The League

Jason Maloni
Crisis Communications Expert

Jason Maloni

Senior Vice President with
Levick Strategic Communications
and Chair of the firm's Sports & Entertainment Practice.

Be deliberate, Brian

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Indiana Jones said "It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage."

DeMatha Catholic's favorite son Brian Westbrook is learning that a running back's most difficult opponent isn't a defense scheme. It's injuries.

At the end of the season, as Westbrook considers his future, he would be wise to involve the best brain doctors in the nation. These doctors should be well-versed in the latest data on professional football players and head trauma and should not be affiliated with the NFL or the Philadelphia Eagles.

Armed with that advice, he needs to sit down with his family and decide if more football is the answer. His family is an important part of the equation.

Westbrook, Kurt Warner and several other professional football players are among a handful of athletes who will use this off season to consider if they have more to offer the game. And, more importantly, is the cost of more football worth the price.

If Westbrook does decide to return next season, he needs to properly articulate the extensive research he himself did into the subject, the numerous examinations and tests he underwent, and the deep discussions he had with his family. Westbrook can't suddenly declare himself "healed" as that sends an inaccurate message to others in the league and to younger athletes. Pop Warner players shouldn't hear that one's brain is no different than one's hamstring.

He must be seen seeking the counsel of experts and those who love him.

Part of properly communicating a decision is about communicating the process that brought you to that decision.

By Jason Maloni  |  December 16, 2009; 12:04 PM ET  | Category:  Medical , Philadelphia Eagles Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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