released the facts back in early March. We have met with the union a couple of times. The union specifically told the players not to cooperate in the investigation. We are in the midst of challenges on a variety of fronts with respect to the process of these appeals. So as that plays out and as that is concluded how that process will go forward, we will certainly engage and make sure we are fulfilling every aspect of that; including the appeals process itself.

On if he would expect at some point the proof becomes public:

Yes, I do.

On how he would characterize player transition to post-football life in light of Junior Seau’s death:

This is an area that is not new. We have been focused on this area for several years. Troy [Vincent] has brought a tremendous focus and enthusiasm to this area. It is a challenge. Any transitions for individuals are difficult, much less transitioning out of the NFL into another career. It is something we want to help -- provide the players with the tools, with the resources to be able to make the successful adjustment. For their families, because they are a big part of the adjustment, make sure they have the proper tools. We have several programs. We now want to work to try and improve those, provide greater services, and make sure players are using them.

On players being individually responsible for their mental and physical wellness after retiring:

Ultimately, the responsibility is the individual’s, but that doesn’t mean the NFL shouldn’t be there as a part of it and to help and provide resources. It is a difficult transition. We want to be there to help our players. We believe in them. We believe in the fact that they have a long and healthy life ahead of them and we want to make sure that transition is as smooth as possible and they will be as productive as possible in life.

On if Saints LB Jonathan Vilma or any other player has the legal ability to sue the NFL commissioner:

You’ll have to talk to our attorneys. That is not something I spend a lot of time on.

On the response from some that the Saints are being targeted:

We have been very clear about our priorities for player health and safety and that we are going to do everything we can to provide the safest and healthiest environment for our players. That is something we are going to continue to do. I don’t expect that everyone is going to agree all the time, particularly when it involves discipline. That is not an objective that I set out for. What I want to do is be fair and make sure we are doing everything we can to provide that kind of safe atmosphere.

On ruling on the Saints players’ appeals:

We have to finish the process, the initiated arbitration, grievances and a variety of other action. As soon as it is concluded, we will proceed. I don’t know when that happens.

On if Vilma’s defamation suit delays the appellate process:

I meant the union grievances and arbitration.

On the International Series in London and the Bills Toronto Series:

In Buffalo, it is part of a series in trying to broaden their reach to make sure that they are a regional franchise. They have been at it for two decades into the southern region, into the Rochester region and now north into southern Ontario. It is a great thing for the franchise. It is a great thing for the fans. More and more fans are coming down to Buffalo, and more and more fans are going up to Toronto. It is a good thing for the franchise in stabilizing it and making sure that the franchise can be successful there.

The London series has continued to be very, very well received. Ticket sales are going extremely well from the reports I have, even in the light of the fact the Olympics are there. In the meantime, we expect that we will be evaluating some time later this year expanding that series next year to more than one game. We believe that market is going to continue to grow for us.

On increasing competition and contact in the Pro Bowl:

That is the issue. We recognize it is an All-Star game, but we also believe the fans expect more from an NFL game. That wasn’t a competitive game. The players acknowledged that in all of our discussions going back this past year that it is not competitive, and they point to a variety of reasons. The money is pretty significant. The risk of injuries is something that is on their mind. All of those things are legitimate, but they believe that they can improve the quality of the game. That is something that we are exploring with them. If we believe we can achieve it, we want to give them every opportunity to do it. It is going to require a competitive game to be successful long-term.

On his personal reaction when players or others criticize his decisions:

I have been around this league for 30 years. You are going to make decisions that are not going to be unanimous. It just doesn’t happen, particularly in a game where there is a lot of emotion, a lot of passion and there are different sides. Saints fans are on one side and there are 31 other teams. What I have to do is what is in the best interest of the game long-term and recognize not everyone is necessarily going to agree with your decisions, but be thoughtful, be fair and try to reach a conclusion that I think is going to be in the best interest of the game long-term.

On preparation for accepting criticism as commissioner:

It is called 24 years. You watch Pete Rozelle and Paul Tagliabue. You are part of their decision-making process. You see how they go about it. You watch other leagues. You try to take in every perspective. You are not always right so you have to listen to other perspectives. The coaches have a perspective. The fans have a perspective. The players have a perspective. Front office executives may. You may not agree with all of it, but you listen to it, you hear it through and you make sure that you are thoughtful, you take your time, and you try to reach a conclusion that you think is best for the game. You don’t worry about a popularity contest. You can’t because you can’t make everybody happy on this.

On the NFL’s evidence against Saints players and re-evaluating decisions following the players’ statements:

Sure, you second guess yourself because that is what an appeals process is for. You want to hear what the players have to say. Some of them indicated they wanted to come in and talk before the decision was made. I invited them in. They decided not to do that, at the NFLPA’s recommendation, I think. I understand that. When we get to the appeals, we will be able to talk about it and we will be able to hear from one another.

On the league and owners being worried about the potential liability of the lawsuits and if the league would look to settle:

The answer to the first part of the question is we obviously believe that any charges that we have not been responsible in this area are not factually correct, and we’re going to defend this. We’re going to do our best to make sure people understand that health and safety is not new to the NFL. We have taken the right steps. We have been leaders in this area. We have not waited for science. We have made changes to our game. We think we’ve done the right things over the last several decades and over our history, and that’s something we’re going to continue to do
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