Lubbock is the 11th-most populous city in the U. S. state of Texas and the county seat of Lubbock County. With a population of 256,042 in 2015, the city is the 83rd-most populous in the United States; the city is located in northwestern part of the state, a region known and geographically as the Llano Estacado, ecologically is part of the southern end of the High Plains, lying at the economic center of the Lubbock metropolitan area, which has a projected 2020 population of 327,424. Lubbock's nickname, "Hub City", derives from it being the economic and health-care hub of the multicounty region, north of the Permian Basin and south of the Texas Panhandle called the South Plains; the area is the largest contiguous cotton-growing region in the world and is dependent on water drawn from the Ogallala Aquifer for irrigation. Lubbock was selected as the 12th-best place to start a small business by CNNMoney.com. CNN mentioned the city's traditional business atmosphere: low rent for commercial space, central location, cooperative city government.
Lubbock is home to the sixth-largest college by enrollment in the state. Lubbock High School has been recognized for three consecutive years by Newsweek as one of the top high schools in the United States, based in part on its international baccalaureate program; as of 1867, the land that would become Lubbock was the heart of Comancheria, the shifting domain controlled by the Comanche. Lubbock County was founded in 1876, it was named after Thomas Saltus Lubbock, former Texas Ranger and brother of Francis Lubbock, governor of Texas during the Civil War. As early as 1884, a U. S. post office existed in Yellow House Canyon. A small town, known as Old Lubbock, Lubbock, or North Town, was established about three miles to the east. In 1890, the original Lubbock merged with another small town south of the canyon; the new town adopted the Lubbock name. The merger included moving the original Lubbock's Nicolett Hotel across the canyon on rollers to the new townsite. Lubbock became the county seat in 1891, was incorporated on March 16, 1909.
In the same year, the first railroad train arrived. Texas Technological College was founded in Lubbock in 1923. A separate university, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, opened as Texas Tech University School of Medicine in 1969. Both universities are now overseen by the Texas Tech University System, after it was established in 1996 and based in Lubbock. Lubbock Christian University, founded in 1957, Sunset International Bible Institute, both affiliated with the Churches of Christ, have their main campuses in the city. South Plains College and Wayland Baptist University operate branch campuses in Lubbock. At one time, Lubbock was home to Reese Air Force Base located 6 mi west of the city, it was established in August 1941, during the defense build-up prior to World War II, by the United States Department of War and the U. S. Army as Lubbock Army Airfield, it served the old U. S. Army Air Forces, the U. S. Air Force, after reorganization and establishment in 1947; the USAF base's primary mission throughout its existence was pilot training.
The base was closed 30 September 1997, after being selected for closure by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission in 1995, is now a research and business park called Reese Technology Center. The city is home to the Lubbock Lake Landmark, part of the Museum of Texas Tech University; the landmark is an natural-history preserve at the northern edge of the city. It shows evidence of 12,000 years of human occupation in the region; the National Ranching Heritage Center part of the Museum of Texas Tech University, houses historic ranch-related structures from the region. During World War II, airmen cadets from the Royal Air Force, flying from their training base at Terrell, Texas flew to Lubbock on training flights; the town served as a stand-in for the British for Cork, the same distance from London, England, as Lubbock is from Terrell. In August 1951, a V-shaped formation of lights was seen over the city; the "Lubbock Lights" series of sightings received national publicity and is regarded as one of the first great "UFO" cases.
The sightings were considered credible because they were witnessed by several respected science professors at Texas Technological College and were photographed by a Texas Tech student. The photographs were reprinted nationwide in Life. Project Blue Book, the USAF's official investigation of the UFO mystery, concluded the photographs were not a hoax and showed genuine objects, but dismissed the UFOs as being either "night-flying moths" or a type of bird called a plover reflected in the nighttime glow of Lubbock's new street lights. However, other researchers have disputed these explanations, for many, the "Lubbock Lights" remain a mystery. In 1960, the U. S. Census Bureau reported Lubbock's population as area as 75.0 sq mi. On May 11, 1970, the Lubbock Tornado struck the city. Twenty-six people died, damage was estimated at $125 million; the Metro Tower known as the Great Plains Life Building, at 274 ft in height, is believed to have been the tallest building to survive a direct hit from an F5 tornado.
Then-mayor Jim Granberry and the Lubbock City Council, which included Granberry's successor as mayor, Morris W. Turner, were charged with directing the rebuilding of downtown Lubbock in the aftermath of the storm. In August, 1988, tens of thousands of people came to Lubbock, drawn by an apparition of Mary. In 2009, Lubbock celebrated its centennial; the historians Paul H. Carlson, Donald R. Abbe, David J. Murrah co-authored Lubbock and the South
The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's National Football Conference North division; the Bears have won nine NFL Championships, including one Super Bowl, hold the NFL record for the most enshrinees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the most retired jersey numbers. The Bears have recorded more victories than any other NFL franchise; the franchise was founded in Decatur, Illinois, on September 17, 1920, moved to Chicago in 1921. It is one of only two remaining franchises from the NFL's founding in 1920, along with the Arizona Cardinals, also in Chicago; the team played home games at Wrigley Field on Chicago's North Side through the 1970 season. The Bears have a long-standing rivalry with the Green Bay Packers; the team headquarters, Halas Hall, is in the Chicago suburb of Illinois. The Bears practice at adjoining facilities there during the season. Since 2002, the Bears have held their annual training camp, from late July to mid-August, at Ward Field on the campus of Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois.
In March of 1920 a man telephoned me... George Chamberlain and he was general superintendent of the A. E. Staley Company... In 1919, had formed a football team, it had done well against other local teams but Mr. Staley wanted to build it into a team that could compete with the best semi-professional and industrial teams in the country... Mr. Chamberlain asked if I would like to come to work for the Staley Company. Named the Decatur Staleys, the club was established by the A. E. Staley food starch company of Decatur, Illinois in 1919 as a company team; this was the typical start for several early professional football franchises. The company hired Edward "Dutch" Sternaman in 1920 to run the team; the 1920 Decatur Staleys season was their inaugural regular season completed in the newly formed American Professional Football Association. Full control of the team was turned over to Halas and Sternaman in 1921. Official team and league records cite Halas as the founder as he took over the team in 1920 when it became a charter member of the NFL.
The team relocated to Chicago in 1921. Under an agreement reached by Halas and Sternaman with Staley, Halas purchased the rights to the club from Staley for US$100. In 1922, Halas changed the team name from the Staleys to the Bears; the team moved into Wrigley Field, home to the Chicago Cubs baseball franchise. As with several early NFL franchises, the Bears derived their nickname from their city's baseball team. Halas liked the bright orange-and-blue colors of his alma mater, the University of Illinois, the Bears adopted those colors as their own, albeit in a darker shade of each; the Staleys/Bears dominated the league in the early years. Their rivalry with the Chicago Cardinals, the oldest in the NFL, was key in four out of the first six league titles. During the league's first six years, the Bears lost twice to the Canton Bulldogs, split with their crosstown rival Cardinals, but no other team in the league defeated the Bears more than a single time. During that span, the Bears posted 34 shutouts.
The Bears' rivalry with the Green Bay Packers is one of the oldest and most storied in American professional sports, dating back to 1921. In one infamous incident that year, Halas got the Packers expelled from the league in order to prevent their signing a particular player, graciously got them re-admitted after the Bears had closed the deal with that player; the franchise was an early success under Halas, capturing the NFL Championship in 1921 and remaining competitive throughout the decade. In 1924 the Bears claimed the Championship after defeating the Cleveland Bulldogs on December 7 putting the title "World's Champions" on their 1924 team photo, but the NFL had ruled that games after November 30 did not count towards league standings, the Bears had to settle for second place behind Cleveland. Their only losing season came in 1929. During the 1920s the club was responsible for triggering the NFL's long-standing rule that a player could not be signed until his college's senior class had graduated.
The NFL took that action as a consequence of the Bears' aggressive signing of famous University of Illinois player Red Grange within a day of his final game as a collegian. Despite much of the on-field success, the Bears were a team in trouble, they faced the problem of flatlined attendance. The Bears would only draw 5,000–6,000 fans a game, while a University of Chicago game would draw 40,000–50,000 fans a game. By adding top college football draw Red Grange to the roster, the Bears knew that they found something to draw more fans to their games. C. C. Pyle was able to secure a $2,000 per game contract for Grange, in one of the first games, the Bears defeated the Green Bay Packers, 21–0. However, Grange remained on the sidelines while learning the team's plays from Bears quarterback Joey Sternaman. In 1925, The Bears would go on a barnstorming tour, showing off the best football player of the day. 75,000 people paid to see Grange
American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves; the offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, otherwise they turn over the football to the defense. Points are scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal; the team with the most points at the end of a game wins. American football evolved in the United States, originating from the sports of association football and rugby football; the first match of American football was played on November 6, 1869, between two college teams and Princeton, under rules based on the association football rules of the time.
During the latter half of the 1870s, colleges playing association football switched to the Rugby Union code, which allowed carrying the ball. A set of rule changes drawn up from 1880 onward by Walter Camp, the "Father of American Football", established the snap, the line of scrimmage, eleven-player teams, the concept of downs; the sport is related to Canadian football, which evolved parallel and contemporary to the American game, most of the features that distinguish American football from rugby and soccer are present in Canadian football. American football as a whole is the most popular sport in the United States; the most popular forms of the game are professional and college football, with the other major levels being high school and youth football. As of 2012, nearly 1.1 million high school athletes and 70,000 college athletes play the sport in the United States annually all of them men, with a few exceptions. The National Football League, the most popular American football league, has the highest average attendance of any professional sports league in the world.
In the United States, American Football is called "football". The terms "gridiron" or "American football" are favored in English-speaking countries where other codes of football are popular, such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia. American football evolved from the sports of rugby football. Rugby football, like American football, is a sport where two competing teams vie for control of a ball, which can be kicked through a set of goalposts or run into the opponent's goal area to score points. What is considered to be the first American football game was played on November 6, 1869, between Rutgers and Princeton, two college teams; the game was played between two teams of 25 players each and used a round ball that could not be picked up or carried. It could, however, be kicked or batted with the feet, head or sides, with the ultimate goal being to advance it into the opponent's goal. Rutgers won the game 6 goals to 4. Collegiate play continued for several years in which matches were played using the rules of the host school.
Representatives of Yale, Columbia and Rutgers met on October 19, 1873 to create a standard set of rules for all schools to adhere to. Teams were set at 20 players each, fields of 400 by 250 feet were specified. Harvard abstained from the conference, as they favored a rugby-style game that allowed running with the ball. After playing McGill University using both Canadian and American rules, the Harvard players preferred the Canadian style having only 11 men on the field, running the ball without having to be chased by an opponent, the forward pass and using an oblong instead of a round ball. An 1875 Harvard–Yale game played under rugby-style rules was observed by two impressed Princeton athletes; these players introduced the sport to Princeton, a feat the Professional Football Researchers Association compared to "selling refrigerators to Eskimos." Princeton, Harvard and Columbia agreed to intercollegiate play using a form of rugby union rules with a modified scoring system. These schools formed the Intercollegiate Football Association, although Yale did not join until 1879.
Yale player Walter Camp, now regarded as the "Father of American Football", secured rule changes in 1880 that reduced the size of each team from 15 to 11 players and instituted the snap to replace the chaotic and inconsistent scrum. The introduction of the snap resulted in unexpected consequences. Prior to the snap, the strategy had been to punt. However, a group of Princeton players realized that, as the snap was uncontested, they now could hold the ball indefinitely to prevent their opponent from scoring. In 1881, both teams in a game between Yale-Princeton used this strategy to maintain their undefeated records; each team held the ball. This "block game" proved unpopular with the spectators and fans of both teams. A rule change was necessary to prevent this strategy from taking hold, a reversion to the scrum was considered. However, Camp proposed a rule in 1882 that limited each team to three downs, or tackles, to adva
A cornerback referred to as a corner or defensive halfback in older parlance, is a member of the defensive backfield or secondary in American and Canadian football. Cornerbacks cover receivers most of the time, to defend against offensive plays, i.e. create turnovers in best case or deflect a forward pass or rather make a tackle. Other members of the defensive backfield include the safeties and linebackers; the cornerback position requires speed and strength. A cornerback's skillset requires proficiency in anticipating the quarterback, executing single and zone coverage, disrupting pass routes, block shedding, tackling. Cornerbacks are among the fastest players on the field; the chief responsibility of the cornerback is to defend against the offense's pass. The rules of American professional football and American college football do not mandate starting position, movement, or coverage zones for any member of the defense. There are no "illegal defense". Cornerbacks can be anywhere on the defensive side of the line of scrimmage at the start of play, although their proximity and strategies are outlined by the coaching staff or captain.
Most modern National Football League defensive formations use four defensive backs. A cornerback's responsibilities vary depending on how the defense assigns protection to its defensive secondary. In terms of defending the run corners may be assigned to blitz depending on the coaching decisions in a game. In terms of defending passing plays, a corner will be assigned to either zone or man-to-man coverage; the most effective cornerbacks are called "lockdown corners", because they can cover an offensive receiver so on either side of the field, that the quarterback does not throw towards the receiver being covered by a "shutdown corner" any longer. A "shutdown corner" is most used to identify a cornerback that "lines up" on either side of the defensive zone of the field of play. In American football, "shutdown corner" is used to refer to only a few elite players. In zone coverage, the cornerback defends an assigned area of the field. Many schemes and variations were created to provide defensive coordinators great latitude and flexibility which aim to thwart offensive schemes.
When a team is using zone coverage, some areas of the field require special attention when defending against specific pass plays. They include the flats, mid range zones including the void, the deep zones; these are basic terms for the basic zones and routes which vary system to system, league to league, team to team. Advanced forms of coverage may involve "quarterback spies" and "containment" coverages, as well as various "on field adjustments" that require shifts and rotations. At this time the captain attempts to "read" the alignment of the offensive "skill players" in order to best predict and counter the play the offense will run, he will base his decision on past experience, game preparation, a sound comprehension of his teammates strengths and tendencies. These adjustments may change on a play by play basis, due to substitutions or evolving weather or field conditions. For example, defensive coordinators may favor a tendency to play a less aggressive containment style zone coverage during wet or slippery field conditions to avoid problems associated with over-pursuit.
The Cover 1 defense is an aggressive formation employed against offenses trying to gain short yardage. In the Cover 1 defense, one defender—normally a safety—plays deep zone downfield, providing security over the top and freeing the other safety to rush the line of scrimmage or drop back into coverage. Meanwhile, the corner's primary responsibility is to play on or off the receiver and not release him vertically. Defensive coordinators call for Cover 1 formations only when their cornerbacks are skilled at playing man-to-man coverage; the Cover 2 formation, which deploys four defensive backs in a "two-deep zone," is popular among NFL defensive coordinators because it uses two safeties to defend the deep routes instead of one. The safeties line up on or near their respective hashmarks between 11 and 15 yards off the line of scrimmage, while the cornerbacks line up around five yards from the wide receivers nearest to each sideline. With the safeties able to watch the play develop in front of them, the corners are free to pursue a more aggressive style of play.
In Cover 2, the cornerback is responsible for "containment," meaning that he is tasked with preventing any eligible receiver or ball carrier from running between him and the sideline. He funnels receivers toward the middle of the field and may physically "jam" them within five yards of the line of scrimmage in order to disrupt their assigned routes. If he determines that the offense is not attempting a running play or a pass into the flat, he drops back to defend the secondary; this is referred to as the "catch-and-run" technique. Cornerbacks mirror each other's zone responsibilities. However, sometimes they play a "man-up" style of bump-and-run cove
IFAF World Championship
The IFAF World Championship of American Football is an international gridiron competition held every four years and contested by teams representing member nations. The competition is run by the International Federation of American Football, the international governing body for the sport. Seventy-one nations have a national American football team; the most recent tournament in 2015, there were seven teams in the tournament. The defending champions are the United States, who won the 2015 championship after winning both the 2007 and 2011 editions; the American team did not participate in the World Cup until 2007 and have won every tournament since. Prior to American participation, Japan won the 2003 championships; the championship was held in Italy in 1999, in Germany in 2003, in Kawasaki, Japan in 2007, in Austria in 2011. The 2015 IFAF World Championship was going to be held in Stockholm, however local organizers had to cancel the event due to lack of sponsorship; the 2015 tournament was played in Canton, United States.
At the 2011 championship, the championship tournament consisted of eight teams divided into two groups of four. The opening round featured a round-robin tournament within the groups, with each team playing each other once. However, as opposed to a tournament bracket after the games were completed, the teams with the best record from each group met in the gold medal game, with the second-place teams in each group playing for the bronze medal, the third-place teams playing in the 5th-place game, the fourth-place teams playing in the 7th-place game, thus guaranteeing each team four games. Automatic berths included the defending champions. Both finalists from the European Federation of American Football tournament received berths. Two teams from the Pan American Federation of American Football received berths, as did one member each from the Asian Federation of American Football and from the Oceania Federation of American Football. For the 2019 championship, the tournament will expand to 12 teams.
Teams will be divided into each consisting of three teams. Teams will play the other two teams in their group once each, for a total of two group-stage games. Teams will advance to the second round, from there to the placement and medal games; because American football is far more dominant in the United States than anywhere else in the world, the United States did not field a team in the tournament for its first two editions. The United States has fielded a squad for the last three iterations, but with restrictive criteria that make most American football players ineligible for the team. Despite the restrictions, the United States has won all three world championships in which they have competed. Canada did not participate until the 2011 competition, when the Canadian team finished second to the United States. 447 - Lars Gustafsson, Sweden 1999 232 - Lars Gustafsson, Sweden vs Italy 3 July 1999 5 - DeShawn Thomas, USA 2011 3 - Mario Nerad, Australia vs Austria 15 July 2011 881 - Joachim Ullrich, Germany 2011 281 - Kiernan Dorney, Australia vs Germany 12 July 2011 6 - Michael Faulds, Canada 2011 6 - Joachim Ullrich, Germany 2011 4 Jared Stegman, Australia vs South Korea 9 July 2015 7 - Jarkko Nieminen, Finland 1999 3 - Kiernan Dorney, Austria vs Australia 15 July 2011 3 - Carlos Altimirano, Mexico vs Germany 10 July 2003 3 - Joachim Ullrich, Germany vs Mexico, 10 July 2003 3 - David Ward, Austria vs Japan 1 July 1999 433 - Niklas Roemer, Germany 2011 180 - Niklas Roemer, Germany vs France 16 July 2011 26 - Nate Kmic, USA 2011 8 - Niklas Roemer, Germany vs Austria 12 July 2011 8 - Nate Kmic, USA vs Germany 12 July 2011 8 - Boti Bramer, Germany vs Mexico 10 July 2003 4 - Niklas Roemer, Germany 2011 4 - Matteo Soresini, Italy 1999 2 - by several players, most recent: Trent Steelman, USA vs France 15 July 2015 88 - N.
Khandar France vs Australia 12 July 2015 89 - Ullrich to Roemer, Germany vs France 16 July 2011 85 - Marcel Duft, Germany vs Sweden 14 July 2007 102 - Anthony Dablé, France vs Brazil 8 July 2015 95 - Marcus Weil, Germany vs USA 12 July 2007 10 Terrence Jackson, USA vs Germany 7 July 2011 56 - Jose Maltos, Mexico vs Austria 10 July 2011 26 Diezeas Calbert, USA vs. Australia 8 July 2011 75 Johnny Dingle, USA vs Germany 10 July 2011 International Federation of American Football IFAF Women's World Championship
Southern Utah University
Southern Utah University is a public university in Cedar City, Utah. Founded in 1897 as a normal school, Southern Utah University now graduates over 1,800 students each year with baccalaureate and graduate degrees from its six colleges. SUU offers 19 graduate programs. There are more than 10,000 students that attend SUU. SUU is known for hosting the Utah Shakespeare Festival every summer; this prestigious theatre production has gained many recognitions. SUU's 17 athletic teams compete in Division 1 of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Thunderbirds. SUU joined the Big Sky Conference in September 2012. Southern Utah University is the site for the Utah Summer Games. In the spring of 1897, Cedar City was notified it had been chosen as the site for the Branch Normal School, the region's first teaching training school in southern Utah. For the next three months, citizens labored to complete Ward Hall on Main Street for the first school year. In September, the school opened its doors. School had been in session for two months when officials informed the school administrators that Ward Hall did not comply with state law and that a new building needed to be built on land deeded to the state by the next September or the school would be lost.
Cedar City residents came together and in January 5, 1898, a group of residents trudged into the Cedar Mountain through shoulder deep snow. It took them four days to reach the sawmills, located near present-day Brian Head Ski Resort. Upon arrival, they realized the wagons they brought with them could not carry logs through the heavy snow. Sleighs were needed; the way back was just as hard as the trip up. The snow continued to fall destroying the trail they took, it was this phase of their march. Placed at the front of the party, the horse would walk into the drifts, pushing against the snow until it gave way, he would pause for a rest and get up and start over again. “Old Sorrel” was credited with being the savior of the expedition. From January through July they kept up their labors and when September 1898 arrived, Old Main was completed, it had a large chapel for religious assemblies, a library and reading room, a natural history museum and physical laboratories and offices. Milton Bennion was first principal for the Branch Normal School.
Courageous and young, Bennion brought a code of integrity to the students of BNS. He established a self-governing student body. Bennion directed 161 students during his time as principal; the BNS started classes with four teachers, now known as the Founding Four. Bennion, who acted as principal, taught history and physiology classes during his three-year tenure before he left in 1900 to teach at the University of Utah. Howard R. Driggs acted as the first English professor at BNS until 1905. During his career, Dr. Driggs was both a professor of English education and historian of the American West. SUU still honors his name with the Howard R. Driggs Collection located in the Gerald R. Sherratt Library and plays host to a semi-annual lectures by national scholars; the third, George W. Decker was a southern Utah native and was adamant about teaching from the student's point of view rather from a book. Students loved him so much that a request by the student body to proper authorities was the turning point to his appointment as the fourth principal of BNS.
Annie Elizabeth Spencer Milne was on the original BNS staff and she taught physical education and started the school's first basketball team. Under the leadership of Nathan T. Porter the Science Building was constructed in 1901—now known as the Braithwaite Building — which doubled as classroom space. Interested in the arts, Porter enhanced student theatrical production and started the school's ballroom dance program. Porter remained BNS principal till 1904. Decker was among the first four faculty members at BNS and the first southern Utah native to take the position, he served the school for 16 years, seven on the faculty and nine as principal before he was elected to the office of state representative. Roy F. Homer took Decker's seat as principal in 1913 and ushered BNS into the next stage as the Branch Agricultural College. BAC was a branch school of the Utah State Agriculture College. BAC received its third building in 1927 as the Women's Gymnasium—now known as the Hunter Conference Center.
It was that ties were created between the school and Zion National Park that are still intact, raising quality of classes, increasing enrollment and created the school's first Greek societies. The school continued to expand under the leadership of H. Wayne Driggs. Driggs oversaw the building of the Football Field Stadium in 1947 and the reconstruction of Old Main after it caught fire. Driggs established a campus ROTC program for returning soldiers and expanded studies to a four-year program. In 1951 Daryl Chase took the president's seat and was responsible for the schools heightened vision and name change to the College of Southern Utah; the next college president was Royden C. Braithwaite in 1955 and during his tenure CSU campus doubled in acreage, of the 28 structures on campus at the time of his death in 1991 few had not been built or renovated under Braithwaite's direction, he oversaw the construction of the Library in 1955, Science Building in 1961, the Music Center in 1967 and an additional Library in 1969.
A monumental addition to the College of Southern Utah was the birth of the Utah Shakespeare Festival in 1961 by Fred C. Adams. In its first season it attracted 3,27
2014 NFL season
The 2014 NFL season was the 95th season in the history of the National Football League. The season began on Thursday, September 4, 2014, with the annual kickoff game featuring the defending Super Bowl XLVIII champion Seattle Seahawks hosting the Green Bay Packers, which resulted with the Seahawks winning, 36-16; the season concluded with Super Bowl XLIX, the league's championship game, on Sunday, February 1, 2015, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, with the New England Patriots defeating the Seattle Seahawks, 28–24. The 2014 league year began at 4 pm EST on March 11, which marked the start of the league's free agency period; the per-team salary cap was set at a $10 million increase from the previous year. The so-called "legal tampering" period during which time agents representing prospective unrestricted free agent players were allowed to have contact with team representatives with the purpose of determining a player's market value and to begin contract negotiations, began at noon on March 8.
A total of 471 players were eligible for some form of free agency at the beginning of the free agency period. In addition, a number of paid players were released after the start of the league year to allow their teams to regain space under the salary cap. Among the high-profile players who changed teams via free agency were cornerbacks Darrelle Revis, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Aqib Talib and Alterraun Verner. Four players were assigned the non-exclusive franchise tag by their teams, which ensured that the team would receive compensation were the player to sign a contract with another team; these players were defensive end Greg Hardy, tight end Jimmy Graham, placekicker Nick Folk and linebacker Brian Orakpo. Two other teams used the transition tag, which offers the player's current team a chance to match offers from other franchises and guarantees draft pick compensation if a tagged player signs elsewhere. Players given the transition tag were Jason Worilds and Alex Mack. Mack signed a five-year, $42 million offer sheet with the Jacksonville Jaguars which included $26 million in guaranteed money and a player option to void the contract after two seasons.
The Browns retained Mack who became the league's highest paid center. One restricted free agent switched teams in 2014: wide receiver Andrew Hawkins of the Bengals was signed by the Browns. Restricted free agents are players with three or fewer seasons in the league whose contracts have expired. Teams may tender contract offers which allow them to match offers from other teams and may trigger draft pick compensation to be received from the signing team. Hawkins was tendered at the minimum level, which means the Bengals would not receive any draft compensation; the Browns signed him to a $13.6 million, four-year offer. Saints safety Rafael Bush signed an offer from the Falcons, but the Saints retained Bush by matching the offer; the 2014 NFL Draft was held May 8 -- 2014, in New York City. The draft process began with the NFL Scouting Combine, where draft-eligible players were evaluated by team personnel, held in Indianapolis on February 19–25; the draft included a record number of 98 non-seniors.
The event was delayed two weeks compared to its traditional position on the NFL calendar in late April due to a scheduling conflict at Radio City Music Hall, the draft venue since 2006. In the draft, the Houston Texans made University of South Carolina defensive end, now outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney the first overall selection. There was discussion leading up to the draft as to the future of the event in New York City, where it had been held since 1965. Given the increased interest in the draft over the past decade, there was a belief that the event may have outgrown Radio City Music Hall, the venue for the past nine drafts; the possibility of extending the draft to four days was being discussed. On October 2, 2014, Auditorium Theatre in Chicago was announced as the official site for the following year's draft. Training camps for the 2014 season were held in late July through August. Teams may start training camp no earlier than 15 days before the team's first scheduled preseason game.
Prior to the start of the regular season, each team played four preseason exhibition games. The preseason schedule got underway with the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game on Sunday evening, August 3; the Hall of Fame game is a traditional part of the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame induction weekend celebrating new Hall of Fame members. It was played at Fawcett Stadium, located adjacent to the Hall of Fame building in Canton, Ohio; the game, televised in the U. S. on NBC, featured the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills, with the Giants winning 17–13. Continuing the recent trend of scheduling teams that are associated with former players be