NFL Notes: Goodell, Kraft Keeping Door Open For Return To L.A. At Some Point
NFL.com's Marc Sessler noted NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell "believes the door remains open for pro football to return" to L.A. Goodell said, "It still comes back to, 'Do we have the right solution in Los Angeles?' And that comes back to a stadium." Patriots Owner Robert Kraft said league-wide ownership is "collectively very concerned that we don't have at least one team" in L.A. Kraft: "I know that Roger and I and a number of the owners who care about the long-term health of the NFL feel it's very important for our future to have at least one -- if not two teams -- in downtown L.A." (NFL.com, 7/17).
THE LATEST GAME OF THE WEEK: CBS this year is debuting their eight-game slate of Thursday night games, and despite many players and team execs being critical of the NFL scheduling those games, ESPN's Dan Graziano reported the league is "not going to do anything about it." Graziano : "Doing something about it would reduce the revenue pool. which is not something the NFL is even going to consider" ("NFL Insiders," ESPN2, 7/17). ESPN"s Pablo Torre noted CBS paid $275M for the Thursday night package, so "they don't care about the quality of the game." Boston Globe's Bob Ryan said, "Nobody cares about the level of play at the top level. All they care about is honoring the TV master. Period" ("Around The Horn," ESPN2, 7/17).
FOLLOW THE LEADER: CBSSPORTS.com’s Pat Kirwan listed his “top 10 influencers” of the NFL and placed Goodell in the No. 1 spot. Goodell “influences just about every aspect of the NFL," as he is not only the "face of the league, but also its heartbeat.” Kirwan gave NFL VP/Officiating Dean Blandino the No. 2 spot. Patriots Owner Robert Kraft took the No. 3 spot and the distinction of the NFL’s “most influential owner.” Kraft serves on "many committees, can sway owners to act in a unified manner and was very visible during the CBA negotiations.” The rest of the top 10 is: Judge Anita Brody, Eagles coach Chip Kelly, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, NFL Senior VP/Broadcasting & Media Operations COO Howard Katz, NFL Dir of Football Operations Troy Vincent, Patriots QB Tom Brady and Colts QB Andrew Luck (CBSSPORTS.com, 7/16).