The best sign that the NFL is taking the concussion issue seriously is that the Steelers are taking it seriously.
The Steelers have announced that coach Mike Tomlin and Dr. Micky Collins, the clinical and executive director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program, will conduct a press conference at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday to introduce a new program that will provide information on “preventing concussions through safe play and proper tackling techniques, as well as concussion management.”
The specific content of the announcement isn’t known, but it’s encouraging to see one of the league’s high-profile franchises take a prominent role regarding concussions, especially since the Steelers have at times exacerbated by the problem by: (1) not admitting that a player has a concussion when he has a concussion, using labels like “neck” or “head” or “concussion-like symptoms”; and (2) objected strongly to efforts by the league to eliminate certain types of blows to the head via penalties, fines, and suspensions.
Safety Ryan Clark has vowed to spend less time complaining about the league’s efforts to make the game safer. Here’s hoping that he was merely passing along words of wisdom that Tomlin has been sharing with his players.