With Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill watching nearby, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrapped up his annual Super Bowl press conference on Wednesday with praise for Bidwill and the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee for their event even with the week not yet halfway over and the game itself still four days away.
"I want to thank Mike, (Super Bowl committee chair) David (Rousseau), Fitz (Larry Fitzgerald), (Super Bowl committee CEO) Jay (Parry)," Goodell said. "I've got to tell you, this community has opened their arms. this is a wonderful community, a diverse community, the indigenous communities we are so proud to partner with them also.
"Mike for your leadership and the Super Bowl Host Committee and so many great leaders, that has made this special. I know it's only Wednesday and we'll wait until Tuesday (after the game) to talk about it, but you have done an extraordinary job and I think we are going to have a great week."
Eventually, Arizona and the Cardinals will make a push for another game, but when is to be determined. There are only two more Super Bowl hosts set going forward -- Las Vegas after the 2023 season, and New Orleans after the 2024 season. Goodell said the owners will be voting on at least one more site, and perhaps two, later this year.
"We need more years, because they just get bigger and bigger so we need a little bit more of a runway to do some of the planning," Goodell said.
Goodell said he has seen progress by the NFL in diversity and the opportunities for minorities in front office and head coaching roles, but "there is still work ahead of us."
"We're pleased to see progress but it's never enough," Goodell added. "We're always looking to see how we can do better."
He pointed to new Titans GM Ran Carthon, who was introduced to the Titans originally through the league's accelerator program. The program brings together top minority coaching and front-office candidates to meet and talk to owners at league meetings.
The Cardinals, who are still searching for a head coach, interviewed four minority candidates out of 10 total, with a fifth -- DeMeco Ryans -- canceling his interview opportunity.
Asked about the amount of scrutiny the NFL's officials were under and the idea that officiating has been poor at times, Goodell pushed back, saying about the officiating "I don't think it's ever been better."
The league continues to try and improve where they can, and he noted that's where replay has come in. He added that the excellent technology of today's broadcasts are going to make it easier to see minute mistakes.
The commissioner said there are more than 42,000 plays each season, with the potential of multiple infractions on every play. "Are there mistakes in the context of that? Yes," he said. "They are not perfect and officiating never will be."