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NFL roundup: Players pan Goodell; commish sees Pro Bowl improvement

The SportsXchange

On the same day a poll came out showing that Roger Goodell is not very popular with NFL players, the league's commissioner addressed the future of the Pro Bowl on Monday.

A USA Today poll of 300 active players indicated that 61 percent disapprove of the job Goodell is doing. Meanwhile, Goodell said he saw improvement in the quality of Sunday's Pro Bowl from the previous year, though the league is still weighing the fate of the all-star game.

In the poll, most of the players who did not approve of Goodell's job performance referred to the increase in fines for hits on defenseless players and Goodell's role in discipline of the New Orleans Saints for their role in the "bounty" scandal.

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison has been outspoken about his disapproval of Goodell as commissioner. The linebacker has been fined more than $100,000 for hits during his career.

"I think it's obvious that I disapprove," Harrison told USA Today. "I feel like what he's doing is not totally for the safety of players."

Goodell responded to a question about the competitiveness of the game during a chat with fans on Reddit.

"I watched the game and noticed the improved quality of the game," Goodell said. "I appreciate the players' commitment in this regard. We need to continually work to make our game better for the fans. I look forward to getting detailed player comment and input over the next few weeks."

The NFC beat the AFC 62-35 in Honolulu, but there were a noticeable number of empty seats.

Reportedly, a change being considered is moving the Pro Bowl to the Super Bowl host city, and continue playing it the week before the game. However, many players have said they prefer playing it the week after the Super Bowl.

--Baltimore Ravens safety Bernard Pollard does not think the NFL has a bright future.

Pollard recently told CBS Sports that he thinks the league will go out of business in 30 years because rules changes made to make the game safer are ruining the sport, and the chances that a player could die on the field because players keep getting bigger, stronger and faster are increasing.

"I could be wrong. It's just my opinion, but I think with the direction things are going -- where (NFL rules makers) want to lighten up, and they're throwing flags and everything else -- there's going to come a point where fans are going to get fed up with it," Pollard said.

"Guys are getting fined, and they're talking about, 'Let's take away the strike zone' and 'Take the pads off' or 'Take the helmets off.' It's going to be a thing where fans aren't going to want to watch it anymore."

--Two days after announcing his retirement, former defensive back Chris Harris was hired by the Chicago Bears as a defensive quality control coach, according to multiple media reports.

Harris, 30, played eight seasons in the NFL, including 2005-06 and 2010-11 with the Bears. He played for the Carolina Panthers from 2007-09, and he had a short stint with the Detroit Lions in 2011 before his time with Jacksonville in 2012.

--Former San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Kwame Harris was assaulting his ex-boyfriend at a Bay Area restaurant during an argument, the San Mateo Daily Journal reported.

The alleged victim, Dimitri Geier, also filed a civil suit against Harris for assault, battery, false imprisonment, negligence, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Harris was freed on $75,000 bail. He faces seven years in prison if convicted.

--The owner of a Honolulu nightclub was arrested in connection with an altercation that led to Washington Redskins tackle Trent Williams having to sit out Sunday's Pro Bowl because of injuries from the incident.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that Michael Miske Jr., owner of the M Nightlife nightclub, may have struck Williams in the head with a champagne bottle during Friday's morning's brawl. It caused Williams to have a cut that required seven stitches, according to NFL.com.

Miske, 38, was arrested Saturday and charged with second-degree assault Monday. His bail was set at $250,000.

--Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff's blood alcohol content was 0.16 percent, which is two times the legal limit, when he was arrested on Jan. 22 for driving while intoxicated, according to Grapevine, Texas, police.

Ratliff was charged after his pickup truck crashed into a 18-wheeler. No one was injured.

--Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is being credited with helping save comedian Louie Anderson from drowning during the recent filming of a reality show.

Suh and former Olympic diver Greg Louganis rescued Anderson from a pool during filming of a celebrity diving reality show called "Splash," according to TMZ.
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