NEW ORLEANS (AP) - NFL commissioner Roger Goodell took center stage at the Super Bowl today. He issued his annual State of the Game assessment and in doing so touched on several topics:
-Regarding player safety, he said he welcomed recent comments from President Barack Obama about football safety. Goodell also said the league will look into eliminating certain low blocks and improve the quality of playing fields. The commissioner also said neurosurgeons will be added to game day medical staffs. He added that the No. 1 issue in the game is taking the head out of tackles.
-On the topic of testing for human growth hormone, Goodell said he believed there will be an agreement soon with the players union. He said he expects one to be in place before the start of the 2013 season.
- On the topic of the New Orleans' Saints bounty scandal, Goodell said his biggest regret is that he can't get everyone to recognize bounties need to be eliminated from the game. He 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.
- And regarding minority hiring the commissioner said he wants a "new generation" of the Rooney Rule because "we didn't have the outcomes we wanted" when none of 15 recent coach and general manager jobs was given to a minority candidate.
Earlier in the day, in their final news conference, coaches John and Jim Harbaugh discussed not only the game but sibling rivalry. John is the coach of the AFC champion Ravens, while Jim coaches the NFC champion 49ers.
Normally the Super Bowl coaches have separate news conferences on the Friday of super Bowl week but because of the uniqueness of the Harbaughs being brothers, a joint session took place.