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Roger Goodell noticed 'improved quality' in Pro Bowl

It's been more than a year since NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said something positive about the Pro Bowl, so his comments Monday to fans during a Reddit.com chat are rather notable:

On the heels of Sunday's Pro Bowl, Goodell wrote, "I watched the game and noticed the improved quality of the game. I appreciate the players commitment in this regard. We need to continually work to make our game better for the fans. I look forward to getting detailed player comment and input over the next few weeks."

It's no secret that Goodell strongly considered canceling this year's Pro Bowl. At one point, it appeared Goodell was ready to shut the game down before players stepped in and asked for another chance to keep it going. Goodell's comments Monday are a sign that the NFL feels like the game is moving in the right direction.

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported that "far-ranging discussions" will take place internally and with the players in regard to the game's future. The league also might decide to host the game in the Super Bowl's host city rather than in Hawaii.

Still, it appears the tone of the discussion surrounding the future of the game has changed. The focus seems to be less about whether the game will exist, and more about how the NFL can improve the game.

Perhaps that was Goodell's intent all along.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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