Football Ops

Football Ops

Protecting the integrity of the greatest game.

NFL Ops: Honoring the Game

It's our responsibility to strengthen the sport.

League Governance

Ensuring a consistent and fair game that is decided on the field, by the players.

Social Justice

NFL COVID-19 Protocols

NFL Rules Enforcement

Ensuring that players conduct themselves in a way that honors the sport and respects the game.

NFL Way to Play

Knees Bent. Pads Down. Head Up and Out.

The NFL and HBCUs

The NFL is proud of the HBCU professional football legacy.

Economic & Social Impact

Honoring the league’s commitment to serve the communities where the game is played.

The NFL Ops Team

Meet the people behind NFL Operations.

The Game

The Game

Learn about the people, the jobs and the technology that deliver the best game possible to NFL fans across the U.S. and around the world. 

Game Day: Behind the Scenes

Countdown to kickoff: how NFL games happen.

Game Day Assistants

See the NFL personnel at every game, what they do and you can identify them. 


In the NFL, balancing technology with tradition.

Impact of Television

How television has changed the game.

History of Instant Replay

Upon further review…

Creating the NFL Schedule

It takes hundreds of computers and five NFL executives to create the NFL’s 256-game masterpiece.

Big Data Bowl

The annual analytics contest explores statistical innovations in football — how the game is played and coached.

Youth Football

Promoting the values of football.

The Players

The Players

Learn how NFL players have changed over time, how they’re developed and drafted and how the league works with them after their playing days are over.  

Evolution of the NFL Player

Creating an NFL player: from “everyman” to “superman.”

Development Pipeline

Supporting the next generation of players and fans.

Getting Into the Game

Preparing players of all ages for success at football’s highest level.

The NFL Draft

Introducing the next wave of NFL superstars. 

NFL Player Engagement

A look at the programs and services NFL Player Engagement provides to assist every player before, during and after his football career.

NFL Legends Community

Strengthening the NFL brotherhood.

NFL Total Wellness

NFL Total Wellness assists players, Legends and their families before, during and after their playing experiences.

The Officials

The Officials

Discover the evolution of professional officiating, the weekly evaluation process and how the NFL identifies and develops the next generation of officials.

In Focus: History of the Official

“One thing hasn’t changed: the pressure. It will always be there.”

Inside NFL GameDay Central

The latest information from the NFL's officiating center.

These Officials Are Really Good

Every week, officials take the field ready to put months of preparation, training and hard work on display, knowing that the whole world — and the Officiating Department — is watching.

Officiating Development

Officiating an NFL game takes years of training and experience. 

The Rules

The Rules

NFL Football Operations protects the integrity of the game by ensuring that the rules and the officiating are consistent and fair to all competitors.

In Focus: Evolution of the NFL Rules

The custodians of football not only have protected its integrity, but have also revised its playing rules to protect the players, and to make the games fairer and more entertaining.

NFL Video Rulebook

The NFL Video Rulebook explains NFL rules with video examples.

2020 NFL Rulebook

Explore the official rules of the game.

2020 Rules Changes and Points of Emphasis

NFL Overtime Rules

Signals Intelligence

The NFL's familiar hand signals help fans better understand the game.   

NFL Tiebreaking Procedures

The NFL's procedures for breaking ties for postseason playoffs.

NFL Rules Digest

A quick reference guide to the NFL rulebook.

Football 101

Football 101

Terms Glossary

Sharpen your NFL football knowledge with this glossary of the game's fundamental terms. 

Formations 101

See where the players line up in pro football's most common offensive and defensive formations.

Quick Guide to NFL TV Graphics

Understand what the graphics on NFL television broadcasts mean and how they can help you get the most out of watching NFL games.

NFL Instant Replay Process

The NFL’s instant replay review process focuses on expediting instant replay reviews and ensuring consistency. Learn how it works.

Stats Central

Stats Central

Go inside the game with the NFL's official game stats. Sort the stats by season or by week.

The Extra Point

Welcome to the Extra Point, where members of the NFL's football data and analytics team will share updates on league-wide trends in football data, interesting visualizations that showcase innovative ways to use the league's data, and provide an inside look at how the NFL uses data-driven insight to improve and monitor player and team performance.

Chart The Data

Chart and compare the NFL Football Operations stats you're looking for with the NFL's data tool. 

Weekly Dashboard

Get a snapshot of the current NFL game stats, updated weekly during the regular season.

College Player Development

Thousands of football players suit up each year for colleges and universities coast to coast. Some take the field for the most storied teams in all of sports — amateur or professional — while others play for schools with much lower profiles. Most players share one dream: making it to the NFL. 

The NFL is committed to giving college players every chance to showcase their talents and make it to the highest level of football. The NFL and NCAA work closely to provide student-athletes with the opportunities and information they need to succeed on the field and remain eligible as they work toward that goal.

"Education is something we value at the NFL. We understand players are dreaming of playing on Sunday, Monday and Thursday. But we also know it may be a short-lived experience and that there's nothing more valuable than your education." 


The overwhelming majority will never play in the NFL. And those who do will likely be out of football before they’re 30. That’s why it’s important for them to excel in the classroom as well as on the field. 

College prepares student-athletes for the realities of life — with or without football — and the NFL wants them to understand how important it is to stay in school and get their degree. To help them, the NFL works with the NCAA through its Player Engagement Prep programs to develop players as athletes and individuals.

The NFL also has established the College Outreach program and College Advisory Committee draft evaluations to ensure that players make the most of their opportunities to set themselves on the path to success in football and beyond.


The NFL Football Operations College Outreach program goes far beyond preparing players for the NFL — it establishes a high standard of excellence for players to pursue on the field and in their personal lives.

As a part of this program, former NFL players visit colleges and universities to have frank discussions with student-athletes about what to expect at the next level, how the NFL draft process works and how to make informed decisions as underclassmen.

Former NFL stars like Hall of Famers Aeneas Williams and Cris Carter and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent drill home the importance of getting a college education from their personal perspective. They emphasize how hard it is to make it to the NFL and how short the typical playing career can be. Advice from former and current stars shows student-athletes the connection between success in school and success in life.

“By age 25, most NFL players will have no more economic use for the only skill they ever developed. An NFL career is a magic ticket for very few superstars.” — Troy Vincent, Executive Vice President of NFL Football Operations


To help underclassmen that are considering entering the draft, the NFL developed the College Advisory Committee, where NFL scouts project where a player will likely get drafted — if at all. 

The board evaluates up to five underclassmen from each school, though evaluations for additional players are considered on a case-by-case basis. Limiting the number of players the committee evaluates allows the scouts to focus on those players with a realistic chance and provide more accurate projections.

The board’s assessments keep some players from making an ill-advised decision to leave college early. In the majority of cases, student-athletes are encouraged to stay in school for another year to get their degrees and improve their draft stock.

As more underclassmen declare for the draft, the advisory committee’s role becomes increasingly important. In 2014, 44 of the 107 underclassmen who entered the draft went unselected. That follows a three-year trend where more underclassmen enter the draft, and fewer get drafted.


The NFL’s player development process doesn’t end when a student-athlete’s collegiate career comes to an end. Top prospects showcase their talents for scouts at NFL events like the the Senior Bowl, East-West Shrine Game, NFLPA Collegiate All-Star Game and the Regional and National Combines.

The league also connects former players with opportunities for careers in coaching, scouting and officiating — recognizing the unique skillset and passion for the game that only former players possess. Initiatives like the NFL-NCAA Coaches Academy, Officiating Development Program, Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship and Nunn-Wooten NFL Scouting Fellowship allow former players the chance to keep their NFL dream alive.


The NFL and the NCAA work closely to identify and groom players for the next level of football. If a student-athlete has what it takes — the talent, the commitment and the dedication — the NFL will find him.

Still, only 1.6 percent of college football players will ever play professionally, but academic scholarships and college educations will give many others the tools they need to succeed in life. The NFL is committed to making sure college football players make the most of these opportunities — whether they play in the league or not.