NFL UPDATE -- AUG. 21, 2014
FORMER JETS PLAYER VISITS WITH HEADS UP FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Former New York Jets offensive lineman Brandon Moore visited the Irvington Golden Knights in Irvington, N.J., on August 18, as part of USA Football's Heads Up Football program.
Moore, a Heads Up Football Ambassador, recognized the team's and Newark Pop Warner Football League's commitment to better and safer play this season with a donation of 1,500 tickets to the Jets August 22 preseason game against the New York Giants. The Irvington Golden Knights, Ivy Hill Cowboys, Central Ward Cougars and East Ward Stallions of the Newark Pop Warner Football League will play at halftime of the August 22 game.
Moore, who takes great pride in being a Heads Up Football ambassador, told the Irvington Herald of the program, "It was a natural fit for me…Being a husband and father, it was something I had great interest in."
Moore is one of 127 former NFL players serving as Heads Up Football Ambassadors this season, visiting practices and games of teams that participate within the USA Football program.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PARTICIPATION RISES, SAYS NEW SURVEY
According to the annual High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations, football participation among high school students increased for the first time in five years, with an additional 6,607 boys participating in 11-man football during the 2013-14 school year.
According to the survey, 6,607 more boys participated in football last season than they had the year before, pushing the total to 1,093,234. In addition, a total of 1,715 girls participated in 11-player football, an increase of 184 from the previous year.
"With the precautions that are in place nationwide to address concussions in all high school sports, including football, we have maintained that the risk of injury is as low as it ever has been," said Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director. "Certainly this rise in football numbers is a confirmation of those beliefs and indicates the strong continued interest nationwide in high school football."
"In our sport, we're seeing education change for the better how coaches are prepared, players are taught, parents are informed and safety is addressed," USA Football executive director Scott Hallenbeck said. "How we teach the game has evolved, and the rise in high school participation may reflect this, and there's more to be done."
COWBOYS, BRONCOS HOST MOMS CLINICS
The Dallas Cowboys hosted their first ever Moms Football Safety Clinic Saturday in conjunction with the team's preseason home opener verses Baltimore at AT&T Stadium.
More than 250 mothers attended the youth football health and safety clinic, where they heard from Cowboys executive vice president and chair of the NFL Foundation Charlotte Jones Anderson; DR. Hunt Batjer, co-chair of the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee; USA Football executive director Scott Hallenbeck; former Cowboy and Heads Up Football Ambassador Tony Casillas; and Michelle Witten, wife of Cowboys tight end and nine-time Pro Bowler Jason Witten and mother to two young football players. Participants were later surprised by the appearance of former Cowboys and Heads Up Football Ambassadors George Teague and Rocket Ismail, as well as Cowboys coach Jason Garrett who gave the event's closing remarks.
Each participating mom was permitted to bring one child of youth football playing age (7-15). The kids participated in a PLAY 60 football clinic led by USA Football Player Safety Coaches on-field at AT&T Stadium, before being joined by their mothers to practice Heads Up tackling techniques.
Participants received a pair of tickets and parking for mother and child to attend the evening's game. To read more, click here.
In Denver, more than 200 moms from at least 15 Colorado youth football leagues attended the Broncos Moms Safety Clinic on August 13, held at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
USA Football's master trainer Wayne Voorhees led the Heads Up tackling drills, while Broncos Equipment Manager Chris Valenti taught moms about proper equipment fit.
The event also featured seminars hosted by representatives from Rocky Mountain Youth Sports Medicine Institute and the Center for Concussion. DR. Brooke Pengel, a pediatrician and sports medicine specialist, spoke to the women about heat and hydration safety and Dr. Sue Kirelik discussed concussion awareness.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS HOST USA FOOTBALL PROTECTION TOUR STOP
The 49ers hosted their 3rd Annual USA Football Protection Tour event earlier this month. More than 600 youth football players, parents and coaches visited team headquarters to learn about Heads Up Football. During the Heads Up Football tackling seminar, attendees learned about the five steps to a proper tackle, and the youth players then had time to practice the technique on-field. Each session concluded with a visit to the equipment fit station, where Riddell representatives measured each participant's helmet size and taught parents the proper way to fit a helmet. 49ers alumni and current Heads Up Football Ambassadors, Dennis Brown and Guy McIntyre participated in the event as well.
CECIL SHORTS III WORKS WITH UNITED WAY ON SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE
On August 15, Shorts invited a number of students to EverBank Field to collect their bags full of supplies. The rest of the supplies will be delivered to a number of local community centers and after school programs before the start of school.
"I believe that the key to success is learning and giving these students the basic tools they will need to learn in the classroom," said Shorts.
The school supplies challenge is just one of many efforts Shorts III has planned with the United Way this season.
VIKINGS NAME FORMER LINEBACKER E.J. HENDERSON YOUTH FOOTBALL MANAGER
Henderson, who spent nine seasons (2003-11) as a linebacker with the Vikings, will help develop new community-based youth football initiatives, work on health and safety issues and will expand Vikings programming in Greater Minnesota. Henderson will also assist with all Vikings youth football programs, including the Vikings of Tomorrow, USA Football, Community Quarterback Awards, the All-State High School Football Team and Heads Up Football.
"E.J. has been a special part of the Vikings organization for many years as a player and alumni member, and we are thrilled to have him join us as part of our front office staff," said Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf. "He has always had a commitment to the Minnesota community, and this role will be an excellent fit for him and the Vikings."
-- NFL Communications