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.

Return To Play

2020 NFL-NFLPA CBA: Need to know

Key takeaways from the 2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement 

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. 

Technology

In the NFL, balancing technology with tradition.

Impact of Television

How television has changed the game.

Big Data Bowl

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

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.

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

NFL Tiebreaking Procedures

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

Signals Intelligence

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

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.

Los Angeles Chargers Legend Donnie Edwards is the recipient of the 2019 Salute to Service Award. The award acknowledges the exceptional efforts by members of the NFL community to honor and support members of the military community.

Edwards will be recognized at NFL Honors — a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 1, the night before Super Bowl LIV, at 8 p.m. (EST and PST) on FOX.

USAA and other organizations for U.S. military members, veterans and their families will contribute $25,000 in Edwards' honor to the official aid societies representing all five military branches. The NFL will match USAA's donation of $25,000, which will be donated to Edwards' military charity of choice.

"Inspired by his grandfather's service in WWII, Donnie has exhibited true appreciation for the sacrifices of WWII veterans and those currently serving overseas," said Vice Admiral (Ret.) John Bird, USAA Senior Vice President of Military Affairs. "In honor of his very admirable work with those in the greatest generation, USAA is proud to honor Donnie Edwards as the recipient of this year's 'Salute to Service Award presented by USAA.'"

In his five seasons with the Chargers, Edwards was a two-time All-Pro linebacker. He retired as one of only eight players in NFL history to record at least 20 career interceptions and 20 career sacks. Community involvement was a staple of Edwards' career. In 2002, he founded the Best Defense Foundation to help support youth outreach and military programs.

"I'm honored to be the recipient of the Salute of Service Award for my work with the military," Edwards said. "It means so much to me to continue the legacy of my grandfather, Maximino, by honoring the ones who defended — and continue to defend — freedom."

Edwards' foundation supported and funded programs that educated children on nutrition and fitness through organizations including, Boy Scouts of America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Read Across America. The Best Defense Foundation made a $40,000 donation to construct a new weight room at his alma mater, Chula Vista High School.

His passionate support for the military was born out of family ties — Edwards' grandfather served in World War II and survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Growing up in a military family fueled his interest in military history, taught him what sacrifices veterans, servicemembers and their families endure, and motivated him to educate others on paying respect to servicemembers and honoring those who gave their lives to fight for our freedom.

"My grandfather was the inspiration to start the Best Defense Foundation," Edwards said. "His service and sacrifice to our country has always pushed me to pay tribute and give gratitude to those who protect our way of life. He always used to tell me that I have a tremendous amount of opportunity and freedom by being born in this great nation. I now want to use my platform to serve and give back to our active military personnel and veterans."

Edwards participated in nine USO tours and one Armed Forces Entertainment Tour to boost morale for troops overseas. He joined the 101st Airborne 506 E-Company Paratroopers — a group of military historians who participate in combat reenactments in the United States and abroad — and has traveled extensively to Europe and Asia to tour WWII sites. The reenactments and travel pushed him to concentrate on the military component to his Foundation. Nearly 20 years later, the Best Defense Foundation now solely focuses on raising funds to take World War II and Vietnam Veterans back to their battlefields and memorials to help them make peace with their experiences and pay respect to fallen soldiers.

"It's been really rewarding for me. I've been taking back veterans for about 14 years and I've done over 33 programs around the world — from Berchtesgaden, Germany to the beaches of Iwo Jima, and everything in between," said Edwards.

In 2019, Edwards went to Japan on an NFL-USO Tour to watch the Super Bowl with the troops in Okinawa, took seven Iwo Jima survivors back to the islands, and commemorated the 75th anniversary of D-Day with 16 veterans and a nurse who served in World War II during a 10-day trip to the beaches of Normandy.

Edwards has worked with the Chargers organization to honor WWII veterans during special ceremonies at LA's annual Salute to Service game. The Chargers’ late owner Alex G. Spanos was a WWII veteran and made military support a cornerstone of the team's philanthropic efforts.

Edwards credits football for giving him the platform to do so much for those who served.

"There's nothing more rewarding than taking veterans back to where they left their blood, sweat and tears to preserve the freedoms we enjoy," Edwards said. "I do this to honor my grandfather and his legacy. Growing up, he took care of me, and now I'm taking care of the men like him who sacrificed so much for our country. There's a reason our motto is, 'Taking care of the ones who took care of us.'"

The Salute to Service Award is part of the NFL and USAA's year-round commitment to recognize and honor the military community. In October 2019, 32 NFL clubs nominated coaches, active and retired players, and team executives and personnel who best demonstrated support for the military community. These nominees were announced in November and the submissions were evaluated by a panel of judges, including last year's recipient, former Atlanta Falcons and current San Francisco 49ers guard Ben Garland. Nominees are evaluated on their positive effect on the military community, the type of service conducted, the thoroughness of the program, and their level of commitment.

The judges, consisting of representatives from the military, the NFL and USAA, include:

  • Vice Admiral John Bird (Ret.), U.S. Navy veteran, USAA Senior Vice President of Military Affairs
  • Chad Hennings, Air Force Academy graduate, three-time Super Bowl champion
  • Ben Garland, San Francisco 49ers guard and 2018 Salute to Service Award recipient
  • Jim Mora, Sr., U.S. Marine Corps veteran, former NFL head coach
  • Vincent Jackson, Former NFL player & 2015 Salute to Service Award recipient
  • Lenny Bandy, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and NFL Vice President of Security

Below is the list of previous Salute to Service Award recipients:

YEAR

RECIPIENT

TEAM

2018

Ben Garland

Atlanta Falcons

2017

Andre Roberts

Atlanta Falcons

2016

Dan Quinn (Head Coach)

Atlanta Falcons

2015

Vincent Jackson

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2014

Jared Allen

Chicago Bears

2013

John Harbaugh (Head Coach)

Baltimore Ravens

2012

Charles Tillman

Chicago Bears

2011

K.S. "Bud" Adams Jr. (Late Owner)

Tennessee Titans

 

The Salute to Service Award presented by USAA is part of the NFL and USAA's year-round commitment to recognize and honor the military community. To read about all 32 nominees, visit www.nfl.com/salute.

 

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