NFL News and Notes: Goodell Speaks Out About Protests

The NFL keeps making headlines, although not all of it actually has to do with football. Nevertheless, let’s check out the latest from around the league.

He Speaks

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t let a busy week to come to an end without weighing in on behalf of the league. Goodell released a one minute, 21 seconds long video after more than a dozen players asked him to speak up about the ongoing protests all across the country.

In the video, Goodell admitted that the NFL was “wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all players to speak out and peacefully protest.” He added that he would be reaching out to players who have spoken up about how the NFL can improve moving forward.

Walking Backward

Drew Brees created a firestorm this week when he stated in an interview that there is no excuse for “disrespecting the flag.” Following a substantial backlash, Brees issued an apology for his comments, which upset President Donald Trump, who said Brees “should not have taken back his original stance.”

On Friday, Brees addressed the president directly on social media, saying that after “ongoing conversations with friends, teammates, and leaders in the black community, I realize this is not an issue about the American flag. It never has been.”

Brees added: “We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform.”

Coaches Get to Coach

Friday was the first day that members of NFL coaching staffs were allowed to enter team facilities since March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Players who are not receiving medical care or rehabbing injuries won’t be allowed in team facilities until the start of training camp.

However, coaching staffs will be able to return to work. The only exception is the San Francisco 49ers, who remain constricted by the limitations in their county.

Long Wait

It figures to be a long wait for anyone interested in the Chicago Bears quarterback competition this preseason. Head coach Matt Nagy says he’s interested in getting both Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles a lot of reps with the first-team offense during the preseason.

He adds that preseason performance is going to be a big factor in making the decision. Nagy limited his starters for most of the preseason last year, a move he says he regrets. This year, Nagy may give his starters extended snaps during preseason games to help him make his decision on the starting quarterback.

Road to Recovery

After having offseason shoulder surgery, Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright says his recovery is ahead of schedule. Wright has been a critical part of the Seattle defense over the last decade, starting 124 games over nine seasons.

He says he expects to be ready for Week 1 and be able to play the whole season for the Seahawks.

Luke’s New Gig

Luke Kuechly will no longer be playing for the Carolina Panthers following his retirement at the end of last season. But he will continue to contribute to the team.

Kuechly began his new job this week as a pro scout. He’ll be working on player evaluation and advanced scouting to assist the coaching staff. Kuechly says he considered jobs in coaching or broadcasting but believes scouting is the best fit for him.

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