Browns President Mike Holmgren has not yet seen the new posters about concussions that the NFL will require teams to hang in their locker rooms, but he said it's a vital message. The posters serve as evidence that the NFL is alerting players about the dangers of concussions with a greater sense of urgency than ever before.
During a press conference Wednesday, I asked Holmgren about his thoughts on the NFL's efforts to raise awareness. Here's what he said:
(On the new NFL posters informing players about concussions) -- “I haven’t seen the poster yet. There’s been a lot of study and there’s a lot being written about concussions and rightfully so. It’s something that we all have to be aware of. The teams I’ve been associated with treated that type of injury the same way that I would be asked to treat it now. We didn’t downplay it. We didn’t say, 'How many fingers? Go back in the game.' We didn’t do that. We treated it the way it should be treated. For me, there isn’t a dramatic change. I think with players, not only concussions, but players today know so much more about every injury and potential injury than we used to and it’s probably a good thing. It is a good thing. Our medical staff and our training staff, we are committed to do the right thing for the players at all times. This is a rough sport sometimes and the players certainly deserve that. Whatever they put up, I’m fine with it.”
(On whether players sometimes hide that they have a concussion) -- “I suppose they do. I’ve had players do that. All of a sudden I’m looking at the film and say, 'That was a nice play,' and they say, 'I don’t remember that at all.' That’s happened. I think the awareness of your training staff, if they weren’t really tuned in before, which we were, but if your program wasn’t tuned in then, they are going to be tuned in. We are just going to be more aware of it. Yes, players hide that. I don’t know what you can do about that. You do the best you can humanly do in protecting the player. If you don’t sense it or see it and it happens and he doesn’t tell you about it, you do the best you can.”