I have two releases that contain quotage. First, from NFL Network, we have a transcript of various statements NFL Commish Roger Goodell made tonight before the Miami-Carolina game announcing the Player Advisory Forum to be headed up by former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Discusses New NFL Player Advisory Forum Tonight on NFL Network’s Thursday Night Kickoff Pregame Show
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s interview about the new NFL Player Advisory Forum aired tonight on NFL Network’s Thursday Night Kickoff pregame show at 6 PM ET. The NFL announced the new program today that will be lead by former NFL head coach Tony Dungy and will involve a regular series of meetings in various cities with NFL players, including Pro Bowl veterans such as Brian Dawkins of the Denver Broncos, Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens, and Kurt Warner of the Arizona Cardinals.
The following are quotes from Commissioner Goodell during the interview that was taped for the pregame show.
On NFL Player Advisory Forum and its purpose:
“The number one thing that we want to get is input from our players on what’s going on in their lives and how they feel about the game and issues on and off the field. That’s incredibly valuable to me as I go through thinking about different issues that we have to deal with at the league level.”
On players voicing their concerns and critiques on league rules and guidelines:
“The first point you make is a really critical point, Rich. We don’t want to just hear about everything that’s going great. We want to hear from the players on what’s not going well, what we need to work on and what we can improve on; How we can do things better. And the players are very vocal and they have always given me great input. They have been valuable to us in whatever changes are made from rules to the personal conduct policy to changes in the Pro Bowl. We want them to set the agenda to a large extent and Tony will help shape that with the players. Then, I’ll be able to hear their feedback and we’ll be able to take that, whether it [applies] to league meetings, policies, relationships with the NFLPA that will likely participate. These are all inputs to us to make better decisions.”
On the logistics of the meetings:
“Tony [Dungy] and I already talked about it. The likelihood is that we’ll do it on a Tuesday, which is the player’s off day. We’ll come to the players. As an example, we’ll probably do it someplace in the Baltimore-Washington area where we can get three, four or five teams that can conveniently get there. We want to make it convenient for the players since they’re taking their personal time to participate. They’ll help set the agenda. What are the issues they want to talk about, that they want me to be aware of? So that we can take that into consideration.”
On the NFLPA’s involvement:
“I mentioned to De [DeMaurice Smith] and asked if he wanted to participate and I’d welcome that. We’d be glad to have him sit in, either De himself or a representative.”
On if the Commissioner will use the forums to give his thoughts on issues to players:
“You do learn a lot from listening, but I’m also not a wallflower when I have a strong view on a particular issue, so yes, I will share my opinion on things. However I’m really hopeful that I’m going to learn a lot from these sessions. You know I met with retired players a year ago and continue to see them as I will hope to work with George Martin and the NFL Alumni to be able to hear what are the issues that we’re dealing with so we can develop solutions that make sense.”
On when the first Player Advisory Forum will take place:
“We hope to do that by mid-December. I think our initial focus will start in the Baltimore-Washington area, where we can reach the Redskins, Ravens, Eagles and maybe the two New York teams. They can get there easily and make it convenient for them on an off day.”
Here are quotes from ESPN NASCAR analyst Dale Jarrett as he talks about driver Jimmie Johnson who’s seeking to be the first ever to win for straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Championships.
Quotes from ESPN NASCAR Analyst Dale Jarrett on Jimmie Johnson
ESPN NASCAR analyst Dale Jarrett, the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, will be in the booth for ABC’s live coverage of the final race of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, the Ford 400, on Sunday at Florida’s Homestead-Miami Speedway. The telecast begins at 2:30 p.m. ET with the race’s green flag at 3:30 p.m. In an interview on ESPNEWS, Jarrett spoke of Jimmie Johnson, who seeks to make history as the first driver ever to win four consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup titles.
What does Jimmie Johnson have to do to win the championship?
I think you have to focus in a number of different ways and break the weekend down. On Friday before qualifying, I want to make my car as fast as possible and see if we can start up front. That allows me to run the race I want to run. Obviously practice on Saturday, making the car fast once again will allow me to run the race that I want to, and I think that’s exactly what Jimmie Johnson is going to do. He’s going to try to lead some laps early if he can do that, get those bonus points, and then he’s just going to settle into a good position. I think what we will see, on the double-file restarts, Jimmie be extremely careful around traffic until things get single-file, and then he can pass cars one at a time; it’s much safer that way. I think we’ll see their normal 13-second pit stops become 13 ½, 14 seconds which will probably lose them a couple of spots in the pits, but they want to make sure they don’t have any problems with loose wheels or anything like that. And then he can run his race, finish somewhere in the top 10, maybe even 15, that’ll bring him another championship home.
From the public it’s a little suspect. I think in the garage area everybody appreciates what Jimmie Johnson the driver has done. I think the public perception of him is that he’s with the best organization in the sport, he has the best race cars, he has the best engines, he has the best crew chief in the business, so therefore why shouldn’t he win? But that’s not exactly the case. I would have to disagree with everyone. Someone has to get in there and make all the right moves, push the buttons, do the things that you need to do on the racetrack. Jimmie Johnson does all of those things. He’s a tremendous talent behind the wheel, has a great head on his shoulders, and that makes for a perfect champion.
I have more releases to post. They just flooded into the Fang’s Bites inbox today.