Daily Archives: September 7th, 2012

WOULD YOU DRIVE IT?: Morris Claiborne buys his parents a Dallas Cowboys car

Morris Claiborne Dallas Cowboy car - The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas Cowboys rookie cornerback Morris Claiborne enjoyed a rock-solid debut Wednesday night against the New York Giants. We re-watched his performance using the Coaches Film function on NFL Game Rewind (on iPad or any tablet, this will change your life.) Check it out HERE.

Claiborne did a nice job tracking Hakeem Nicks all night, primarily playing press coverage. The top-10 draft pick wasn’t perfect — he struggled defending the run — but he looked like he belonged.

Slowing down Nicks wasn’t the most impressive thing we learned about Claiborne this week. The star cornerback apparently bought this car for his parents after the draft. Western Louisiana is filthy with Dallas Cowboys fans, so the Claiborne-mobile probably is pretty popular around town. We just don’t recommend the family take it on a road trip to Philadelphia.

Would you own this car?

RELATED: NFL GAME REWIND

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Watch every NFL game on-demand (not live). Commercial free! High definition, unbelievable clarity! Tons of other features. Any Dallas Cowboy or NFL fan should have this. Only $40 a year!!!

NFL Game Rewind - The Boys Are Back blog

Secondary link: http://r.gamerewind.nfl.com/a/clk/zQR91

BREAKING NEWS: Saints player bounty suspensions overturned on appeal

VIDEO - Bounty appeal overturns suspensions - The Boys Are Back blog

VIDEO: CBA appeals panel overturned NFL suspensions regarding Saints Bounty program.

A collective bargaining agreement appeals panel overturned the NFL’s suspensions of four players for their involvement in the New Orleans Saints’ "bounty" program, NFL Players Association spokesman George Atallah said Friday.

While the suspensions are vacated immediately, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell can go back and suspend the four players if he proves there was an intent to injure. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said all players are eligible to play, starting this weekend, until Goodell does so.

"Consistent with the panel’s decision, Commissioner Goodell will, as directed, make an expedited determination of the discipline imposed for violating the league’s pay-for-performance/bounty rule," Aiello said in a statement. "Until that determination is made, the four players are reinstated and eligible to play starting this weekend."

Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma was suspended for the entire 2012 season, free agent Anthony Hargrove for eight games, Saints defensive end Will Smith for four games and Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita three games.

Fujita and Hargrove played for the Saints during the program’s duration, from 2009 to 2011, under defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who was suspended indefinitely by the NFL. The suspensions of Williams, coach Sean Payton (season-long), general manager Mickey Loomis (eight games) and assistant head coach Joe Vitt (six games) weren’t involved in this appeals process.

Vilma took to Twitter to express his satisfaction about the ruling, writing: "Victory is mine!!!!."

Hargrove’s agent, Phil Williams, wouldn’t comment on his client’s status. Williams also wouldn’t say whether or not teams had begun calling him on the assumption that Hargrove is eligible to be on the field for the opening week of the 2012 NFL season.

"It’s all too new," Williams told NFL.com and NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport.

When asked if his client is physically able to play after being released by the Green Bay Packers in August, Williams said: "Of course. He’s ready to play if he falls out of bed after a month."

According to a source close to Smith, the defensive end plans to play Sunday in the Saints’ regular-season opener against the Washington Redskins and has been led to believe by the team that he will play.

Saints safety Roman Harper said he’d welcome the return of his defensive teammates, Vilma and Smith.

"Well, if coach (Aaron) Kromer would let him come out, I’d definitely like to play with these guys," Harper told reporters.

"I’m excited," Saints quarterback Drew Brees told NFL.com and NFL Network reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala. "I’ve been focused on the game, but I hoped that that would be the case. No, I’m not surprised. I wouldn’t call me surprised. Obviously, they saw the information that we’ve seen for a long time."

Albert Breer | NFL

 

Video - Watch Now - The Boys Are Back blog - Press play VIDEO: Saints Harper reacts to teammates overturned suspensions

Roger Goodell discusses cutting NFL preseason in half

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell discusses shorter preseason - The Boys Are Back blog

Could the NFL cut the preseason schedule in half? Commissioner Roger Goodell made it sound like a possibility yesterday (Thursday).

Speaking at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit, Goodell said the preseason could be altered to include just two games for each team. The NFL would then go with a 16- or 18-game regular season.

"The four preseason games are an issue for us," Goodell said, via the San Francisco Chronicle. "One, you have a question whether we really need it to put on the best quality product. Two, you have an issue of how our fans are reacting to it, and they’re not reacting positively. It’s not the kind of standard that the NFL is used to producing."

Preseason games have never come close to matching the entertainment value of the regular season, but scrutiny has increased this summer. The fourth game — with its absence of stars and any sense of competition — is particularly maligned, especially since season-ticket holders are forced to pay full price for a game the majority have no interest in attending.

Goodell said the NFL had the right to change the schedule "unilaterally" under the terms of the previous collective bargaining agreement, but decided to make it a collaborative decision.

"We didn’t do that because we want to be thoughtful, smart and make sure our players are part of the decision," he said.

You won’t find many people who say they enjoy the preseason from an entertainment standpoint, but it’s hard to imagine the NFLPA getting behind a move that will provide fringe players less opportunity to prove themselves.

As for an 18-game regular season? Don’t hold your breath

NFL STEPPING UP: National Football League pledges $30 million for medical research

The NFL has pledged $30 million for medical research to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.

Commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday announced the donation to the foundation, which helps raise private funding for the NIH, the nation’s leading medical research agency.

The same day the grant was announced, researchers published a study indicating that former NFL players are unusually prone to dying from degenerative brain disease.

The work, presented online in the journal Neurology, drew on a long-running study of more than 3,400 NFL players with at least five playing seasons in the league between 1959-88. Some 334 had died by the end of 2007, the cutoff for the study.

Researchers found that deaths from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Lou Gehrig’s diseases, when combined, reached about three times the rate one would predict from the general population. The study did not look for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, but researchers said some of the deaths they counted could have been from misdiagnosed CTE.

RELATED: NFL commits $30 million donation to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health to support medical research

The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) announces that the National Football League (NFL) has agreed to donate $30 million in support of research on serious medical conditions prominent in athletes and relevant to the general population.

This is the largest philanthropic gift the NFL has given in the league’s 92-year history.

With this contribution, the NFL becomes the founding donor to a new Sports and Health Research Program, which will be conducted in collaboration with institutes and centers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Specific plans for the research to be undertaken remain to be developed, but potential areas under discussion include: chronic traumatic encephalopathy; concussion; understanding the potential relationship between traumatic brain injury and late life neurodegenerative disorders, especially Alzheimer’s disease; chronic degenerative joint disease; the transition from acute to chronic pain; sudden cardiac arrest in young athletes; and heat and hydration-related illness and injury. The FNIH hopes to welcome other donors, including additional sports organizations, to the collaboration.

"We are grateful for the NFL’s generosity," says Dr. Stephanie James, FNIH acting executive director and CEO. "The research to be funded by this donation will accelerate scientific discovery that will benefit athletes and the general public alike."

"We are looking forward to working with the NFL and other organizations to conduct research on a host of medical conditions affecting athletes," Dr. Story Landis, director of NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, said. "Findings from this research will provide us with better ways to detect, diagnose and treat these conditions, and in some cases, even prevent their occurrence."

"We hope this grant will help accelerate the medical community’s pursuit of pioneering research to enhance the health of athletes past, present and future," said Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner. " This research will extend beyond the NFL playing field and benefit athletes at all levels and others, including members of our military."

About the Foundation for the NIH
Established by the United States Congress to support the mission of the NIH — improving health through scientific discovery in the search for cure — the Foundation for the NIH is a leader in identifying and addressing complex scientific and health issues. The Foundation is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization that raises private-sector funds for a broad portfolio of unique programs that complement and enhance the NIH priorities and activities. For additional information about the Foundation for the NIH, visit www.fnih.org.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

iPADS AND SHOULDER PADS: NFL starting to ditch old paper playbooks

Denver Broncos veteran wide receiver Andre Caldwell looks over the team's playbook on a team-issued computer tablet - The Boys Are Back blog

DENVER (AP) — The days of lugging around 500-page playbooks and stacks of DVDs are over for half of the players in the NFL.

Their teams have gone digital, replacing the old-fashioned thick paper playbooks with iPads that put everything from X’s and O’s to notifications, scouting reports and video cut-ups at their fingertips.

"Technology is taking over the world and we’re just trying to keep up with it," Green Bay Packers backup quarterback Graham Harrell said.

The number of teams using iPads for playbooks and game film has increased this season from two to 14. In the NFC, the Bears, Cardinals, Cowboys, Lions, Packers, Panthers, Redskins and Seahawks are using the tablets as are the Bengals, Broncos, Chargers, Colts, Dolphins and Ravens in the AFC.

Other teams, such as the Chiefs, Titans and Saints, are using iPads for some things but haven’t completely abandoned three-ring binders, and the Bills are considering switching over next year, when the NFL makes game film available in high definition, coach Chan Gailey said.

The Ravens and Buccaneers were the first teams to go digital last year, although Tampa Bay returned to the traditional playbooks this season under a new coaching staff.

The top model iPads that feature 64 gigabytes of data and retail for $829 each are loaded with about $700 worth of programming, and most teams issue them to roughly 120 players, coaches, scouts and other personnel. That works out to roughly $180,000 per team.

Broncos video director Steve Boxer figures it will take about a year to begin realizing a cost savings from ditching the paper playbooks that consumed trees, money and manpower and kept copy machine repairmen on speed-dial.

Daily itinerary updates, diagrams and video are automatically pushed to each iPad so a player can have the video clips of a practice or game downloaded by the time he gets out of the shower. Because the video isn’t streaming, he can watch it on the airplane or at his apartment, whether or not he has a Wi-Fi connection.

Apps developed by PlayerLync in suburban Denver or Global Aptitude out of Baltimore allow players and coaches to highlight sections in yellow on the tablet’s touchscreen and to write notes with a stylus just as they would with a pencil on paper playbooks. Those notes are saved on servers and can be downloaded again at any time for future reference.

"I don’t think there’s any minuses unless you lose it and have to pay that fine," Dallas defensive end Marcus Spears said.

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