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Archive for May, 2018

Dayton Dragons recent roster moves

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Tom Nichols; COURTESY DAYTON DRAGONS MEDIA RELATIONS

 

April 30, 2018

 

The Dayton Dragons announced the following roster changes on Monday:

 

Right-handed pitcher Luis Alecis has been assigned to Billings.

 

Right-handed pitcher Adrian Rodriguez has been promoted to Dayton from extended spring training.  He will start the game for the Dragons on Friday at Clinton.

 

The Dragons roster remains at the Midwest League limit of 25 players.

 

Note:  Rodriguez has not yet been assigned a uniform number.

 

NFL, NFLPA partner with Cigna to host May 14 Forum on Mental Health in Sports

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY Cigna, NFLPA, NFL and NFLmedia.com

 

​​As part of their ongoing efforts to promote player health and wellness, the NFL and NFL Players Association are teaming up with Cigna to host “Beyond The Physical: A Symposium on Mental Health in Sports” on May 14.​

The forum, which includes a series of panels featuring NFL players and legends as well as mental health organizations, caregivers, medical providers and media personalities, aims to raise awareness around mental health and promote a culture where everyone, including athletes, are encouraged to seek the help and support they need to achieve overall wellness.

The open dialogue will take place from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center located at 800 Spring St. NW in Atlanta, Georgia.

Confirmed panelists include NFL wide receiver and co-founder of Project 375 BRANDON MARSHALL, former NFL cornerback ASHER ALLEN, former Pro Bowl running back WARRICK DUNN, Atlanta Falcons senior director of player affairs KEVIN WINSTON as well as representatives from Active MindsMental Health America (MHA) of Georgiathe American Psychological Association, and Campaign to Change Direction, among others. Shanti Das, founder of the “Silence The Shame” initiative for mental health awareness, will serve as the event emcee.

“Too often in the world of sports, discussions about mental wellness happen during a point of crisis, or when it’s too late,” said DR. NYAKA NIILAMPTI, Director of Player Wellness for the NFLPA. “However, we know that in order to excel athletically, mental health needs to have as much focus as physical health.  We feel fortunate to be able to use the platform of sports to engage in this conversation, and the more dialogue we can spark to increase awareness and decrease stigma around mental health, the more positive change that we will see.”

Each panelist will bring a unique perspective as they explore the various aspects of mental health, from increasing awareness to decreasing the stigma to the resources provided for those in need. Topics will range from managing the pressures of being a professional athlete, the mental health side of performance, programs available to the sports community and more.

“May is Mental Health Awareness Month and the NFL is pleased to partner with the NFLPA and Cigna to increase awareness and decrease the stigma around mental health with “Beyond the Physical: A Symposium on Mental Health in Sports,” said NFL Vice President of Wellness and Clinical Services, DWIGHT HOLLIER.  “This effort is especially important in light of the messages young athletes receive about toughness and the need to be strong all the time. Through our discussions with caregivers, athletes, professionals and others, we will shine a light on mental health in sports and discuss ways to support athletes and others on the journey toward total wellness.”

“Cigna has been a leader in mental health and benefits for 40 years, and we continue to lead by making sure that emotional well-being is a key part of everyone’s integrated health care experience,” said DR. DOUG NEMECEK, Chief Medical Officer for Cigna’s Behavioral Health Business. “We’re proud to support this NFLPA and NFL symposium to help eliminate the stigma around mental health and offer solutions to athletes, their families and our community.”

For more information, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/beyond-the-physical-a-symposium-on-mental-health-in-sports-tickets-44767573016?aff=eac2

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About the NFL Players Association:
The National Football League Players Association is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests. The NFLPA has shown that it will do whatever is necessary to assure that the rights of players are protected—including ceasing to be a union, if necessary, as it did in 1989. In 1993, the NFLPA again was officially recognized as the union representing the players, and negotiated a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL. The current CBA will govern the sport through 2020. Learn more at www.nflpa.com.

About NFL Wellness:
NFL Total Wellness assists members of the NFL family in dealing with physical and mental health, family safety, lifestyle, and transition into their post-NFL playing experience lives.

The NFL Total Wellness platform empowers players to make positive health decisions; promotes help-seeking behaviors in connection with behavioral and mental health issues; and provides health and safety education for players and all members of their support network, including spouses, parents, and children. The platform expands on a number of NFL Player Engagement programs and service offerings.

About Cigna:
Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 95 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.

 

NFL announces offseason workout program dates for all teams

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

NFL OFFSEASON WORKOUT PROGRAM DATES ANNOUNCED

Voluntary offseason workout programs are intended to provide training, teaching and physical conditioning for players.  The calendar for 2018 is below.

As per Article 21 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each club’s official, voluntary nine-week offseason program is conducted in three phases:

Phase One consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.

Phase Two consists of the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.

Phase Three consists of the next four weeks of the program. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

Article 22 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulates that clubs may hold one mandatory minicamp for veteran players. This minicamp, noted below, must occur during Phase Three of the offseason program.

New head coaches are entitled to conduct an additional voluntary veteran minicamp.  Any voluntary minicamp for veteran players must be conducted prior to the NFL Draft (April 26-28), but no earlier than week three of the club’s offseason workout program and after at least one week of the two weeks of Phase One activities that the clubs may hold pursuant to Article 21. This year, seven clubs will hold voluntary veteran minicamps, as noted below.

Each club may hold a rookie football development program for a period of seven weeks, which in 2018 may begin on May 14. During this period, no activities may be held on weekends, with the exception of one post-NFL Draft rookie minicamp, which may be conducted on either the first or second weekend following the draft. The dates of each club’s post-draft rookie minicamps are noted below.

For specific information and detailed offseason program rules, please see Articles 21 and 22 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (beginning on page 131), available on nflcommunications.com.

The NFL Offseason Workout Program calendar (dates are tentative and subject to change at the discretion of individual clubs):

ARIZONA First Day:                                  April 3

Voluntary Minicamp:                  April 17-19

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 15-17, May 22-24, June 4-5, June 7-8

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 11-13

ATLANTA First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 21, May 23-24, May 30-31, June 1, June 4-5, June 7

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 11-13

BALTIMORE First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 21-22, May 24, May 29, May 31, June 1, June 4-5, June 7-8

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 4-6

BUFFALO First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 22-24, May 29-31, June 4-5, June 7-8

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 11-12​

CAROLINA First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 22-24, May 29-31, June 4-7

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 11-12

CHICAGO First Day:                                  April 3

Voluntary Minicamp:                  April 17-19

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 15-17, May 22-24, May 29-31, June 1

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 5-7

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 11-13

CINCINNATI First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 22-24, May 29-31, June 4-7

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 11-13

CLEVELAND First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 22-24, May 29-31, June 4-7

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 4-6

DALLAS First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 22-24, May 29-31, June 4-6

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 11-13

DENVER First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 22-24, May 29-31, June 4-7

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 11-13

DETROIT First Day:                                  April 9

Voluntary Minicamp:                  April 24-26

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 21-22, May 24, May 30-31, June 11-12, June 14

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 5-7

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 11-13

GREEN BAY First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 21-23, May 30-31, June 1, June 4-7

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 4-6

HOUSTON First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 21-22, May 24, May 29-31, June 4-5, June 7-8

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 11-13

INDIANAPOLIS First Day:                                  April 9

Voluntary Minicamp:                  April 24-26

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 22-24, May 30-31, June 1, June 4-7

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 11-13

 

JACKSONVILLE First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 22, May 24-25, May 29, May 31, June 1, June 4-5, June 7-8

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 11-13

KANSAS CITY First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 22-24, May 29-31, June 5-8

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 5-7

LA CHARGERS First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 22-24, May 29-31, June 4-7

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 11-13

LA RAMS First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 21-22, May 24, May 29-31, June 4-7

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 11-12

MIAMI First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 22-24, May 29-31, June 11-14

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 5-7

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 11-13

MINNESOTA First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 22-24, May 29-31, June 4-7

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 4-6

NEW ENGLAND First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 21-22, May 24, May 30-31, June 1, June 11-12, June 14-15

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 5-7

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 11-13

NEW ORLEANS First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 22-24, May 29-31, June 4-7

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 11-13

NEW YORK GIANTS First Day:                                  April 9

Voluntary Minicamp:                  April 24-26

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 21-22, May 24, May 29-31, June 4-7

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 11-12

NEW YORK JETS First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 22-24, May 29-31, June 4-7

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 4-6

OAKLAND First Day:                                  April 9

Voluntary Minicamp:                  April 24-26

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 22-24, May 29-31, June 4-7

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 4-6

PHILADELPHIA First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 22-24, May 29, May 31, June 1, June 4-7

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 11-13

PITTSBURGH First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 22-24, May 29-31, June 4-7

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 11-13

SAN FRANCISCO First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 21-22, May 24, May 29-30, June 1, June 4-5, June 7

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 4-6

SEATTLE First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 21-22, May 24, May 29-30, June 1, June 4-7

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 4-6

TAMPA BAY First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 22-24, May 29-31, June 4-7

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 11-13

TENNESSEE First Day:                                  April 9

Voluntary Minicamp:                  April 24-26

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 21-22, May 24, May 29-30, June 1, June 4-7

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 11-13

WASHINGTON First Day:                                  April 16

OTA Offseason Workouts:         May 22-24, May 29-31, June 4-7

Mandatory Minicamp:                June 12-14

Rookie Minicamp:                      May 11-12

 

 

International Players totalling Eight have been added to NFL rosters for 2018; Bengals, Browns sign one each

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

(courtesy http www.geographicguide.com)

EIGHT INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS ADDED TO ROSTERS

FOR 2018 SEASON

Eight teams will carry an additional overseas player on their practice squads in 2018 as part of an expansion of the International Player Pathway program, the NFL announced today.

The program, instituted in 2017, aims to provide international athletes the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve their skills, and ultimately earn a spot on an NFL roster.

Alex Gray (Atlanta Falcons), Alex Jenkins (New Orleans Saints), Eric Nzeocha (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), and Efe Obada (Carolina Panthers), participants in 2017, will return to their NFC South teams for the upcoming season.

An additional four teams – the AFC North – will carry an overseas player on their roster until the end of the 2018 training camp.  At that time, the players would be eligible for an international player practice squad exemption.

The Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers will each be given an exemption for an eleventh practice squad member – ineligible to be activated during the season – with two of the players selected coming from the UK and two from Germany. The AFC North was chosen to receive the international players in a random draw.

The players include Moritz Böhringer (Cincinnati Bengals), who was originally drafted in the sixth round by the Minnesota Vikings in 2016, German Football League player Christopher Ezeala (Baltimore Ravens), former British American Football League player Tigie Sankoh (Cleveland Browns) and former English professional rugby player Christian Scotland-Williamson (Pittsburgh Steelers).

For the past three months, the players have been training alongside NFL players and draft hopefuls in Florida, under the supervision of former NFLUK head of football Aden Durde, who was hired as the Atlanta Falcons defensive quality control coach after this season’s program, along with IMG Academy coaches including running back coach Earnest Byner, offensive line coach Paul Dunn, defensive back coach Donnie Henderson and wide receiver coach Larry Kirksey.

The new players taking part in the 2018 International Player Pathway Program:

MORITZ BÖHRINGER, Tight End/Wide Receiver (Germany), Age: 24 – Cincinnati Bengals

Selected in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings, becoming the first player to be drafted directly from European football. Had previously been combining his university studies with playing for the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns in the German Football League. Spent the 2016 season on the Vikings practice squad.

CHRISTOPHER EZEALA, Fullback (Germany), Age: 22 – Baltimore Ravens

Played as a fullback and linebacker in the German Football League for the Ingolstadt Dukes, having begun playing the sport for the Munich Rangers and Allgäu Comets. Has focused on the fullback position, saying: “My coaches told me that while there are many linebackers like me in the NFL, there is no fullback that is so athletic and fast, so they are trying to create a new type of player with me.”

TIGIE SANKOH, Defensive Back (UK), Age: 21 – Cleveland Browns

Played amateur football throughout his teenage years and attended the American Football Academy at Filton College in Bristol, England. Went on to represent the London Warriors in the British American Football League.

CHRISTIAN SCOTLAND-WILLIAMSON, Tight End (UK), Age: 24 – Pittsburgh Steelers​

Converted to American football early in 2018 after a professional rugby career in England, where he played for the Worcester Warriors in the English Premiership. Playing as a second-row forward, he was known in rugby for his physicality and tackling ability and came to international prominence when a tackle in a game against London Wasps was shared widely on the Internet. He graduated from Loughborough University, one of the UK’s leading sports institutions, with a degree in economics.

The returning participants from the 2017 International Player Pathway Program:

ALEX GRAY, Tight End (UK), Age: 27 – Atlanta Falcons

Born and raised in Bishop Auckland, England, Gray captained England’s rugby teams at Under-16, Under-18, Under-20 and International Sevens levels and played for Newcastle Falcons and London Irish. He was named in the original extended Great Britain Sevens squad for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, before suffering an injury. He signed for Yorkshire Carnegie for the 2016-17 rugby season and decided to convert to American football.

ALEX JENKINS, Defensive End (UK), Age: 25 – New Orleans Saints

Born and raised in Bath, England, he began playing football at the Bath City Academy and for the Bristol Aztecs, earning a spot on the Great Britain youth team. Having been selected to participate in an all-star high school camp in Virginia, he earned a scholarship to play college football at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. He was a three-year starter as defensive end at UIW, posting 3.5 sacks in his senior year.

ERIC NZEOCHA, Linebacker (Germany), Age: 25 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Nzeocha began playing football for the Franken Knights youth team in Neusitz, Germany, and was selected for the German national junior team. He played three years at the University of Wyoming, switching from tight end to linebacker before the 2015 season. His brother, Mark, is a linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys.

EFE OBADA, Defensive End (UK), Age: 26 – Carolina Panthers

Raised in London after arriving from the Netherlands at age 10, Obada signed as a free agent for the Dallas Cowboys in 2015 after playing only five games of amateur football with the London Warriors. He played in the preseason for the Cowboys and spent part of the 2015 season on the club’s practice squad. He has since had spells on the rosters of the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons. ​

NFL Draft weekend culminated an exciting time for another international NFL hopeful, offensive lineman JORDAN MAILATA.  The Samoan-born Australian professional rugby league player for the South Sydney Rabbitohs was drafted in the seventh round by the Philadelphia Eagles (thereby making him ineligible for the International Player Pathway Program this season).  Converted to football full-time early in 2018, the 6-8, 350-pounder has impressed NFL scouts at various workouts with his strength, footwork and athleticism, and will now continue his football journey with the Eagles.

 

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