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Blog Entry

Whitworth speaks about expanded schedule

Posted on: June 17, 2010 6:42 pm
 
OK, I’ve had a chance to read the entire Mark Murphy transcript from Wednesday. Murphy, as you know, is the Packers president, and he’s the one who got the NFL universe buzzing about the expanded schedule, where the NFL would erase two preseason games and give you two extra regular-season games in return. He’s also an eight-year NFL veteran who made a Pro Bowl as a DB.

“I think the real roots of it are that as you look across the NFL and everything that we offer, we really try to provide top-quality value to our fans, whether it’s the regular season, postseason, the draft or the combine,” Murphy said in the conference call. “To me, the one that stands out as being different is the preseason. There just isn’t the same value there. I know from my position with the Packers, I get a lot of complaints (about the preseason). We actually just had focus groups with a number of our season-ticket holders and club-seat holders and had a lot of complaints about the preseason games. It just isn’t the same value there that you have in the regular season. I think there is a real issue there that we need to address.”

OK, but don’t you have to give the players more money if they’re going to play two more real games?

“Under the relationship that we have with the players, they get close to 60 percent of the revenue. If we grow the revenue, they are going to get more. They are currently playing 20 games, and we’re not increasing that. That would be the way that we would approach it. This is an opportunity for us to work together to grow revenue and improve the game.”

Sounds great for the fans who don’t have to pay regular-season prices to watch exhibition games, right? Yes. Sounds great for the scribes who don’t have to report on exhibition games, right? A double yes. But what about the players? Does it sound great for them?

Um, not quite as much. After the Bengals finished their final workout of the offseason today, I spoke to OT Andrew Whitworth, Cincinnati’s NFLPA player rep.

The transcript from my interview:

CBSSports.com: Lots of talk today and yesterday about the 18-game schedule. What are your thoughts?

Andrew Whitworth:
We want to do anything to make the game better for the fans. If an 18-game schedule will do that, that would be great. But there’s also some things player-wise and health-wise that might be an issue. We feel like if we’re going to have to do that, there has to be some things that change as far as the offseason and training camp.

CBS:
Are you talking about just the offseason stuff, or are you also talking about increased health care?

AW: You have to do one of two things; you have to improve the situation now with improving the OTAs or during the season where there’s less contact or you’ve got to attack the health-care issue and give the guys better health care when they’re done. Right now, with most players, even if they play 15 years, they only have – at the most – five year of health care. That’s kind of ridiculous what guys go through.

CBS:
Do you think the 18-game schedule will happen?

AW:
I think the owners definitely want it. I know they’ve prepared for it in their future schedules from what I’ve seen. It’s something they’ll go forward with. But there has to be other things that improve for that to happen.


--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.


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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 8:07 am
 

Whitworth speaks about expanded schedule

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Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 7:45 pm
 

Whitworth speaks about expanded schedule

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