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Goodell Remembers His Jets Roots

Posted by Eric Allen on November 22, 2011 – 9:53 am

Long before he was appointed NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell served as a public relations intern for the Jets.

“The team was coming off an AFC Championship appearance. It was Joe Walton’s first year and a lot of things happened in that year,” Goodell told me of his 1983 season with the Green & White. “It was interesting for a young guy like me to be able to see that from the inside. As far as my duties — I did anything, but my main job was to arrange interviews for the players with the media.”

It was our privilege to sit down with Goodell for this special “Four Quarters” interview that was shot inside MetLife Stadium. Much has changed for the Jets and the league since the Commish was a Jets seasonal employee in 1983 and the team played its home games at Shea Stadium in Queens, N.Y.

“It’s spectacular,” Goodell said while looking around MetLife Stadium. “What a great place for fans. It’s a great place to watch a game.”

Walton’s ’83 Jets finished 7-9 and out of the playoffs just one year after Walt Michaels’ ’82 team advanced to the infamous “Mud Bowl” AFC title game in Miami. But Goodell treasured his one-year stint with New York’s AFC representative and the relationships he made.

“Kenny O’Brien and Freeman McNeil and Marty Lyons — these guys, I just had a great relationship with them,” he said. “And I still see them from time to time and they always like to tease me about being their intern and I love that. They’re just great men and so are our players in general. I’m so proud of our players.”

Goodell, on hand at the Met in Week 10 for an NFL Health and Safety Forum for 200 youth football players, has placed an emphasis on the health of his players. As part of the new CBA, the NFL will spend more than $100 million over the next 10 years on concussion research.

“It’s our No. 1 priority and I think the game is safer and more popular than ever. But safety is critical for us,” he said. “The men play a very tough game and we have to make sure we have the right rules in place, we have the right equipment and the right medical attention when injuries do occur. And I believe we have and I think we’ve made improvements on that. And we’ll continue to see those techniques that we want to take out of the game that will make the game safer but still keep the toughness of football and keep the competitiveness of football.”

The 5-5 Jets have been competitive this season again, but they’ve yet to meet their high standards. Over the past few seasons, they’ve become a team with a national appeal and international zeal. Could the Jets be at team targeted for an overseas game in the future?

“They’d be great internationally and they’ve expressed some interest in wanting to do that. The great thing about our international series is as it grows in popularity, more and more teams want to participate and they want to be part of that international series,” Goodell said. “We’re going to expand the international series to be more than one game a year in the U.K. We have one game in Canada and we’d love to get back to Mexico.”

Click here to watch Four Quarters with Commissioner Goodell.

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Posted in Eric Allen | 11 Comments »

11 Responses to “Goodell Remembers His Jets Roots”

  1. By Tom Spicer on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Lose to the Bills & the season is over we can not go under .500

  2. By Tom Spicer on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    I know Mark needs some of the blame but for guys to think he is the main problen I think is wrong. We have the worst starting right tackle in the NFL the guy is a turn style. We have no true blocking tight end. If you even dare say Mulligans name I will fall out of my chair. Our best O lineman Mangold missed 3 games. We have no running game Greene rushed for more than 83 yards 1 time in 10 games. He is not a starting running back.

  3. By Tom Spicer on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Get Mark a right tackle, a blocking tight end & a good running back. I think things would be alot different. Also I can bring up him getting a real OC Schotty is just not good & I think Mark really misses Braylon say what you want but I clearly remember Mark hitting Braylon for bombs muliplte times. So I dont buy the Mark cant throw deep thing. 1 Schotty does not call it enough with his dink & dunk O 2 He does not have the time to go deep. With Hunter & Mulligan getting abused 3 To me we dont have the deep threat on the roster with Braylon gone. Plaxs speed is gone & Holmes does not have the size.

  4. By IRA on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    NFL Games should be played in the USA not overseas!!!!

  5. By GaryC on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Isn’t it funny how the league is mocking Tebow,of course I don’t believe he will be a big time quarterback,but I believe the dissatisifaction with him stems from the ease that which he can stay out of trouble, something the players of today can’t seem to fathom.

  6. By Kevin65Fan on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Agree with you Spicer 100%….not all of mark’s fault. However, somethings do go hand in hand and to say Green is not the right back is wrong. OL just has not blocked for him and not blocking cleanly for Sanchez. and he has had a couple of good runs (especially the 42 yarder) called back because OL stupid holding calls (Thx Mulligan). Most of the runslast year and before were on right side…behind Moore and Woody…and like you said…Hunter is just not doing it. I just dont know why they don’t give Ducasse the opportunity…younger, and quicker…and i think he was a tackle in college where he excelled…guess just no confidence in him.

  7. By Steven on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    2012 NFL Draft
    Pass Rush
    Billy Winn DE 6’3′ 300 lbs 4.8 Forty
    Quintin Couples DE 6’5 285 lbs. 4.7 Forty
    Alex Okafor DE 6’4 260 lbs 4.6 Forty
    Pass Receivers
    Adrien Robinson TE 6’4 270 lbs 4/6 Forty
    Beau Reliford TE 6’5 260 lbs 4.8 Forty
    Ray Ray Armstrong SS 6’4′ 216 lbs 4.5 Forty
    George Iloka FS 6’3′ 210 lbs 4.5 Forty

  8. By Karan on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    We are too talented of a football team to lose any of our remaining matches. Everyone is already counting us out. Come on Jets, let’s show them why they shouldn’t doubt us and why we have been the most dangerous team in the playoffs the last two years. J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets!!!

  9. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    I’d welcome a return on Goodell’s part to intern status.

  10. By GaryC on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    I am all for competition that is why this is a rare case that I agree with bringing in someone like Orton, he is young,he can push Sanchez,he was tutored under Martz who knows offense and maybe we can rid ourselves of Brunnell.That being said Rex also needs to stop singling Sanchez out as the problem on this team.you are telling him he is losing snaps to a guy who will be cashing his Social Security soon.Why doesn’t he ever single out his cronies Scott and Leonhard.

  11. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    GaryC, if “singling Sanchez out as the problem” is predicting he’ll be our QB for 10 yrs, I’m sure there’s plenty of guys in the league who’d like to be singled out thusly. Rex is just wasting his time with the snaps stuff, it’s just another thing that makes me think he doesn’t really have the class, brains, or personal stature to be a HC. Yes, it’s true, I’m really down on him because I can see several more yrs of his misguidedly hands-off approach to the O, absurd predictions, inappropriate behavior, blather about what a man he is, etc. What I don’t see in the future is the smart, tough, realistic approach to the problems of this team coming from Rex, because I haven’t seen enough of that from him yet.

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