By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
1:40 p.m. CT: The final question asked to Goodell involves technological innovations for the league.
And with that, the press conference is over. No drama, no conflict, not a whole lot.”
1:39 p.m. CT: Goodell was asked why the Raiders have to play so many international games, especially considering fans are losing their team to Las Vegas soon.
“It’s part of what we all agreed as 32 clubs, which is what dictates that we want to continue to share our game on a global basis. … That comes with sacrifices from time to time with home games. The Raiders have had more recently, that’s a fact, that’s correct.”
He said the league respects Raiders fans but the international games are part of the sacrifice.
1:36 p.m. CT: Goodell was asked about Kaepernick.
“I’ve been very clear on this before that all the clubs individually have to make their own decisions about who’s on the roster, who’s not on the roster.”
He cited Kaepernick’s grievance, which means he won’t discuss it publicly. But he reiterated that the league does not involve itself.
1:34 p.m. CT: The NFL Play 60 kid told Goodell that a lot of people look up Goodell as a role model.
1:32 p.m. CT: Goodell was asked about the Broncos’ ownership situation.
“The focus is what Pat Bowlen wanted, and how he set this up. Having been very close to Pat, I care very much about him, his family, his health. He was an extraordinarily important person to the NFL when he was active in the league. And he’s somebody we all admire and care for his health.”
1:30 p.m. CT: What was Roger’s reaction to the news that the XFL is coming back? Roger says he’s been too focused on his own job.
“We’ve had several proposals that have come to us about various forms of spring football that we have considered over the years. We continue to look at that. We want to make sure our game stays strong for the long term.”
1:28 p.m. CT: Goodell was asked if the Patriots’ sustained success is good or bad for the league. He said it’s just “remarkable” that the Patriots are “going to their third super Bowl in four years, in this kind of a system.”
“I just marvel at that. I think our other clubs marvel at that. I think fans marvel at that. And I think the balance of having new teams with teams that continue to find ways to win is a great thing for the NFL. And it’s great for our fans.”
1:27 p.m. CT: Goodell was asked about anthem protests and whether the league will institute new rules.
“I don’t know what we’ll consider in the offseason. We’re still trying to get through the Super Bowl.”
1:26 p.m. CT: Goodell was asked about Belichick’s comments that the Patriots were fortunate that there were no earthquakes or volcanic eruptions while the Patriots were in Mexico City.
“All the players, coaches, ownership comments. I’m not going to address that specific comment, because that should be addressed by either Coach Belichick or the Krafts.”
Goodell said from the NFL’s standpoint, Mexico City was an excellent host.
1:23 p.m. CT: Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk asked how the Raiders were found to have followed the Rooney Rule.
“Let me say that there was a full investigation of that by our staff. … We checked the facts. The conclusion of the investigation doesn’t jive with what you asked. … We made sure that that was the case.”
1:21 p.m. CT: Goodell was asked if he’ll possibly sign another contract after his current extension ends.
“I just signed a new contract. I’m going to work on that. I’m going to stay focused on that. I’m not thinking about the next one.”
1:20 p.m. CT: Tony Dungy’s son asked Goodell about group celebrations and whether there’s anything more in store to make the game more fun for kids.
Goodell said the relaxation of group celebration rules was a success. “I think we’ll continue about what do we do to make the game more attractive to the younger generation. Part of that is making the game available on the platforms which you spend most of your time. It also would be working on new opportunities to engage with fantasy football.”
He also said esports present a great opportunity, too.
1:17 p.m. CT: More catch/no-catch talk. Goodell said there’s room for disagreement, even among Hall of Fame players.
“I think intelligent and thoughtful and people with great football experience can disagree.”
1:15 p.m. CT: With Jerry Richardson in trouble, a Charlotte reporter asked if a new owner will be forced to keep the team in place in Carolina.
“Any franchise relocation is subject to three-quarters vote. There isn’t often a stipulation, per se, by that. I think all of us and the owners believe Carolina is a great market. It’s a market we’d like to stay in.” Goodell hopes the team stays in place, and owners will ask that question when a new owner faces them.
Also, Goodell said that the investigation into Richardson is underway and takign place.
1:13 p.m. CT: Jim Trotter of ESPN noted that he had a question more appropriate for owners, but he’d ask Goodell because he’s here. “I’m used to that,” Goodell joked.
The question had to do with the lack of people of color in head coaching and general manager roles.
Goodell talked about how the Rooney Rule gives as much opportunity as possible and “has been successful.”
“What we need to do is continue the work on developing that pipeline. Getting the right kind of coaches with the right kind of experience to hire.”
1:12 p.m. CT: Goodell said Mexico City wants more and more football. The Rams and Chiefs are heading there next year. No date yet.
1:10 p.m. CT: Ben Volin of The Boston Globe asked Goodell about the increased injury rate on Thursday Night Football.
“We always work to make the game safer. We always look to see what we can do. Just to respond to the statistical aspect that you raise, out of the last five years that we’ve kept the sophisticated injry data, out of those five years only this year showed a slight uptick which was not even significant. … We do not think that’s something to overreact to.”
“I think the reaction is clearly mixed within the players that I’ve spoken to. Obviously most players don’t like the short week, but they sure do love the 10 days that come after that. In fact, I can distinctly remember conversations where players said it’s like a mini-bye.”
1:08 p.m. CT: Roger said he attended the Vikings-Saints game and enjoyed sitting with the fans.
1:07 p.m. CT: On officiating, Goodell says he’s never satisfied. “We can always get better. Out officiating could get better. So could all of us. I think our officiating is outstanding.”
He says with technology, the job is harder.
Goodell says the league will take a long hard look at the catch/no-catch rule.
He’s also talking about how the league improved on the flow of game broadcasts last year, and he said the league will apply similar effort to the catch/no-catch rule.
1:06 p.m. CT: Goodell praises “Robert and Jonathan Kraft, Coach Belichick, and their wonderful players. The Patriots are making their 10th Super Bowl appearance and looking for the their third championship in the past four seasons. It’s a tremendous accomplishment.
1:05 p.m. CT: Goodell is talking about the Eagles’ great season. “Anything is possible, and the Eagles are proof of that.”
1:02 p.m. CT: Goodell is talking up “The Bold North” that is Minnesota.
1:01 p.m. CT: Roger Goodell is on the stage, and we have begun.
12:56 p.m. CT: Roger Goodell is here, and so is Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Should be beginning shortly.
12:24 p.m. CT: We’re all checked in here in downtown Minneapolis, waiting for Goodell.
10:40 a.m. CT: It’s everybody’s favorite day of Super Bowl week. It’s time for Roger Goodell’s press conference.
The annual event, known colloquially as The State of the NFL, is always a big one, drawing in hundreds of reporters and a whole wall of television camera, all to capture the words of the commissioner.
This year, Roger should find himself in a bit of a comfortable spot. While there’s always some controversy surrounding the country’s largest sports league, there’s nothing particularly boiling at this point in time.
But it still ought to be interesting, and I’ll be transcribing here as fast as fingers will allow to try to convey and share what Goodell is saying with regard to some of the more pressing matters in the NFL. He’ll likely say that his league needs to better define what constitutes “a catch,” he’ll talk about replay and Alberto Riveron, he’ll talk about Thursday Night Football, the Raiders and Las Vegas, and more. Tom Brady might come up, too.
Whatever he says, it’ll all be right here as it happens. So check back throughout the press conference for live updates. It begins at 1 p.m. CT, which is 2 p.m. on the East Coast if you struggle with the numbers. It should be pretty good.