Goodell meets with Redskins

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is watching practice now at Redskins Park after meeting with the players, coaches and other club employees this morning. Goodell will meet with NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith later today.

Here’s some of what Goodell had to say during his media session

On his meeting with players:

“The primary focus is keeping the focus on the field and recognizing what our fans and our players are going through. We talked an awful lot about that. It ranges from our steroid policies to what’s going to be happening in collective bargaining over the next couple of years, to how we’re enforcing our player safety rules.”

On the possibility of Jacksonville, which Washington visits in Thursday’s preseason finale, blacking out all its home games because of a falure to sell out:

“We’ve always said that we’re not immune from the economy. I think it reflects two things. One is the quality of the preseason games. Our fans are sort of seeing [that] the quality of the games aren’t up to NFL standards. … It’s one of the markets where we’re seeing challenges with ticket sales for the 2009 season. We’ll have other markets where we will have those challenges. It’s all part of the challenge we’re seeing in the economy and what our fans are going through.”

On a possible lockout in 2011:

“Everybody in the NFL wants to play. The owners want to play, the players want to play. It’s our job to get a deal. A lockout is not a strategy or an objective. What we want to do is get an agreement that works for the players, the coaches and the game, allows it to continue to grow. We need to sit down at the table and try to get those issues resolved. Anytime you’re in negotiations, you take a step forward and maybe a step back. … When we get an outcome I don’t know. what we’re looking for is the right outcome. Anytime you’re in negotiations you take a step forward and maybe a step back. But we’re communicating …”

On Michael Vick:

“The issue for Michael is to deal with all the issues in his transition back to the NFL. A lot of those issues I focus on are off the field: How is he doing in the transition? Does he have his family relocated? Does he have the right people around him helping him make decisions? Tony Dungy’s been incredibly helpful. Donovan McNabb has been helpful. I talk to Michael on a weekly basis if not more. He’s making the right kind of progress and focusing on the right things. The organization is providing him the resources to help him be successful.”

On swine flu:

“We talked about it all offseason. We have medical committees working on it and sent out guidelines to our clubs [in July]. It’s an important issue for us, on a team level but also in our stadiums. We know what needs to get done in this area and I think we’ve done it.”

On Twitter:

“We embrace that. It’s a great opportunity for us … to communicate with our fans and for our players and coaches for other people to get involved. Technology is good for us and we have great content. So this is a good thing for the NFL. It’s a great thing for us to get feedback from our fans and communicate with them. Technology will continue to change. You can’t fight it. You have to embrace it and you have to figure out a way to deal with it.”

- David Elfin

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About the Author
David Elfin

David Elfin

David Elfin has been following Washington-area sports teams since the late 1960s. David began his journalism career at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, the University of Pennsylvania (B.A., history) and Syracuse University (M.S., telecommunications). He wrote for the Bulletin (Philadelphia), the Post-Standard (Syracuse) and The Washington Post before coming to The Washington Times in 1986. He has covered colleges, the Orioles ...

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