NFL competition committee considering language initiative
Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, a member of the league's competition committee, said that the committee this week discussed the possibility of penalties for offensive or abusive language used by on-field personnel.
"We (competition committee) did talk about it," Newsome said. "I'm sure you that saw toward the end of the year (the) Fritz Pollard (Alliance) came out very strong with a message that the league needs to do something about the language on the field. So, we did discuss it over the last few days."
The Fritz Pollard Alliance is a group that promotes racial diversity in the NFL, named after Pollard, who was the first African-American coach in the National Football League with Akron in 1922.
When asked what limits the proposed language limitation would cover, Newsome said, "…we did talk about race and gender."
Newsome said that the committee discussed that every NFL game has multiple microphones in use from a number of different outlets.
"As was stated in our meeting, there are mics everywhere, so if something is being said, it's probably going to be captured somewhere.
"It would be an opportunity to get it verified if we had to."
The committee will continue to discuss the subject, and could present a proposal to the NFL owners during Owners Meetings in Orlando, scheduled for late March. A total of 24 out of 32 owners would need to approve the rules change to institute the policy.
Sam wants to talk football
Missouri defensive end Michael Sam spoke to the largest crowd yet in the media center Saturday afternoon, and said that he would love to answer football questions, not only questions about his sexual orientation.
"Heck yeah, I wish you guys would say, 'Hey Michael Sam, how's football going? How's training going?'" Sam said as he and reporters laughed.
"I would love for you to ask me that question (about football), but it is what it is. I just wish you guys will see me as Michael Sam the football player, instead of Michael Sam the gay football player."
Sam said that he has heard slurs in locker rooms before, but said that in time players should adjust.
"I've been in locker rooms where all kinds of slurs have been said, and I don't think anyone means it. I think they're a little naïve and uneducated, but as time goes on everyone will adapt."
Newsome was asked how Sam's announcement would affect a team in the NFL in the earlier press conference, and said that the real question would be come from media coverage.
"It's what you, the media, what are y'all going to do with it?" Newsome said. "Once he gets in and he can rush the quarterback and get the quarterback on the ground and make tackles, he's going to be a good teammate. The biggest thing is how the media is going to deal with it."
Bridgewater working on weight
Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater said that he is working on increasing his weight, something that some critics said will hold him back in the NFL.
"It was a huge focus," Bridgewater said. "I've put on about nine pounds. I was 205 pounds when I finished the season at the University of Louisville. I've been working hard with my eating habits, the weight room, lifting and everything."
Bridgewater said that during his sophomore season, he weighed in at 222 pounds, but an oral surgery, which included the breaking of his jaw, made him drop weight.
- Texas A&M WR Mike Evans on Johnny Manziel: "I got a couple of garbage catches with him scrambling all the time. He throws great balls all the time, throws it away from the defender where only I can get it. He's a great passer and a great player. He's a great teammate, always willing to work. I'd go to war with him over anybody."
- Clemson WR Sammy Watkins on his goal for the 40-yard dash at the Combine: "I want to run something crazy, hopefully break the Combine record. I'm trying to run the fastest time out there."
- Louisiana State QB Zach Mettenberger on the Combine: "I wanted to throw Sunday, but my agent and medical staff didn't want me to. April 9 (pro day) I'll be as close to full-go as I can be throwing."
- Mettenberger on medical exams by teams in Indianapolis: "Everything was really good. The doctors said I'm progressing at a rapid pace so far for only being six weeks out of ACL surgery. I'm doing a lot of stuff that they haven't seen before."
- Southern California WR Marqise Lee on coaching changes in college: "We went through a significant amount of coaches, as far as SC (Southern California) goes. We know how the job is. That's the reason we play this game called football, we want coaches to keep their job, and we're going to play for coaches to keep their job. Unfortunately at SC, we had numerous coaches who lost theirs. My main focus is to go in there with whatever team I'm at, and do whatever I'm supposed to do to make that coach proud."
- Buffalo LB Khalil Mack on NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock's comments that he would be his No. 1 overall pick: "The thing about mike Mayock, I love him, but even then, I want to keep proving myself, I want to be the best. I strived to be the best in anything, whether it was raking the leaves growing up, whether it was playing tic-tac-toe with my brothers, whether it was kicking the ball in the dirt with a can on the ground and you had to kick the can. We did stupid things but I wanted to be the best at it, and that's the way I am."
- Mack on working out with other position groups in school: "I don't want to limit myself to playing one specific thing. I try to work out with defensive ends, I work out with the linebackers, I also go over and work out with the DBs just to stay fresh. I work hard and I want to stay loose and don't want to put that limit on myself."
- UCLA LB Anthony Barr on how changing from running back to linebacker helps him read offenses: "I kind of understand offensive schemes, how an offense wants to try to attack you. The formation tendencies and whatnot, the little tips and keys that running backs give away, if they're looking at you, picking at you, 'OK, he's going to come block.'"
- Barr, after weighing in at 6-feet-4, 255 pounds in Indianapolis, talking about his 6-3, 225 pounds measurements as a freshman running back: "I've got good feet man, you'd be surprised."