NFL commissioner Roger Goodell held his annual "state of the NFL" news conference Friday at Super Bowl 50, and he was asked a question relating to air pressure in footballs by Tom E. Curran of Comcast SportsNet.
The following was the Q&A:
Q: Earlier this week, you said during your "spot checks" that no violations of the PSI rule were found. What actually constitutes a violation? Did you find anything under 12.5? And in the spirit of getting better, doesn't this whole thing demand some transparency in terms of what the numbers were and what the standards will be going forward? Thank you.
A: Tom (Curran), a couple things. One, as you know, at the beginning of the season, we made changes to our protocols, of how we were going to manage the footballs. That's how they were going to be managed in the moment -- taken into the stadium to right after the game. We have implemented that. As part of that, and it happens in most of our game operations areas -- we conduct random checks. We make sure that clubs understand that we will look at that type of procedure and make sure there are no violations of that. We did that, on a very limited basis. We don't disclose all the specifics on that, because it's meant as a deterrent. If you tell everybody how many times you're checking, and which games you're checking, it's not much of a deterrent. It's a deterrent when they think that game may be being checked. It's also important that the data that was collected in that was not data for research. It was data that was collected just to see if there was a violation. Our people never found a violation. There was a never an accusation of a violation by any other club. And so, we're comfortable that this policy, this rule, was followed by our clubs. We do this across the board in our game operations. There are many areas of our game operations that requires that type of thing.
Second of all, we did a great deal of research, scientific analysis last year that was part of the whole appeal hearing. There was Ted Wells' report, where he went and got independent people to study this type of issue. So the intent of what we were doing was not a research project. It was to make sure our policies were followed just as we do in other areas of our game operations.
ANALYSIS: Goodell essentially dodged the well-worded question. He did not specify what the league classifies as a violation. He did not answer if the league found anything under 12.5 PSI. And on the issue of transparency, he answered from a perspective of clubs knowing the games that spot checks were happening, when Curran was referring to the numbers that were found in the spot checks.
KRAFT NOT PRESENT: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was not present at Goodell's address. Instead, he attended the annual Merlin Olsen Pro Football Hall of Fame luncheon at Super Bowl 50. Kraft has a close bond with several Hall of Famers after taking them on a 2015 mission trip to Israel.