NFL

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Former NFL centre Matt Birk gets league's football development job

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NEW YORK, N.Y. - Former Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens centre Matt Birk was hired Thursday by the NFL as director of football development.

The six-time Pro Bowl player and 2011 Walter Payton Award winner as the league's man of the year spent the 2013 season as an NFL-NFLPA appeals officer.

In his new role, Birk will be involved in administration of game-day operations, oversee the further development of the scouting combine and regional combines, as well as the Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine game for college players.

"I'm very excited to begin this next chapter of my football career," Birk said. "It's a real honour for me to be entrusted with developing the game in so many different ways."

Birk becomes the eighth former player to take a job at the NFL executive offices, joining Merton Hanks, Dwight Hollier, Patrick Kerney, James Thrash, David Tyree, Troy Vincent and Charles Way.

Vincent is the league's top executive for football operations.

"Matt's experience as a terrific NFL player, a model citizen in his community and a reputation as a forward-thinking leader make him ideally suited for this role," Vincent said.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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