Browns President Mike Holmgren attempted to, in his words, “Set the record as straight as I can” in a press conference today, after the team has been widely criticized for its handling of quarterback Colt McCoy’s concussion on Thursday.
Specifically, Holmgren stood up for the Browns’ medical staff and head coach Pat Shurmur for allowing McCoy to return to the game following a head-to-head hit from Steelers linebacker James Harrison.
“Our medical staff and our training staff, they are the best in football,” Holmgren said. “These guys are really good. So one of the things that is troubling to me in this whole process is that they’re getting slammed a bit, along with the head coach. . . . And it’s unfair.”
Holmgren said the Browns’ medical staff hadn’t seen the Harrison-on-McCoy hit and only went out to check on McCoy when they were alerted to it by others on the sideline. Holmgren said that when the medical staff reached McCoy, he was lucid and complaining only about pain in his hand, not his head.
“When the injury took place on the field, at that time the question came up, did the doctors see the impact on the play? They did not. And our trainers did not,” Holmgren said. “They were all working, as is typical in a game. They were working on other injured players in the bench area or behind players. So they did not see the play. They heard the crowd reaction, someone said, ‘Colt’s down.'”
Holmgren said that the Browns have met with league and union officials about the incident. He said the franchise will not be facing any type of discipline for its handling of McCoy, but that the Browns do want to make sure they’re doing everything that the league and the union think they can and should do about concussions.
“We’ve met with the NFL as well as the union doctors,” Holmgren said. “There’s a lot of speculation, there’s a lot of things that have been written and said, and the reason that we waited as an organization to have this meeting is that we had to have those other meetings before. . . . I don’t expect anything to happen in a punitive manner, but it was a good meeting.”
Six days after McCoy’s concussion, Holmgren said he hasn’t spoken with McCoy but is optimistic that McCoy will be OK.
“He still has a headache,” Holmgren said. “But other than that, from what they tell me, he’s good.”