An extension of the Way to Play initiative, the weekly award will recognize proper
in-game technique exemplified by NFL players
The NFL Way to Play educational series highlights proper technique to protect players from unnecessary risk and to foster culture change across all levels of football.
To further showcase the NFL’s commitment to promoting proper playing technique, the league today announced the NFL WAY TO PLAY AWARD as an extension of the initiative.
“Coaches, Legends, and players worked together to develop the NFL Way to Play emphasizing stance, posture and technique as key to protecting players while providing a winning edge,” said TROY VINCENT, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations. “The Way to Play Award will acknowledge a player each week who best demonstrates the fundamentals of knees bent, pads down, and head up and out as they compete in this great game.”
The NFL Football Operations and Officiating departments will select the top nominees, with NFL clubs providing plays for consideration each week. Video of those plays will then be sent to an expert panel consisting of ED HOCHULI, MERRIL HOGE, RONNIE LOTT, WILLIE MCGINEST, ORLANDO PACE and CHUCK PAGANO. They will select the best play to honor for demonstrating excellence of proper in-game technique exemplified by NFL players.
Each Way to Play Award recipient will receive a $2,500 equipment grant through USA Football to be awarded to the local youth or high school football program of the player’s choice.
The weekly winner will be announced on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football every Thursday morning.
NFL Way to Play educational sessions were held with coaches May 1-2 in New York. Webinars and conference calls with all 32 coaching staffs were held May 16-17. Officiating sessions with players occurred during training camps.
Several NFL head coaches, active players and NFL Legends have created videos to assist in educating coaches and players on position-based applications of the new use of helmet rule. The videos provide coaching points of emphasis to execute proper technique and are to be used as an educational tool.