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Goodell: Changes making NFL safer

NEW ORLEANS — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says he believes there will be an agreement soon with the players’ union for testing for human growth hormone.

At his annual state of the NFL news conference on Friday, Goodell said he expects an agreement for the tests to be reached in time for the start of the 2013 season.

Goodell noted that the league and union agreed to the testing two years ago in the collective bargaining agreement. He said it is important to have testing to retain the integrity and the brand of the league.

Goodell touched on a number of topics Friday, including player safety. He said he intends to keep pursuing suspensions to discipline players who violate player-safety rules with actions such as hits to the head.

“Suspensions get through to the players,” Goodell said. “We have seen an escalation in the discipline because we are trying to take these techniques out of the game. I stand by our record, because I think we have made those changes and have made the game safer. But I think we are going to have to see discipline continue to escalate, particularly on repeat offenders.”

Goodell said he welcomed President Barack Obama’s comments in the Feb. 11 issue of The New Republic about player safety because he believes the league is making strides to make the game safer. Goodell said the NFL would have neurosurgeons on the sidelines at games and will expand postseason physicals to make them extensive three-day procedures.

Goodell also said the league is at work on establishing higher standards for playing surfaces — likely a reaction to the terrible condition of the Washington Redskins’ FedEx Field in the wild-card playoff game Jan. 6 against the Seattle Seahawks.

“I believe the changes we’re making to our game are making football safer and making it better,” Goodell said.

Other topics included:

• Goodell said the No. 1 issue in the game is taking the head out of tackles.

He said players are using their heads more than in the past, perhaps because better helmets and face masks lead them to take more risks.

Goodell said progress has been made in the past couple of years in eliminating helmet-to-helmet hits, but that players need to get back to using shoulders and arms properly in tackles.

In his words, there is a strike zone in football, and coaches and players need to recognize it.

• Goodell says his biggest regret about the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal is that he can’t get everyone to recognize bounties need to be eliminated from the game.

Goodell said he hasn’t been able to make the point clearly enough with the players’ union and others that the league will not tolerate pay for hard hits.

He said the league, coaches, executives and players all share the responsibility for eliminating bounties from football, and vowed to be “incredibly relentless” about pushing the point moving forward.

Goodell also said the league is at work on establishing higher standards for playing surfaces — likely a reaction to the terrible condition of the Washington Redskins’ FedEx Field in the wild-card playoff game Jan. 6 against the Seattle Seahawks.

“I believe the changes we’re making to our game are making football safer and making it better,” Goodell said.

Other topics included:

• Goodell said the No. 1 issue in the game is taking the head out of tackles.

He said players are using their heads more than in the past, perhaps because better helmets and face masks lead them to take more risks.

Goodell said progress has been made in the past couple of years in eliminating helmet-to-helmet hits, but that players need to get back to using shoulders and arms properly in tackles.

In his words, there is a strike zone in football, and coaches and players need to recognize it.

• Goodell says his biggest regret about the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal is that he can’t get everyone to recognize bounties need to be eliminated from the game.

Goodell said he hasn’t been able to make the point clearly enough with the players’ union and others that the league will not tolerate pay for hard hits.

He said the league, coaches, executives and players all share the responsibility for eliminating bounties from football, and vowed to be “incredibly relentless” about pushing the point moving forward.

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STRAIGHT OFFICIAL SITS DOWN WITH TONI VALLI

[box_dark]What is your name? [/box_dark]

Toni Valli

[box_dark]Where you from?[/box_dark]

Flint MI

[box_dark]How did you start rapping?[/box_dark]
Well my pops can sing as well as my sister. But in 03 my brother started a indie label “Outburst Music” that’s when my magic happened, it went from battle rapping at school to hit making.

[box_dark]Who inspired you to rap?[/box_dark]
My biggest insperation was MC Breed simply because he’s my fam and the biggest thing to come out of flint mi on the rap tip

[box_dark]Who are some artist you want to work with?[/box_dark]
Im interested in workin wit everybody that feels what i do.

[box_dark]When you listen to beats how do you pick your tracks?[/box_dark]
No particular way im versatile i love all types of music

[box_dark]How do you feel about south music?[/box_dark]
I like some of it not all of it but its the only thing they putting on so you have no choice but to rock with it.

[box_dark]What projects ate you workin on?[/box_dark]
Im currently wrapping up spazzin 2 set to release in april. In between time i have new music videos dropping more singles, and launching Toni Valli Gear.

[box_dark]Whats next for you?[/box_dark]
More music, video, clothinf line, maybe even movies lol.

[box_dark]What would you tell someone trying to get in the music biz?[/box_dark]

First thing i would tell them is it takes hard work and dedication, then i would tell the to go get what they deserve. Thats how i did it i realize my talent perfected it and went and took what i wanted out the game
Let the world know the craziest thing a fan has done? Wow where should i start lol the most clean one i can speak on is getting flashed like madi gras im a end that one there. Dont wanna make the interview x rated lol.
I wanna give a shout out to god first and for most cuz he blessed me with this talent. Shout out my brother ‘BIG’ and his wife/ my manger ‘San’. Shout out to My label Outburst Music, SDC,CPE, all my loves ones you know who you are.

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @Toni_Valli

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