JACKSONVILLE – Roger Goodell was impressed.
That much was clear when the NFL Commissioner spoke to local media shortly before the Jaguars' first home playoff game in 18 years on Sunday.
"This is a great atmosphere," Goodell said. "It's great for Jacksonville, and I think it's great for the league and the Bills."
Goodell, attending Sunday's AFC Wild Card playoff game between the Jaguars and Buffalo Bills at EverBank Field Sunday, spoke to the media for about xxx minutes. A few highlights:
*On eight new teams in the postseason who didn't make it last season: "The competition is so great. It brings hope to our fans and our communities to say, 'Our team can turn this around. That's a great thing for the fans and a great thing for the league."
*On Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin, who spent last season working in the league office: "Coach loves to be part of a football team. He was great for us because he gave us an important perspective, but I always knew he wanted to get back and help build a championship team."
*On Jaguars Owner Shad Khan: "Shad has this great optimism and this great enthusiasm. He believes in this community and he believes in the NFL and the Jaguars. He wants to make the team better. He wants to win for this community and he's done that. He's been incredibly valuable to us at the league level. He's involved in a lot of committees. There aren't many things I don't want to speak to Shad about to get his perspective. He's become an incredibly valuable owner in a short period of time."
*On the league allowing the Jaguars to remove tarps from EverBank Field for Sunday's game: "The fans wanted to come and it's good for the fans. They wanted to get more fans in the stadium to be part of this this. We wanted to be able to do that."
*On the Jaguars in general: "What we want to see if full stadiums with enthusiasm. You can see it out there already. We're a long way from kickoff and the place is jammed already. The enthusiasm that comes from the game experience is such a reflection on this community. People see how enthusiastic Jacksonville is about football and the Jaguars, and I think they're going to see that today."