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Aikman: Rules protecting QBs have gone too far

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman retired in 2001 in part because of the concussions he had suffered on the field.

But while Aikman says he appreciates the NFL putting an added emphasis on player safety, he worries that the league is taking things too far.

“I think that it’s good that there is this attention to it, and I like that the NFL is stepping out and trying to find ways to keep these injuries from occurring — I think that’s all positive,” Aikman said today on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption. “But the game of football is very violent. And I’m one of those, as a former quarterback, who has felt that maybe the rules have gotten a little bit too far already in terms of protecting quarterbacks.

“I don’t know how you teach a defensive lineman to sack the quarterback, and that’s an inherent part of being a successful defensive lineman. I don’t know how you tell a safety who’s trying to drive on a football and break up a pass how not to lead with your head.”

Aikman said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s new policy on when players can return to the field after suffering a concussion is a much more sensible way of making the game safer than imposing more penalties on defensive players.

“It makes perfect sense to me,” Aikman said about the new policy, announced Wednesday. “I think it’s probably something that should have been in place long ago and I applaud the steps the NFL has taken for player safety.”

Still, Aikman said monitoring players with concussions is very difficult, because players sometimes lie about how they’re feeling after suffering concussions because they want to be tough. And Aikman said players admire teammates who play hurt.

“The only way to gain the respect of your teammates is to show them that you’re willing to go out there and play with injury,” Aikman said.

Ultimately, Aikman believes that playing football will never be completely safe, and that’s just something players will have to accept.

“At some point I think players have to understand that there are certain risks that are involved and if you decide that you want to go out and play football then you’ve got to understand that part of that means you’re going to break some bones and you may have some head injuries,” Aikman said. “But if you try to eliminate all of those things then we’re no longer playing football.”

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26 Responses to “Aikman: Rules protecting QBs have gone too far”
  1. Bigbluefan says: Dec 3, 2009 6:08 PM

    That is why Troy looks like a total fool with that glazed took to many shots to the head look every time you see him

  2. Contra says: Dec 3, 2009 6:14 PM

    I agree with Troy. The game is violent and thats the way it should stay. I used to play football throughout high school and was lucky enough to play in the NCAA and quite honestly I never want to say “Back when I played we played we didnt have to worry about the other players health and played as hard as we could”.

  3. StraightCashHomey says: Dec 3, 2009 6:14 PM

    I wish that too many concussions would keep him out of the booth…..

  4. Cujo says: Dec 3, 2009 6:15 PM

    That’s my quarterback…(tears behind sunglasses)

  5. Youngone says: Dec 3, 2009 6:17 PM

    The NFL is protecting their cash cows

  6. ggdd says: Dec 3, 2009 6:24 PM

    don’t worry it wont be long before congress bans football. And eventually driving because you might run over a bug and kill it!

  7. Farves sweet Hair says: Dec 3, 2009 6:26 PM

    GoodDouche,
    Is going to turn this into a G@d D@mn flag football league.

  8. eagles_2031 says: Dec 3, 2009 6:28 PM

    eventually they will put flags on the qb to signify him being down….it all goes back to brady hough they dont want starts being off the field so hence the “brady rules”. i mean farve who i cant stand takes a beating some weeks and that guy always gets up.

  9. tleg81 says: Dec 3, 2009 6:34 PM

    I watched this interview, Aikman said everything right!! This was a great segment on the best sports show on TV PTI!! I didnt know 10 concussions made someone so articulate, Aikman looks like he could at least play for Cleveland, Oakland, or if Florio was the GM he might even replace Peyton Manning for a 3rd and a 5th and Aikman.

  10. PatricktheDookie says: Dec 3, 2009 6:37 PM

    Aikman’s 100% correct.

  11. Vikefanman says: Dec 3, 2009 6:40 PM

    Bravo Troy!

  12. GoBrowns19 says: Dec 3, 2009 6:43 PM

    well he’s right. What do you want?

  13. willmose says: Dec 3, 2009 7:26 PM

    From Troy’s comments it is easy to see that he has yet to fully recover from his concussions. Brain damage is permanent. How about equal time for all the NFL old times (55+) that can’t walk on their own.

  14. JJMADDOG says: Dec 3, 2009 7:35 PM

    Until someone devises a way to put padding between the brain and the skull, concussions will continue. The best helmet can only prevent the skull from being fractured, but the soft brain banging against the inside of skull will still produce the same results. I can’t help but wonder if having a hard shell on ones head gives a player a false sense of security. Maybe lighter helmets would make the player feel less invincible and slow them down.

  15. nfcbeast says: Dec 3, 2009 7:53 PM

    I wish there were FCC rules on how Troy gives Americans migraines every Sunday.

  16. Twiz says: Dec 3, 2009 7:59 PM

    This is some of the smartest things Troy has said in years. Bravo!

  17. VoxVeritas says: Dec 3, 2009 8:31 PM

    “That is why Troy looks like a total fool with that glazed took to many shots to the head look every time you see him ”
    What’s ShEli’s excuse?

  18. greenguy09 says: Dec 3, 2009 8:46 PM

    aikman has a vast knowledge of the game, he should run the cowgirls not jj

  19. SmackMyVickUp says: Dec 3, 2009 9:04 PM

    Aikman is just jealous because all of these rules are coming into effect after he retired. See how he fells when he is 50 and starting to feel the effects of the 10 concussions more clearly.

  20. Codebeard says: Dec 3, 2009 11:13 PM

    SmackMyVickUp says:
    December 3, 2009 9:04 PM
    Aikman is just jealous because all of these rules are coming into effect after he retired. See how he fells when he is 50 and starting to feel the effects of the 10 concussions more clearly.

    Uh, hi, way to completely miss the point of what he was saying. Aikman is in FAVOR of the concussion treatment steps the NFL is taking. He’s AGAINST the special treatment for the QBs. (i.e. the Tom Brady rule that protects the QB’s LEGS, not their HEAD.)
    Read the transcript and try again.

  21. Opie says: Dec 3, 2009 11:29 PM

    Contra: damn skippy!
    The breast snugglers need to get some nads. Athletics is all about being physical. You get hurt, you play with injuries that “normal” folks call in sick with, you command respect and become a leader by doing so.
    Old saying: “Are you hurt or are you injured?’ you can play hurt!
    He’s not saying that concussions should be skoffed at, he’s applauding the league on that. He’s saying the rules “cradle” a qb to the ground and don’t “land w/body weight on top of or drive the qb into the ground” is just plain silly.
    Play hard or go home! And most of you guys never got past J.V. practice because it hurt when someone tackled you…

  22. PolegoJim says: Dec 3, 2009 11:56 PM

    Troy is a great commentator for those who understand the game. His facts and observations are dead on, and add excellent insight to the broadcast.
    For all of you looking for some king of flashy
    entertainment due to your football ignorance, please see the AMA reruns or those rivetingly
    unscripted realty TV shows. Yep, we need MANY more of THOSE on TV.

  23. dladd08 says: Dec 4, 2009 1:35 AM

    # Bigbluefan says: December 3, 2009 6:08 PM
    That is why Troy looks like a total fool with that glazed took to many shots to the head look every time you see him
    a real football fan would just agree with Troy rather than just HATIN. Your just mad cause he’s a Cowboy and just in case you didn’t know that’s why the Cowboys are Americas team. Not because of the people that love them but for the many people that hate on them (far more than any other team combined). Troy has as many rings as the whole little blue (giants) franchise…stop postin dumb sh*t!!!

  24. Joe in Toronto, Canada says: Dec 4, 2009 6:07 AM

    # PolegoJim says: December 3, 2009 11:56 PM
    Troy is a great commentator for those who understand the game. His facts and observations are dead on, and add excellent insight to the broadcast.
    For all of you looking for some king of flashy
    entertainment due to your football ignorance, please see the AMA reruns or those rivetingly
    unscripted realty TV shows. Yep, we need MANY more of THOSE on TV.
    ===================================
    Right on, Jim, right on.

  25. pushing50 says: Dec 4, 2009 8:55 AM

    You can’t really take the numbers the quaterbacks are putting up for real. Prior to all the rules, Manning use to run for his life and his numbers showed it. These woman get paid a lot of money and get special treatment from the league. Go back to the rules from the 60′s and 70′s and see if Manning or Brady can still play with a broken nose or fingers. If John Unitas had these rules, Manning would still be looking up at his numbers.

  26. Legend of Josh says: Dec 4, 2009 9:44 AM

    Got irony? With Aikman no longer on the football field and behind a microphone doing telecasts, it’s easy for him to sit there and say the NFL needs to remain tough and only grown men play in the national football league!
    Maybe he’s trying to save face for his very own career coming to an end, and people criticized him when he left the game, and now he’s doing the same thing foul fans did to him back when he was at very end of his career.
    Troy Aikman – what a joke. Yes, football is violent, especially at the pro level, and as much as we all love this game there’s more to life than just football. It’s easy for us fans to sit back and call these guys pus’z for not playing after a concussion but these guys have life after football as well.

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