From Comcast SportsNetHONOLULU (AP) -- At least one key NFL executive thinks play improved at the Pro Bowl this year: Commissioner Roger Goodell.Goodell said Monday during a one-hour question and answer session on the social network Reddit that he thought the game improved from last year, when players were clearly not trying and were booed by fans in Hawaii."I watched the game and noticed the improved quality of the game," Goodell said.The NFC dominated the AFC 62-35 on Sunday in a game that had some highlight-quality plays but that quickly became lopsided.Goodell said he appreciates the commitment from players to make the game better."We need to continually work to make our game better for the fans," Goodell said. "I look forward to getting detailed player comment and input over the next few weeks."Goodell interacted with fans during an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit, a popular message-board style website that allows users to vote posts and comments up or down. Goodell's session drew hundreds of questions and thousands of responses; the commissioner answered 14 questions.The league has said it plans to decide on the future of the Pro Bowl by April, when next season's schedule is expected to be released.Pro Bowl players immediately defended their play after the game, saying they tried hard and hoped the festivities would continue for future Pro Bowlers."I think he got what he asked for," said Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, who set a Pro Bowl record with 10 catches."I think guys were intense, I think we understood exactly what he wanted, guys were making plays all over the field," Cruz said.The game had its share of shenanigans, as well. Green Bay center Jeff Saturday lined up for one play on the AFC side even though he was a captain on the NFC team. That allowed him to snap one last ball to Denver quarterback Peyton Manning, his longtime teammate in Indianapolis before this season.Houston defensive end J.J. Watt also lined up at wide receiver, getting two targets but recording no catches.
The Celtics didn’t know when they traded a late first-round pick and Marcus Thornton for Isaiah Thomas that they were getting their next star player, but that 2015 trade deadline move has proven to be a pleasant surprise.
Appearing on Felger and Mazz Friday, Celtics CEO and co-owner Wyc Grousbeck said that he sees Thomas, who will be a free agent after next season, in the team’s longterm plans.
“Every one of these seasons is different. It’s like a movie and you have a cast of characters and the cast changes a little bit every season,” Grousbeck said. “We’d love to have Isaiah here for a long, long time. He’s a phenomenal player and he loves being here.”
The Celtics stand a strong chance of picking first overall in June’s draft since they own Brooklyn’s first-round pick. Asked whether Thomas’ status would prevent the team from taking a point guard (which the draft’s two prospects play), Grousbeck said the team doesn’t need to decide that now, but suggested it wouldn’t.
“Especially if it’s a very high pick in the draft, you’ve got to draft the best player,” Grousbeck said. “You probably wouldn’t draft for fit as much as just you see if there’s a transformational player that you can have for 10 or 15 years there. If you see a guy like that, you’ve got to make everything else work, I would think.”
Celtics CEO and co-owner Wyc Grousbeck joined Felger and Mazz Friday, defending Danny Ainge’s inactively at Thursday’s trade deadline.
Grousbeck’s thinking was that the team is two major pieces away from being a championship-caliber club, and that giving up assets without filling those spots completely might have been harmful.
“I think it takes some strength and courage not to do anything when everybody’s howling to do something,” Grousbeck said.
The Celtics were rumored to have had talks with the Bulls about Jimmy Butler and the Pacers about Paul George. Neither player ended up being traded.
“We’re very comfortable with what happened,” Grousbeck said. “We offered a lot for a couple of guys, and we offered all that we were going to offer and it just wasn’t going to happen. Those guys weren’t going to be traded and they weren’t. It’s not problem.
“We figure we’re probably two guys away from being a really, really good team; probably two significant guys away, and if we put all the chips in yesterday on one guy, we’re getting rid of draft pick -- or picks -- and we’re getting rid of free agency this summer, so it’s sort of like one step forward, two steps back. It just didn’t make sense.”