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Transcript from press conference with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 5, 2010

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met with reporters Thursday afternoon at the Browns' headquarters in Berea. Here is the transcript from the press conference:

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell press conference 8-5-10

(On updates on potential suspensions for Shaun Rogers and Robaire Smith) -- “Both cases are still under review by our staff. I haven’t gotten any recommendations from them. I do expect to be meeting with the team later today, but I don’t have any plans to specifically sit down with either one of them.”

(On why it is taking so long to come to a decision) -- “I haven’t sat down and talked about the specifics with our staff. They go through a lengthy process to make sure they understand the facts and make sure that the criminal process has either been completed or it’s something that we think we need to jump ahead of that process. In this case I think we are letting the process proceed.”

(On if Rogers might get time off for good behavior) -- “Yes, I heard about that (Rogers assisting the police). I think that’s a great example though of a young man making a mistake on one hand and doing something very positive on the other. I think that’s another demonstration of what I’ve often said. I think our guys do wonderful things on and off the field and I’m proud of what they do. They are going to make mistakes though and obviously they’ve made a couple of mistakes here.”

(On his preliminary response to Rogers’s gun charge) -- “Obviously, and again, I haven’t sat with him and understood all the facts so I’m not going to make any judgments about it other than it’s a clear mistake. It is a violation of law and it’s the kind of judgments that we have to make sure we do a better job of avoiding.”

(On if there will be a work stoppage in 2011) -- “We are going to work day and night to make sure that doesn’t happen. I think there’s plenty of time still to get something done and that’s our goal and that’s certainly our job.”

(On his response to the NFL Players Associations’ countdown to a lockout) -- “You’ll have to call the NFLPA on that. My view is, we should all be working to try to find a way to get a deal. There’s plenty of time to get a deal done. It’s our responsibility to try to do that. I hope they’re going to be coming to the table with the same intent to try to get something done.”

(On a potential rookie wage scale) -- “I’ve been on record for several years on this. I think our rookie compensation system is broken. It’s been a source of negotiations as you know. I think our compensation system should reward the players for their performance on an NFL field and this is something I’ve heard from veteran players about and I think it’s something that we have to address in the collective bargaining agreement.”

(On why the Browns weren’t awarded a primetime football game this season even with the addition of Mike Holmgren) -- “I think what Coach (Mike) Holmgren has brought to this organization is very positive. He’s looking at every aspect of the organization trying to improve it and I think we are going to see a vastly improved product this year. I think as far as national games, they are in great demand. We have several teams, unfortunately, that aren’t on the national television schedule and that happens every year, but hopefully, they are going to earn their way back onto national TV soon.”

(On if there’s a possibility that Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension could be reduced) -- “My point of view on that is, we have to sit down in the next several weeks, but we created a framework of four to six games and I don’t see any reason to change that.”

(On if it concerns him that the player’s aren’t encouraged that a deal will get done) -- “There is not a lot of value of getting involved in public rhetoric. This is something that is going to be negotiated and settled at the negotiating table. I think we need to get to work. We need to get focused on what our responsibilities are to the players, to the clubs, to our fans, to all of our partners. We need to find solutions to our issues. That’s what people want. That’s what our fans want and that should be everyone’s intent and not focusing on the negative down the road. We should do everything to avoid that and I think we have that opportunity.”

(On how accurate Scott Fujita’s statement that there have been 15 negotiating sessions and that they keep hearing 18 percent paycut and 18 regular season games) -- “I don’t know the specific number of negotiating sessions. I’ve been in several of them. We try to share all of the information we have about what’s not working with the system, potential solutions of which the cost recognition is one of those issues we’ve discussed. The idea of the enhanced season is another opportunity that we think, if it’s done properly and we think it can be done properly, could create new opportunities. There are chances here for us to continue to grow. There are opportunities to grow the game. It would be good for everybody to find a balanced system that work for the players, works for the clubs and helps us continue to grow the game.”

(On whether there has been a discussion of not having a Hall of Fame game in Canton) -- “I haven’t heard that.”

(On whether it’s a viable game that can continue) -- “I think our whole celebration in Canton is a great thing. We’ve talked about different alternatives to improve it, to put it on a bigger stage, but I think being in the birthplace of football is a great thing for us and it’s a great way to celebrate the players and the coaches and the executives that made our game great. We will always try to improve whatever we can do, but I’m not aware of any specific circumstances where we would not be celebrating the start of our season or the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.”

(On the NFLPA’s claim that they need to see league’s books) -- “They need to see why the system isn’t working and we need to make sure that they understand that and the two negotiating teams have discussed that. They are sharing a tremendous amount of information. They know our revenue to a penny. They know all of our player costs of course. They know a majority of our stadium costs because they participated, in many cases, in that. They have an extraordinary amount of information. We need to make sure that everything we do helps us get to an agreement and that’s what we are focused on. I think we’ve been very clear about why the system doesn’t work.”

(On if seeing the books has been a stumbling block) -- “We’ve had a lot of labor agreements. There are a lot of other leagues that have looked at books that have led to lockouts. The important thing is creating an environment where the right information is being exchanged, so that you can make good decisions and I think we’ve done it.”

(On if they trust what they are hearing without seeing those books) -- “It’s not a matter of trust. It’s a matter of demonstrating it to them and I think that’s what’s been done. No one’s asking anyone to trust anyone. We are showing them, we are demonstrating that.”

(On why the league doesn’t reduce the prices of preseason games and keep the current format) -- “That doesn’t change the quality of the product, Tony (Grossi). The quality of the product is still something that fans don’t want to see. It doesn’t reflect well on the National Football League. The quality of the product is about seeing the players that they want to see in meaningful games and that’s where our focus is.”

(On eliminating the three point stance to reduce the number of concussions and whether it’s a realistic possibility) -- “Coach (John) Madden and I were talking a lot about that on the tour and we’ve talked about it a lot in the past. It’s one of the areas that we will continue to look at, but it’s also interesting, we were talking about it in the context of the current game. You are seeing a lot of that right now, there’s a lot less three point stances because of the offensive formations and systems that teams are employing. I think we will continue to evaluate that, but I think it is a trend that’s changing already in our game.”


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