- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Peyton Manning is looking for football programs interested in advancing the game.

The five-time MVP quarterback and now an ambassador for Riddell will review applicants for an equipment grant from the company through its Smarter Football initiative, now in its third year. Smarter Football is a grass-roots campaign that recognizes and rewards teams across the country for implementing smarter tactics on and off the field. Some 1,700 football programs across North America from the youth level up to semi-pro have applied for an equipment grant the past two seasons.

“Over the years, I’ve attended many youth and high school football practices,” says Manning, who retired after winning the Super Bowl in February 2016 with Denver. “I’ve witnessed the struggle many of these programs undergo to get the right equipment to provide proper protection for their players. In addition to promoting a safer approach to the sport together, Riddell’s Smarter Football program has the opportunity to ignite new energy into these hard-working programs.”

Riddell has launched Precision-Fit, a state-of-the-art three-dimensional head scanning process used to build a custom-fitting, player-specific helmet liner system to provide personalized protection. Riddell also has technology that summarizes players’ on-field alerts and identifies training opportunities for athletes.

“I’ve always valued preparation and information, both on and off the field,” Manning adds. “I studied everything from the helmet I wore to the tape I watched to the plays I called to try to set myself and my team up for success.

“This year’s program will continue to recognize and reward those at all levels of play who have taken steps towards improving and advancing the sport of football, especially when it comes to player safety and protection.”


Online: Riddell.com/smarterfootball


For more NFL coverage: https://www.pro32.ap.org and https://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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