BSO- “I think the health ramifications and where we need to go, pushing the envelope quickly to catch up to speed with what we’re dealing with — I would say, simply, start with the helmet. I would say we’re way behind where should be right now with what we’re putting on the players.”
That technology may be well on it’s way. Payton referenced a prototype he was able to see at the Senior Bowl.
“It’s amazing to see,” he said. “If you took the analogy of an automobile in the ’60s and ’70s and how much of the impact passengers received in a collision and fast-forward to where we are now … I think the same thing is happening and needs to happen with the helmet that we’re wearing. So what we’re used to right now as a helmet, I think, is going to change at warp speed right in front of our eyes in the next two or three years. It really is behind. And it’s not until the noise gets real loud that you really see change in any one area. And I think every one of us in this industry hears it, and it’s deafening.”
You really gotta tip your cap to Sean Payton here. I know he didn't exactly reveal any ground breaking information. He did, however, mention that football has a CTE issue, and admitting that you have a problem is always the first step you have to take to come up with a solution. Not sure the surefire solution is to strap revolutionary auto parts to the player's heads, but hey - it can't be any more dangerous than what they are currently doing. Pretty sure Sean Payton didn't put an end to head injuries in football by suggesting improvements that have been suggested thousands of times before, but at least he's attempting to make strides. That's commendable considering the people that ultimately pay his salary fell off that wagon about 5 minutes after they got on it.
Let's be honest. Football could be played in a padded room with the participants wrapped in bubble wrap, and concussions - as well as the long term ramifications of repeated concussions - are going to remain a significant health hazard. I don't care how far car manufacturers have come in ensuring the safety of their drivers. You drive a 2015 Ford truck head on into another 2015 Ford truck enough times the end result is going to be a hell of a lot of cumulative damage. I'm not saying that improvements can't be made in protective headgear, but I am saying that - given the nature of football - expectations should remain tempered. Still, it's refreshing to see someone that is technically employed by a negligent league speak out on behalf of a dilemma that they are clearly facing, but are usually so quick to ignore. Sean Payton's plan of attack may be completely unrealistic, but as a part of a senseless organization it really is the thought that counts.
P.S. Considering the relationship that Sean Payton has with the NFL I wouldn't put it past him to be the one to bring up concussions and once again cast a negative shadow on the league that has caused him so many problems in his career.