NFL notebook: Goodell says Pro Bowl was better
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is showing the Pro Bowl more love after previously threatening to cancel it if play didn't improve.
Goodell said in an ESPN Radio interview Monday that participants played harder and made the game very competitive.
“It was real football,” Goodell said. “It was something that I give a lot of credit to the players.”
Goodell said Domonique Foxworth, president of the player's union, worked with players to come up with the idea of changing the game from its usual AFC versus NFC format. The new unconferenced format based partly on pickup games and fantasy sports gave players something to get excited about, he said.
NFL greats Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders picked teams during a two-day draft. Team Rice won 22-21.
Carroll talks marijuana
Pete Carroll is in support of the NFL looking further into whether medicinal marijuana could be beneficial for players.
The Seahawks coach said he supports Goodell's message last week that the league could consider medicinal marijuana as a treatment if science proved it could be beneficial for players who have suffered concussions.
Carroll said regardless of the stigmas involved, the medicinal value should be examined “because the world of medicine is trying to do the exact same thing and figure it out and they're coming to some conclusions.”
Sunday's Super Bowl matchup between the Seahawks and Broncos features the two states where recreational marijuana use is legal: Washington and Colorado.
Seau's family objects
The family of late NFL star Junior Seau is objecting to the proposed $765 million settlement of player concussion claims because the fund would not specifically pay “wrongful death” claims.
Family lawyers say their wrongful-death lawsuit seeks compensation not for Seau's pain and suffering, but for
The NFL settlement would pay up to $4 million on behalf of players such as Seau, who were diagnosed after their deaths with traumatic brain injuries.
Seau fatally shot himself two years ago at age 43.
Ravens hire Kubiak
Former Texans head coach Gary Kubiak was hired to be the Ravens' offensive coordinator. The 52-year-old Kubiak replaces Jim Caldwell, who left to become coach of the Lions. The Ravens also announced they hired Rick Dennison, the Texans former offensive coordinator, as their quarterbacks coach.
ESPN reported Falcons coach Mike Smith, president and CEO Rich McKay and general manager Thomas Dimitroff received one-year contract extensions. ... The Giants hired Danny Langsdorf as quarterbacks coach and re-assigned two others in a shuffling of offensive coaches. ... Browns coach Mike Pettine is expected to hire Bills linebackers coach Jim O'Neil as his defensive coordinator and pluck other assistants from Buffalo's staff. ... The Eagles hired Bill Musgrave to coach their quarterbacks and Michael Clay as defensive quality control coach.
Surgery for Titans' RB
ESPN reported Titans running back Chris Johnson played the majority of the season with a torn meniscus and will have surgery. Johnson, 28, a three-time Pro Bowler, is expected to need at least a month to recover from the operation. He rushed for 1,077 yards and six touchdowns this season.
Steelers sign 2
The Steelers signed linebacker Vic So'oto and running back Tauren Poole to reserve/future contracts.
So'oto has appeared in 13 career games with the Packers, Raiders and Cardinals. He has also spent time with the Redskins, on the Packers' practice squad, and finished last season on the Saints' practice squad. Poole spent parts of last season on the Colts' and Panthers' practice squads.
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