What's buzzing:

Troy Vincent to speak with suspended players

AP - Sports
Troy Vincent to speak with suspended players
.

View photo

FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2013, file photo, Former NFL football player Troy Vincent speaks during an NFL Player Health and Safety news conference in New Orleans. Vincent is hitting the road in his new job as the NFL's football operations director, meeting with players who have been suspended for on-field incidents. He would not specify which players. Nor did Vincent reveal the identity of other players who are on a league list of those closing in on suspensions for further on-field rules violations. But he's got a clear plan about what he will discuss with them. (AP Photo/Doug Benc, File)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Troy Vincent is hitting the road in his new job as the NFL's football operations director, meeting with players who have been suspended for on-field incidents.

He would not specify which players. Nor did Vincent reveal the identity of other players who are on a league list of those closing in on suspensions for further on-field rules violations. But he's got a clear plan about what he will discuss with them.

''It's all about educating,'' says Vincent, who recently replaced Ray Anderson in one of the league's most powerful jobs. ''The devil is in the details.

''When I am making the rounds with the suspended players, I want to make sure we are educating them to keep them on the field. What were they seeing on the plays (that led to suspensions)? Are they seeing what they are supposed to? Do they completely understand the rules? It's about taking the guessing out.''

Among the players suspended by the league last season were Texans defensive end Antonio Smith, Titans safety Michael Griffin, Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson, Redskins safety Brandon Merriweather and Colts linebacker Erik Walden, each for one regular-season game. Each for illegal hits.

Vincent, a former Pro Bowl defensive back and a former president of the NFL Players Association, certainly recognizes what players see and feel in the heat of a game. He believes his experience helps him communicate with current players. And, more important, it helps him find steps to make pro football safer.

''I have that insight from being on the field, from being in their shoes,'' Vincent says. ''My message to these players is, 'We want to keep you on the field. We want to keep you safe.'

''Rules to protect the players are essential.''

Vincent was part of the development of many current NFL rules while working for the union, which should be comforting to the players association. For several years, the NFLPA has sought more effective means of guidance on the rules from the league.

A union official says the NFLPA finds it important to gather as much information as possible on what is expected from the players on the field.

The meetings with players who have been suspended should not be perceived as a warning, Vincent says. He looks at them as an opportunity to explain policies he was a part of constructing, and will listen to suggestions for simplifying the rule book.

''I will work to be a bridge builder,'' Vincent says. ''My responsibility is to preserve the game, develop its future, and to protect the players and the brand.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

View Comments (2)
  • Dixon shines as Highlanders storm to first title

    Dixon shines as Highlanders storm to first title

    By Greg Stutchbury WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Eliot Dixon scored one try and set up another for Waisake Naholo as the Otago Highlanders beat the Wellington Hurricanes 21-14 to claim a first Super Rugby title on Saturday. In one of the game's key … More »

    Reuters - 12 minutes ago
  • Boom to start Tour de France despite low cortisol levels

    Boom to start Tour de France despite low cortisol levels

    Dutchman Lars Boom will start Saturday's first stage of the Tour de France despite showing low levels of cortisol in a test on the eve of the race, his Astana team manager said. Low levels of the hormone can be explained by the use of corticoids, … More »

    Reuters - 16 minutes ago
  • Pakistan struggle after Shah claims five wickets

    Pakistan struggle after Shah claims five wickets

    (Reuters) - Pakistan suffered a top order collapse to reach lunch on 45 for three after leg-spinner Yasir Shah had claimed his third five-wicket haul of the series on the second day of the third and final test against Sri Lanka on Saturday. … More »

    Reuters - 19 minutes ago
  • Root, England's Mr Reliable, ready to make Ashes leap

    By Justin Palmer LONDON (Reuters) - Firmly established in the pivotal number five position in England's batting order, Joe Root is primed for the job of taking on Australia's vaunted pace attack toe to toe. Australia have, in Steve Smith, the … More »

    Reuters - 40 minutes ago
  • England's captain Cook faces ultimate challenge

    By Ed Osmond LONDON (Reuters) - Alastair Cook faces his biggest ever challenge as England captain when he leads his young team into this year's home Ashes series against Australia. With a new-look team, short on experience but long on aggression … More »

    Reuters - 40 minutes ago