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Robert Kraft: NFL promotes a sense of ‘community’

Posted May 19, 2014

ClevelandBrowns.com takes you around the NFL with the Daily Kickoff.

Brandin Cooks, Radio City Music Hall, Robert Kraft

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft sees the NFL as doing much more than providing a few hours of entertainment each week during the season.

As far as Kraft is concerned, it has a way of bringing people together on a year-round basis.

“I think what’s happened in America, but pretty much the Western world, is people are wedded to their smartphones and their iPads, and they’re texting and they’re not connecting with one another,” Kraft told 99.9 WBUR in Boston. “When 70,000 people come to our stadium on a Sunday, they’re all about the team on the field, and I think everybody has a sense of community in supporting these teams.”

The NFL Draft had a similar impact. The numbers say it was the largest sporting magnet to attract fans from all over the country.

“It was amazing to me … almost 50 million people watched the draft, double the ratings of the NBA (playoffs), triple of the hockey (playoffs), and this is a draft, that’s passive,” Kraft said.  “And it’s just because people … play fantasy football with their kids, and they’re just into what we try to create and integrate into community.”

REPORT: NFL DRAFT ‘LIKELY’ TO MOVE TO NEW LOCATION IN ’15

According to a report from Peter King of Sports Illustrated, the NFL Draft is “likely” to move from New York’s Radio City Music Hall to a new location in 2015.

King said he received the information from a “solid source.” He did not offer the identity of the new location, but offered a guess: Chicago.

Additionally, King reported that the NFL does not want to hold the draft on Mother’s Day weekend for a second year in a row, and he said he believed it would be held April 30-May 2, 2015.

Besides being unhappy with Radio City Music Hall for the scheduling conflict that pushed this year’s draft two weeks later, King reported, the league also sees an opportunity to generate more revenue by having other sites bid on the draft in the same way that they do with the Super Bowl.

BRANDIN COOKS SEES OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE ‘IMMEDIATE IMPACT’ ON SAINTS

When the New Orleans Saints traded up in the first round of the NFL Draft to select speedy wide receiver Brandin Cooks, the message was clear: they are looking for him to help fill the play-making void created by the departures of wide receiver Lance Moore and running back Darren Sproles.

And conventional wisdom would suggest the Saints aren’t planning to wait very long for Cooks to do it.

“No doubt,” Cooks told the Saints’ official website. “They wouldn’t have drafted me if they didn’t feel like I could come in and make an immediate impact. I know that, and that’s what I’m putting on my shoulders and I’m going to continue to work for that.”

DOMINIC RAIOLA ADMITS TO BEING TAKEN BACK BY LIONS’ DRAFTING OF CENTER ON THIRD ROUND

Dominic Raiola has spent a dozen seasons as the center for the Detroit Lions.

So it wasn’t easy for him to watch the Lions spend a third-round draft pick on center, Travis Swanson. Experience tells Raiola that the choice clearly indicates a changing of the guard (or center) is not too far away.

“Right when you see it, it’s hard; I mean, you’re human,” Raiola told the Detroit News. “That’s been my position for 12 years. Imagine someone trying to hit on your girlfriend or your wife after dating her for 12 years. It’s hard, but in our business, it’s the reality of it.

“It’s going to motivate me at some level. I don’t know how much more motivation I need. I want to go out on my terms, and I think that’s really the only motivation I need.”

BILL CALLAHAN SORTING OUT CHANGE OF DUTIES WITH DALLAS COWBOYS

Bill Callahan is the Dallas Cowboys’ offensive coordinator/offensive line coach, but he won’t be calling plays, as he did last season.

Those duties now belong to newly hired Cowboys passing game coordinator Scott Linehan, who is charged with trying to help the team improve its ability to generate yards after putting up the fewest since 2005 last season (while ranking fifth in the NFL in points per game).

Callahan is expected to devote greater time to tutoring the Cowboy’s offensive line.

“I just take on the mindset that things happen for a reason,” Callahan said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I live with that, and I move on. I make the best of every situation I’m in. I’ve never worried about anything else.

“I’ve always had confidence in myself and my abilities to do a good job. My focus has always been to do a great job where I’m at, and everything else takes care of itself. I’m not concerned about any of that stuff.”

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