Chicago Sun-Times

NFL open to more changes to uniform

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell embraced the jerseys Nike unveiled Tuesday.

But, from his standpoint, Goodell is open to change.

"There's always a balance between innovation and tradition, and I think you'll see that in the NFL. Some teams will lean toward the tradition," Goodell said. "...Some teams will want to push the envelope a little bit, from a look standpoint, and that's fine. We want them to do that along with fans."

Goodell said there's no requirement for uniformity in the uniforms.

"The only uniformity we want is how the uniform is worn, not in the look," he said. "We think part of being professional as a league is having a uniform code. We get some criticism for that, but it's a part of looking professional."

For the most part, the uniforms aren't dramatically different, except for the Seattle Seahawks. But made that decision, not the NFL or Nike.

"It's based on individual owners, and the NFL does have guidelines on how much you can change," said Todd Van Horne, the creative director of football for Nike. "But, for us, we have a tremendous respect for each team's heritage and culture, so we wanted to honor that, and bring the performance and innovation to them."

Asked about coming changes, Van Horne said, "The playing field is wide open."

For now, teams will have a home and an away jersey, as well as a "historical look," according to Van Horne. Beyond that, nothing else has been firmed up.

"It's exciting what they're thinking about," Van Horne said.

One player who would welcome a change to his team's jersey is Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley.

"Overall, it's better," Finley said of the quality of the jersey and fit. "But you know Green Bay. They stay simple and do what they want."

Asked if he the Packers might be open to change, Finley said, "I would think so."

Finley was a fan of the Seahawks jersey.

"That's the best jersey Nike put out," he said.

Finley, who has a deal with Nike, insisted the look and feel are important for players.

"You feel good," he said, "you play good."

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