Tag:Ray Anderson
Posted on: January 1, 2012 10:33 am
Edited on: January 1, 2012 12:51 pm

Ray Anderson's name keeps popping up for NFL jobs

 NFL VP Anderson at the draft.(US Presswire)
By Will Brinson

When we mention NFL VP Ray Anderson around these parts, it's typically involving some sort of disciplinary action regarding an illegal fine. But for the second time this season, Anderson's name is popping up in rumors for front-office jobs around the NFL.

This Sunday, Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network reports that while Anderson currently "loves" his gig with the NFL, he's a candidate for any of the potential front-office jobs that open up. The Raiders, Rams and Chargers are notable spots that could experience a front-office shake-up.

Anderson played in the NFL, he was an NFL agent, he's worked with the NFLPA and now he's worked with the league. He's well-connected and obviously has management skills, since he runs football operations for the entire league.

As LaCanfora points out, Anderson could potentially become the first African American team president in NFL history and, as a "historian of the game," that's likely something that would intrigue him.

And there's this: NFL.com (the website of the company that employs Anderson) is rolling with "Teams eyeing Anderson" as the headline. With all due respect to the NFL for doing a great job of separating church and state (as it were), if the NFL tells us that teams are currently eyeing one of their employees, it's a pretty good bet that teams are currently eyeing one of its employees.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: October 14, 2011 6:58 pm

Meriweather fined $25K, suspension coming?

Posted by Will Brinson

Bears safety Brandon Meriweather's found himself on the losing end of the infamous NFL fine envelope once already this year, and now he's losing again -- Meriweather's been fined another $25,000 by the league.

According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, Meriweather was tagged with the fine for a late hit last Monday in Detroit, which was flagged for unnecessary roughness.

Add that to the fact that Meriweather's been benched for Week 6's game against Minnesota, and it this probably isn't the greatest week of his life. But it could get worse -- Peter King of Sports Illustrated reported on Friday evening that Meriweather could face a suspension from the league if his on-field behavior continues.

"Unless there's a drastic change in his play, he may be invited to talk to us," NFL VP Ray Anderson told King.

King did say, however, that Anderson, who is "disturbed" by Meriweather's play, wasn't necessarily guaranteeing a suspension, but he would certainly received a warning of a suspension if he continues to draw fines for illegal hits.

Meriweather was one of the players fined heavily a year ago during "Safety Week," when the NFL levied a slew of heavy fines on a number of players for illegal hits and threatened suspension. (Meriweather was fined $50,000 which was later reduced to $40,000.)

Which makes us wonder what, exactly, an NFL defender needs to do in order to warrant a suspension. Apparently, it's going to require a serious injury sustained on a clearly illegal helmet-to-helmet hit.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 17, 2011 8:48 am

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

BelichickPosted by Josh Katzowitz

With the new NFL rules stating that kickoffs are to be taken from the 35-yard line instead of the 30 -- though the Bears didn’t feel they needed to follow that rule, since apparently they wanted to work on their kickoff coverage -- it seems pretty clear the NFL wants to reduce the number of returns that can be taken.

In fact, as we wrote last March, the reason the rules competition committee wanted to make the change in the first place was because of safety concerns. But according to Patriots coach Bill Belichick, the league has an ulterior motive for making the change to kickoff placement.

The NFL wants to eliminate kickoffs entirely.

During a session with the media Tuesday, one questioner, according to CSN’s Tom E. Curran, began a query this way: “If the intention of the NFL is eliminate kickoffs …” Belichick quickly interrupted.

"That's what they told us," Belichick said. "I'm not speaking for anyone else. That's what they told us, that they want to eliminate the play."

Which would fundamentally change the game in a way that is not completely impossible to fathom but which critics could claim also turns the NFL into more of a flag football league. Even if that supposed philosophy never comes to pass, Belichick talked about the current system, in which teams might build rosters differently if kickoff returners won’t make as much of an impact.

"If, instead of covering 60 kickoffs in a year you think you're only going to be covering 30, then is that coverage player as important, or -- on the flip side of it -- is the return game?" Belichick asked (presumably in the rhetorical sort of way). "If you're going to be returning 30 instead of 60, are the guys who block on the kickoff return (as important)?  If you think you're going to be returning more punts than kickoffs (there's a decision to weigh). Usually you're going to be returning more kickoffs than punts but if you think you'll be returning more punts than kickoffs, then maybe you put more of a priority on your punt returner than your kickoff returner."

To be fair, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello had this to say to CSN regarding Belichick’s claim that the league wants to squash kickoffs: "(Chairman of the Competition Committee) Rich McKay and (NFL Vice President) Ray Anderson say that’s not accurate. They said the Competition Committee’s position was that they wanted to 'shorten the field' and that the movement of the kickoff line would potentially reduce the number of kickoffs to be returned. They said they are unaware of anyone saying that it was intended to 'eliminate' the kickoff return."

But if that was the case and the NFL really does want to eliminate kickofs, you can bet teams like the Bears (because of KR Devin Hester), Browns (because of Josh Cribbs) and the Seahawks (because of Leon Washington) who are already not pleased with the new rules will be really, really unhappy.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: May 30, 2011 8:00 pm
Edited on: May 30, 2011 8:26 pm

James Harrison clarifies comments on new rules

Posted by Ryan Wilson

James Harrison is known for a lot of things, almost all of them related to punishing poor souls who happened to be in possession of a football while in his vicinity. He's made a handsome living out of tackling people, although to his credit he does it better than just about anybody on the planet. Harrison's style of play has also caught the attention of NFL rule makers who, depending on your perspective, made an example of him to the tune of $100,000 in fines last season (small victory: the league returned $25,000, so there's that).

Turns out, Harrison is also thoughtful. He may disagree (vehemently) with the recent rule changes, but it's not because his intent is to injure and maim opponents and the NFL is now making that more difficult. It's that the rule changes don't make sense in his mind and he tweeted as much last week.

"I'm absolutely sure now after this last rule change that the people making the rules at the NFL are idiots."

Presumably, Harrison felt like he needed more than 140 characters to make his case so, like teammate Rashard Mendenhall (for completely different reasons), he started a blog.

"I want to make it clear that I am all for player safety. I don’t disagree with all of the rule changes," Harrison begins. "But come on…REALLY? Now you have to wait until a guy catches, or even worse, you have to let them catch the ball before you can even attempt to tackle him. Along with that, you cannot let any part of your helmet or facemask touch any part of them basically from the chest up. If you are following the letter of the rules exactly, now most tackles, if not ALL tackles can be flagged, fined and/or result in ejection from that game, or future game(s)."
Safety Rules

If you're able to separate Harrison the football player from Harrison the author, the man makes a good point. He was just getting warmed up.

"I understand the intent behind making the rules, but in their attempt to make the game safer, they are actually clouding what is allowable. Even the referees are confused. A close look will show you that the referees were calling things that were not even supposed to be called, and NOT calling things that were actually illegal."

Harrison also suspects that the name on the back of the jersey has something to do with how often a player is penalized. And he fleshes out his "people making the rules at the NFL are idiots" tweet with the following observation: "After my meeting this past fall with Roger Goodell, Ray Anderson, and Merton Hanks and some others, who I now have absolutely no respect for (to keep it PG), I definitely believe there is no equality in their enforcement of these rules."

Leaves little room for interpretation. Then again, as Shutdown Corner's Doug Farrar notes, "Harrison's point of view [is] quite a bit deeper than, 'The rules guys are idiots,' though it doesn't exclude that point from being correct as well."

Finally, Harrison acknowledges that the quarterback clarification rule (Rule 12, Section 2, Article 13) "is a great change," but closes with one more parting shot. "I wonder why the NFL is suddenly coming down so hard on player’s safety issues. I can’t help but think it’s not actually for the safety of the players."

Conspiracy theorists might tell you that the NFL is laying it on thick with the rule changes to not only show they care about player safety, but to say at some point in the near future, "See, thanks to our foresight, there are fewer concussions and serious head injuries … which clearly means we should expand the season to 18 games!" Even though, you know, fans emphatically oppose expanding the schedule.

“When it comes down to it, it’s an assumption of risk that you take when you play the game,” Harrison said during a recent appearance on ESPN's NFL Live. “If it’s not worth it to you, then you get out of it."

Makes sense to us. Coal miners face inherent risks associated with mining coal. You take precautions, make it as safe as possible, but at the end of the day, people in that line of work face danger every time they clock in. Some have long, injury-free careers, and some aren't as lucky. Some decide that the hazards aren't worth it and find other means of employment. That's all Harrison's saying.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: December 15, 2010 5:45 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2010 6:05 pm

NFL says Jets' wall violated rules

Posted by Andy Benoit

Ray Anderson, the NFL’s VP of football operations (and star of the “legal/illegal hits” video from earlier this season) said Wednesday that where the Jets assistants were lined up during Sal Alosi’s tripping play was “improper”.

"There are protocols where players are supposed to be,” Anderson told CBSSports.com's Will Brinson and reporters at the owners' meeting in Dallas on Wednesday. Apparently, their alignment violated playing rules.

If this is the case, it’s somewhat curious that officials did not ask the members of the wall to move. Players and coaches on the sideline are constantly being told to back up during the course of a game.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Category: NFL
Posted on: November 12, 2010 6:56 pm

Helmet options are limited for concussed

D. Jackson recently suffered a concussion, but as of now, it doesn't appear that any helmet could guarantee he wouldn't suffer anothe one (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

An interesting story by the Associated Press here on the as-yet-unrealized concussion-proof helmet that probably will never come into being.

Recently-concussed Eagles WR DeSean Jackson, for instance, was given a new, specially-made helmet that is supposed to reduce head injuries. But the manufacturer can’t guarantee that the helmet will prevent concussions.

It’s probably impossible, in fact. A scary thought.
From the AP:

In a series of interviews with The Associated Press, representatives of the NFL, its players' union and the four equipment companies that make every helmet worn in the league all agreed there's no football helmet – in production or on drawing boards – that can eliminate concussions. And there might never be one.

The NFL acknowledges that the lack of a perfect helmet contributed to its decision in recent weeks to use hefty fines and the threat of suspensions to cut down on dangerous hits. It's also why the league's head, neck and spine medical committee is holding a two-day meeting next month to look into new ways to test and design helmets.

"A concussion-proof helmet? So far, there's nothing to that effect," said Ray Anderson, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations. "I don't know if (manufacturers) could ever convince us or assure us that a helmet that would absolutely prevent concussions is doable. I haven't heard such a thing."

And you know what? Even if this helmet could be conceived and available to NFL players, I guarantee many – if not most of them – would bypass the product altogether and play with what they’ve got now.

That’s perhaps the saddest part of all.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Posted on: October 24, 2010 9:40 am

Ray Anderson speaks again on illegal hits

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

With so much talk about the new (old?) NFL rules that will be enforced this weekend regarding helmet to helmet hits and humongous fines and possible suspensions, Ray Anderson – the NFL executive vice president of football operations who’s been ALL OVER the place this week – got one last chance to address the issue.

He spoke with the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Tony Grossi, and he talked about how the officials need to do a better job of penalizing the hits that are illegal. An example, the no-call on Pittsburgh’s James Harrison's hit on Browns WR Mohamed Massaquoi that had Harrison contemplating retirement after the league took $75,000 out of his pocket.

"Well, you know what, the world is not perfect,” Anderson told Grossi. “As much as we'd like them to be, neither are our officials. That was a missed call. That was a mistake that has cost the individual and the entire group crew a downgrade in our grading system and it may come back to impact where they end up ranking in terms of playoff assignments and bonuses, and everything else.

"Every play, every individual official, every crew, is evaluated on every play that they officiate. And when you miss one like this, you are held accountable. You are downgraded. And you may end up paying for it. So everybody's accountable to make sure, particularly in this area of safety, that we're doing our jobs. We missed on that one, plain and simple.”

I guess now we’ll probably see the officials erring on the side of throwing the penalty flag, because of the threat of losing their plum assignments and money.

So, what does Anderson expect today after all the discussion about what is and what is not an illegal/finable/suspendable offense (though I think many of us are still confused about that)?

“Our expectations are that players will clearly understand, because they're clearly on notice with regards to what we're looking for in terms of protecting these illegal hits to the head,” Anderson said. “So we're hoping we will have zero of them. Certainly that may not be realistic. But we're hoping we have minimal numbers.

“They should expect that the officials will be at a higher level of attention to any hits up around the neck area that may be a violation of our existing rules, and they will be prepared (to) be aggressive in their enforcement on the field just like we will be aggressive in our enforcement internally here.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Posted on: October 21, 2010 6:44 pm

NFL posts their safety memo video online

Posted by Will Brinson

The NFL put its players "on notice" yesterday, issuing a league-wide memo (it was also distributed to the media, for what it's worth) that instructed everyone involved as to how the league would dole out punishment for illegal hits.

There was also an instructional video, narrated by Ray Anderson, given to the teams. Now the NFL has published that video online, although, oddly, they declined to embed it (even though this is typical NFL policy -- you can watch the video here if you want).

Some highlights of the video include:
  • Ray Anderson's quote: "If a player misses his aiming point, he will nevertheless be responsible for what he hits."
  • Ray Lewis' MONSTER hit on Dustin Keller during the first week of the season is "proper technique." (This is fantastic not because it's not proper, but because Ray-Ray devastated him. It just happened to be legal.)
  • The fact that Meriweather's hit on Heap was shown about five times.
  • A how-to on clean hits (see the Ray Lewis shot), which does feature some of this season's most devastating "YOU GOT JACKED UP" moments, were "YOU GOT JACKED UP" not shut down because it's the type of thing that causes this sort of overreaction by fostering fan love for gigantic hits.
The essential premise of the video is that the NFL is bringing the thunder on anyone who hits another person's "head or neck area" and leads with their forearm, shoulder or head. Additionally, it's the defender's responsibility to make sure that contact doesn't happen, even if it's unintentional, and if it does, punishment will be doled. 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com