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Goodell interview Sirus XM Blitz

COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL
THE SIRIUS XM BLITZ with ADAM SCHEIN & TIM RYAN
SIRIUS XM NFL RADIO


April 2, 2012

On the first-ever NFL pop-up store on Avenue of the Americas between 41st and 42nd Streets:
It’s great. We were just down with the fans, and they are having a great time. That is what it is all about.

On the success of the 2011 season and fans loving the NFL throughout the year:
I think that is true. We want to keep finding new ways to engage the fans and get them into our game all year round. The offseason is critically important for our teams. This time of year teams are normally focused just on the draft, but free agency has been big this year – a lot of big names – and it has changed the complexion of our game and our teams.

With the draft coming up, it is one of the more exciting offseason events for us. We are thrilled. I think it is going to be a great year for us.

On the suspensions to Saints personnel as a result of the bounty-rule violation:
The first reason is this is a very important policy for us. Anyone who violates this policy, where you are actually targeting players for injury, it is unacceptable under any terms. We are going to be very aggressive in enforcing that. The second is this has been going on for three years. For three years, we have been getting denials and they continued to violate the policy. Again, that is unacceptable. It is something we are going to continue enforcing very aggressively, making sure that our players are as safe as possible when they are on the field. Identifying a player to take them out for injury is not something we are going to allow.

On the difference between the bounty rule and non-contract pay-for-performance bonuses:
First, some of those payments are called non-contract bonus payments. Our problem with those payments is they escalate and become difficult. As an example, the ‘big hit:’ is the big hit for taking somebody out or not taking somebody out? Is it for a legal hit or an illegal hit? We are eliminating all of those non-contract bonus payments because of the escalation.

The bounty payments are specific to identifying an opposing player and taking him out. That means getting them off the field whether it is through a legal or illegal tactic. That is just unacceptable in our game. We are not going to allow that, obviously.

On what he wants to hear from Saints personnel who appeal the suspensions:
As you know, I have had the opportunity to sit with them several times. Some of the sentiments, I have tried to understand their perspective on what happened. They understand mine. If there is something that I had not considered, I want to hear that, I want to understand it properly and then we will make a decisions based on that new information.

On players stepping beyond standard play with the intent to injure an opponent:
I have talked to dozens of players, and they tell me this does not need to be a part of our game. They don’t believe it happens on a regular basis or even on an infrequent basis. They were quite surprised that this was going on, also. They support the fact that this needs to be out of the game. It is a tough game anyhow, whether you play it by the rules or not, as you know. It is physical, it is tough and it is challenging and competitive. We want it to be that way but we also want it to be as safe as possible. It is just not going to be acceptable to play the game and injure a player intentionally. We think that is something the players will support and we will get it out of the game.

On when he will respond to the appeal:
The first step is to have the hearing. I hope to have it this week. I want to listen to the information before making any judgments. Once I have heard what they have to tell me during the appeal process, I will give it every bit of consideration and make a decision.

On the Saints hiring of Bill Parcells as a violation of the Rooney Rule:
It could be if they don’t go through the right process. They have to go through a process where they consider other candidates and talk to other candidates. They are aware of that and they have indicated to us that they are going to be going through that.

On if he expected the Saints to hire an internal or external candidate to be head coach in 2012:
I didn’t expect them to do anything in that area. Those are decisions that the club has to make. (Saints owner) Tom Benson wants to win, he wants to do it the right way and he is going to get the best person available. If his decision is to bring it up internally, he will make that. If his decision ultimately is to go outside, it is something that I am sure he will consider.

On the difficulty of hiring an interim head coach while adhering to the Rooney Rule with the expectation Saints head coach Sean Payton will return in 2013:
It is a fair point that has to be considered, and we will consider that. You are not talking about a long-term hire here. You are talking about likely a one-year hire. It is something that we certainly will consider in the context of this.

On Saints personnel’s ability to communicate with the team while serving a suspension:
The expectation is that they are suspended from operations. They won’t be coaching. I am not naïve enough to believe that there will not be any contact. There are relationships and obviously things that will need to be discussed from time to time, but we are not going to allow anyone to either be a coach from home or a general manager from home. They are suspended from the operations and they will be expected to follow it.

On the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins salary cap arbitration:
The arbitration process will proceed on the schedule set by the arbitrator. We will certainly engage in that, but I don’t have anything new on that.

On when the decision was made to penalize the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins and if they should have received more than 24 hours notice to the new League Year:
I don’t accept that they were blindsided. This was always something that was being considered. I think clubs all understood that. We had been discussing this with the Players Association for close to a year. We made the decision in the context of setting the 2012 cap, which is where it should be. The cap wasn’t decided until that point in time so all of those decisions have to come together at the right time. There was an agreement between the NFLPA and the NFL on this, and it was communicated immediately.

On the 2012 Annual Meeting and emphasizing player safety:
They were excellent meetings. The Competition Committee met for several weeks, including with the players and with themselves, and reported to the membership. I think we continue to find ways to make the game more exciting and safer at the same time. As a collective group, the NFL is determined to continue to make our game more popular. We are not taking our success for granted. We are going to and find new ways to reach our fans, and you are seeing it today. We are seeing it here with this pop-up store. This is a way to engage with our fans, interact with them and let them know how much we appreciate their support and make sure that they know we are going to do everything to make our game better. In fact to that point, for the first time ever in the history of the NFL and maybe all of sports, we had a group of fans that came in (during the Annual Meeting) and met with our owners, general managers and coaches. We had a tremendous session with them. There was a lot of feedback back and forth. Hearing from our fans is important for us if we are going to continue to do that.

Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

Posted by Necesitamos Mas Football on 20:05. Filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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