Schultz: Looking for an answer to the concussion question

Chris Schultz
11/13/2012 10:25:09 AM
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I have absolutely no idea on how to limit or eliminate concussions in modern NFL football .

Again last week, three quarterbacks did not finish the game due to hits to the head - Michael Vick in Philadelphia, Jay Cutler with the Bears and Alex Smith with the 49ers. And they were all different in the evaluation of why.

With Michael Vick, he was just falling backwards and hit his head on the turf at Lincoln Financial Field. I said to myself, 'You're knocked out on that?' Then I saw his face on the TV screen as he walked out and said to myself, 'You are definitely knocked out'. His glassy eyes said it all.

Then on Sunday night, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler took a 'shot in the chops' from Texans linebacker Tim Dobbins. Now that one was easy to read as I bet Cutler was out before he hit the ground.

The third incident happened when 49ers QB Alex Smith took off trying to get a first down and was hit in an unusual way trying to protect himself. It was one of those 'wrong place at the wrong time' type of hits.

That's the problem; the concussions come in so many ways. The innocent play of Vick, the vicious hit on Cutler and the routine play by Smith. There is no consistent answer when you ask the question, 'What is the common denominator?'

I suppose you could surmise that with Vick, a better helmet is the answer as that intensity of shot should not cause that damage. With Cutler, there needs to be a tougher penalty on pre-meditated head shots and a higher level of respect from player to player. And with Alex Smith, every now and then it is just going to happen.

Then as I wrote this up on a Tuesday morning, I thought to myself, 'That is the best you got?' After all my life being invested in football, that is your conclusive summerization - better helmets, respect and oops, these things happen? That's it?

Football is more violent than it has ever been. I say that because I have experienced it at the highest level.

It's not a statement of conceit, but of experience and reality after four brutal training camps with the Dallas Cowboys. The players are more explosive now than they were back then and the money is almost evil in its generosity. And maybe that's my frustration - that I do not have an answer.

Been there, done that, but still don't understand what to do about it.

Chris Schultz

Chris Schultz


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