The League

Dick Vermeil
Former Head Coach

Dick Vermeil

Has won the Super Bowl, the Rose Bowl and multiple coaching accolades.

We Didn't Know Any Better

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I don't think there are any more concussions today than there used to be, in fact there may be less today. We just record more so-called "concussions" than they did in the old days so they appear to be more significant.

The fact that the injury is more public now, it gets treated with more serious concern than in the past. When I first started coaching you'd see guys get knocked out in the first quarter and go back in the second. We didn't call it a concussion, we called it getting knocked silly and you gave the guy some smelling salts and off he went.

Back then we just didn't know any better. In the 70's and 80's coaches didn't have any more information than anyone else did at the that time. The doctors told us it wasn't anything too serious so that's how we treated it -- just part of the game, you know? Now, all for the good, it's not done that way. When the information changed from the doctors the coaches changed accordingly.

No coach wants to see his players get hurt. I remember when I was coaching with the Rams, our tight end Ernie Conwell went down with a severe concussion and it scared the hell out of me. He missed a few weeks and then came back. Perhaps a couple decades before there would have been more pressure on him to return sooner, but this was true in regards to most injuries.

The NFL is doing everything it can to keep players safe. You always strive to do better but I think they're doing everything they can and they're doing it well.

By Dick Vermeil  |  June 10, 2009; 10:03 AM ET  | Category:  Concussions , Dick Vermeil , Medical Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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With all due respect, the NFL is not doing everything it can to keep players safe, although they have made progress. There are new helmet designs out there that would go a long way towards reducing concussions, but they don't look as cool, and they're not shiny. The current helmets bounce off one another like a golf ball. I saw one design that had a few pieces of foam attached to the outside to reduce the bounce. It looks pretty funny, admittedly, but it would likely get results. Completely worth it in my humble opinion.

Posted by: Ibleedburgundy | June 11, 2009 3:59 PM

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