NFL owners discuss potential spring exhibitions


No action was taken by the owners as they wrapped up their meetings on Wednesday. No change in the regular-season schedule is expected for 2009.

"I think the focus was on how do we prepare for the season,'' commissioner Roger Goodell said. "Football readiness was probably the No. 1 issue that everyone wanted to do further analysis on. We still have a lot more work to do on the analysis.''

Spring games, normally an intrasquad contest, have become commonplace in college football. Some top programs have capacity crowds for the game.

"It was raised by a few clubs,'' Goodell said. "More in the context of what the colleges do.''

The NFL spring games could be in the form of a scrimmage or matchup between two teams.

Goodell said that prevailing feeling was that if the schedule is expanded, it should go to 18 games, not 17.

Should the expanded regular season get approved, one or two preseason games would be eliminated.

Pittsburgh chairman Dan Rooney believes a new regular season schedule with 17 or 18 games could come about in the next few years. He also continues to oppose expanding the playoff field if a new schedule model is approved.

"I'm totally against that,'' Rooney said. "We have enough games now in the playoffs.''

Goodell said a playoff expansion review will be part of the overall evaluation.

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