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Roger Goodell: It's been a 'tough year' for NFL

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PHOENIX -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the media Friday at the end of a particularly difficult season.

"Listen, it has been a tough year," Goodell said at his annual state of the league. "It's been a tough year on me personally. It's been a year of, what I would say, humility and learning. We obviously as an organization have gone through adversity, but more importantly it's been adversity for me.

"And that is something, we take that seriously, it's an opportunity for us to get better, it's an opportunity for us, for our organization to get better. So we've all done a lot of soul searching, starting with yours truly. And we have taken action.

"A lot of it, concerns that we had back in August where we didn't have a policy that addressed a very complex issue, we didn't have answers for that. We didn't fully understand those issues, but now we have experts in the field. They're in our office, they're helping us understand this."

Here were some other interesting nuggets to come out of Goodell's press conference:

1. Goodell expects the league's ownership to "advance ideas" to make extra points more competitive.

2. The NFL will hire a Chief Medical Officer, a newly created position.

3. The Commissioner was not as optimistic about expanding the playoffs as he was in the past.

"The possibility of expanding the playoffs has also been a topic over the last couple of years," Goodell said. "There are positives to it, but there are concerns as well, among them being the risk of diluting our regular season and conflicting with college football in January."

Maybe this is not a fait accompli as was previously believed.

4. The league is looking at expanding the use of replay for penalties. Expect more discussion on that in March. 

5. On the Patriots' deflating footballs, Goodell said the league has made no judgments.

"We are focusing principally on two questions: Why were some footballs used in the game that were not in compliance with the rules? And was this the result of deliberate action?"

6. The league is discussing streaming a game on the internet for the first time, on top of a regular broadcast. This would be for a "worldwide" audience.

7. Multiple teams are interested in moving to Los Angeles, although Goodell insisted the league's first priority was to keep teams in their current home.

8. Goodell on Marshawn Lynch's handling of media: "When you're in the NFL, you have an obligation to the fans. It is part of your job."

9. Goodell did not rule out having a team in Las Vegas someday, although he says the league hasn't discussed it. 

10. Saints owner Tom Benson currently faces a lawsuit from his family regarding his ability to make decisions about running the team. Goodell says he has spoken to Benson recently and the owner is in "complete control." The league offered support for Benson.

11. Goodell disputed the idea that there are conflicts of interest when hiring independent investigators, saying Robert Mueller and Ted Wells have "impeccable" integrity. 

You can watch the entire press conference here.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews Super Bowl XLIX and gives our picks for the big game. Watch the entire show (and Wess eat his softball pants) on NFL NOW.

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