HOUSTON - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell held his annual press conference at the Super Bowl Wednesday afternoon, and touched on a number of league-wide issues.
Here are seven takeaways from that session:
1. The NFL will continue its relationship with Mexico, and plans to have the Oakland Raiders host the New England Patriots for a 2017 regular-season game in Mexico City at a date to be released in conjunction with the release of the NFL schedule later this spring.
2. The NFL is investigating a number of procedures that could help speed up the game. Such as:
See where the Lions will play their road games during the 2017 season.
- Limiting the number of TV timeouts per quarter from five to four.
- Moving the replay system down to field level to help speed up that process.
- Having a "play clock" from the end of an extra point to the start on the ensuing kickoff to help speed up the game.
- Improving overall management of the game to focus less on stoppage time.
3. The NFL also remains committed to Thursday Night Football. Goodell commented on the improved ratings and decreased injuries and penalties the league has seen from Thursday night games as evidence that there's an audience for the NFL continuing to play on Thursday night.
That doesn't mean the league isn't looking at improving the quality of play for those games. The commissioner said the league would review the current rule that mandates all 32 teams play on Thursday. That rule change could help spur better matchups for the game, which has been part of the criticism for playing on Thursday night, along with player safety.
4. Former president George H. W. Bush (41st president) is slated to toss the opening coin at the Super Bowl, despite his recent health concerns.
5. The league is willing to sit down with the NFLPA and have a discussion on the current drug policy and the use of marijuana as it pertains to the CBA, though Goodell said the NFLPA has not sent any proposal to do so as of yet.
6. The two-strike rule when it comes to unsportsmanlike conduct penalties was a one-year trial in 2016. The competition committee will review the rule again this offseason and could put it to a vote this spring to be a permanent part of the rulebook.
7. The NFL is considering adding a developmental league.