Giants owner John Mara: “This year was a setback” on concussions

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Giants owner John Mara nodded along last week when NFL senior vice president for health and safety Jeff Miller acknowledged a link between repeated concussions and CTE.

And while he admitted it was a concern, Mara said he didn’t view that admission during a congressional hearing as a bombshell.

“I don’t think what he said was anything new,” Mara said, stopping for a group of reporters at the owners meetings in Boca Raton, Fla.

But while he might not have thought the admission was the smoking gun some viewed it as, he did admit alarm at the fact there were 271 reported concussions last year compared to 206 the year before.

“I think it’s the number one issue we have as a league,” he said. “This year was a setback. Hopefully it’s a one year aberration.”

Mara said the league’s competition committee looked at nearly every concussion from last year (other than ones which were hard to pin down, such as offensive linemen who take multiple shots during the course of play). And he talked about the lengths the league was going to to try to make the game safer, from equipment improvements to trying to incentivize teams taking touchbacks to the 25 to eliminate kickoff returns.

But it’s clear last year’s spike in concussions after a positive trend had him worried, as it probably should.

43 responses to “Giants owner John Mara: “This year was a setback” on concussions

  1. Or maybe. It was a step in the right direction? More head injuries being diagnosed as concussions. Because that’s what they are? Just a thought.

  2. “I don’t think what he said was anything new,” on Miller’s admitting Football is linked to CTE.

    Is Mara talking about an internal understanding? The league has spent decades, at least, as early as 1978 confusing and conflating brain damage.

    One of his quacks, Mitch Berger, denied the relationship at SB50.

    Mara needs to be examined by a neurologist to see if his brain is in tact.

  3. Mara must have had a concussion when he fired (yes, fired) his head coach. This comes from a Dallas fan.

  4. I wont be surprised if the number is even higher next year, I think were seeing a change in culture where guys are starting to report head injuries as opposed to who knows how many went unreported in years past.. The number will likely climb until it plateau’s at the true number of yearly head injuries and then we’ll see reductions from there.

  5. WHAT Mara means is this was a set-back year because NFL owners finally had to take responsibility for the concussions they had already known for years that were producing horrible deteriorations in players.

  6. A story about concussions becomes a Giants bash fest. The team is still one of top 3-4 model franchises in the game, you guys wouldnt even have an NFL if not for the efforts of Wellington Mara (and his father before him, and the Giants will get their FIFTH SB before Eli hangs it up in another 4-6 years. Deal with it.

    Oh yeah, youd have to be completely brain-dead to think that the Giants wont be re-signing OBJ. The internet is your friend….even with all the money they just spent they STILL have the 7th most cap space in the NFL.

  7. In the picture it looks like someone ripped a big one next to him. You think he would be used to nasty smells, since he’s living in the NJ/NY area.

  8. This is why John Mara shouldn’t be involved in this stuff. Besides his clear inability to avoid jaundiced decision-making, he is simply in over his head. He needs to be educated on reporting biases before he opens his mouth on such matters (in this case, the bias is towards BETTER reporting procedures, which obviously shout increased the number of recorded concussions even while the number of actual concussions suffered drops).

  9. Fix the helmets and leave the game alone!

    The ProCap worked better at “preventing” concussions in 1980s than anything the NFL has tried to date.

    Raddell, makers of the NFL’s official helmet did not have the patient right to the ProCap so the NFL was not interested…

    …and the NFL wasn’t really concerned about concussions until they got sued.

    Fire Goodell and make the ProCap manadory for a year and see how it performs.

    If it doesn’t work, no harm done…but it “will work” because it has already been tested in the NFL.

  10. Mara says much more than Jerry Jones and yet he lies twice as much when he does speak.
    In this case the apple fell very far from the tree. This man is a disgrace to his father and to the NY Giant fanbase. Very, very sad.

  11. The Case Keenum rag doll incident was all you needed to see to know the league’s stance on concussions

  12. If Mara is so unable to see outside the bubble of his inheritance created position to the reality of the harm being done to other’s lives then the adults should put a muzzle on him.

    He’s a little slicker than some of the others with a little better coat of gloss but, in quotes like that, his nearly sociopathic inability to treat the circumstances of other people as real comes out in the open.

    A setback? Only if all that matters is your own financial welfare.

  13. I’d love to see John Mara or any owner submit to an in depth interview with Florio.

    I can’t help but wonder how they’d respond if asked whether they felt Goodell had “unquestioned integrity” in keeping with their own rules

  14. sounds like the US Government needs to step in and shut this whole NFL thing down…who allows people to get serious head trauma for the sake of entertainment? I’m offended…

  15. jag1959 says:
    Mar 20, 2016 5:55 PM
    Just a coincidence that the pic of Mara looks like he needs more bran in his diet?
    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    No that is just Billionaire John smiling. He smiles a lot.

  16. Well the week wouldn’t be complete without this incompetent blabber mouth chiming in on something he has no idea about. Just shut up and sign checks. No one cares what you have to say because it’s either wrong and/or a lie.

  17. A setback? Wrong way to look at it.

    First off… there is always going to be variability. It simply won’t be constant from one year to another.

    Second thing is… the greater reporting measures you have in place… the more you are going to find out happen.

    This is common place everywhere. When you put reporters out in the hurricanes, you see footage of them and others knocked to the ground on tv more then if you don’t send them out there. It was always happening, you just didn’t know it.

    So yes, I wouldn’t be surprised if they still aren’t catching half of them.

    Still though, they put in procedures to catch more, and the awareness for more players to self-report more and you are going to get… MORE. It’s so simple a caveman can understand it.

    Even then it’s a sliding scale. Where do you cut it off? Mini-concussions probably happen thousands of times a season.

    But again, even at the level of damage effect/signs we’ve associated with a concussion being a concussion, they’re probably only getting about half.

    So when Mara says… we’ve taken a step back, it just shows you he either doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about… or more likely he’s playing the PR game insofar that the NFL is trying to show publicly they are trying to reduce it, and thus it’s a ‘setback’, even though it really isn’t. That’s the NFL worrying about lawsuits.

    Finding out how many are actually occurring, and getting closer to that goal is actually a step forward.

    You can best figure out a way/procedure to mitigate the most possible concussions, when you actually know how many are occurring.

    It’s only a step back PR wise.

  18. Reported concussions went from 206 to 271, but that just means more got reported. It doesn’t mean that there was an actual increase in the number of concussions. The protocol was changed. I expect the number of concussions will steadily decrease over the next few years.

  19. It’s been an aberation for several years. It’s gotten to where the only two things in common for the NFL are in increase in concossions and Roger Goodell as commissioner.

  20. 4 silver footballs. One every decade since the 80s. Just when we’re about to get depressed, we get healed by the Vicky secrets model. I’ve been placated for a longgggg time. How bout you guys? Feeling pent up? I’d hate us too if I were all if you.

    Slainte (since its Irish season)

  21. “I don’t think what he said was anything new,” Mara said”

    Of course not as a league the owners and league officials new from their own doctors that something was wrong for a long time maybe not exactly what but you must have had suspicions for at least for 2 to 3 decades. And when the Pittsburgh coroner blew the top off it, you decided to play tobacco company style stall ball.

    “I think it’s the number one issue we have as a league,” he said. “This year was a setback. Hopefully it’s a one year aberration.”

    Yes and no.

    Yes it is the number one problem for the league but not for the reason you state. The REAL reason you are so worried about this particular subject is that if anyone can ever prove exactly how long before Doctor Amalu proved you had a problem, you knew about it, you owners and the NFL shield will bleed profusely. All those widows with children left with nothing or next to nothing when their husbands made you billions make for very sympathetic witnesses.

    I’m sure the good for nothing commissioner had plenty of late night shredding and hard drive wiping sessions as soon as Dr. Amalu wouldn’t relent to your pressure tactics .

  22. Reported and diagnosed concussions are up. Overall concussions maybe maybe not. I think they might have been underreported in the past.

  23. One aspect not being mentioned is the reported cases as a way to avoid playing. Several players on the Browns (Haden, Manziel) used the concussion protocol to quit, it worked and concussions have become the new hamstring pull, very subjective and hard to determine if player is embellishing the symptoms.

    That’s the new NFL, you lose confidence, don’t like the coach, don’t want to risk injury at end of non playoff year? No problem go report concussion symptoms.

  24. Is the breakdown on when the concussions occurred (i.e. cold weather games, kick off returns, illegal tackles, hitting head on astroturf) available?

  25. rootpain says:
    Mar 21, 2016 8:21 AM
    Spygate doesn’t exist. It never did. Tapes don’t exist. They never did. But if they did exist, which the US government denies, they would be stored at Area 51 in Nevada.
    Humm, now that you mention it, isn’t it unusual that Goodell was born in 1959, just a few short years after the Top Secret, Non-existent, alien raising, Area 51 was first developed by the military. And only 90 miles or so from Las Vegas. Maybe that’s why Goodell won’t allow anything to get established there…. too close to his breeding grounds?
    And maybe thats why Goodell has been in denial all these years about concussions. Maybe he and the others like Mara, bred at Area 51 don’t have brains to worry about? And the whole Deflate gate thing? Of course Goodell would be aware of advanced experiments using substances that look and feel like air but are not impacted by weather conditions. And of course, the reason he hasn’t been fired yet, is he can’t be, by Presidential edict.
    Who would have thunk it? That Roger Goodell was all a part of our National Security plans?

  26. What exactly does Mara expect to happen? The NFL has done next-to-nothing to limit concussions in any meaningful way; it’d take either some new breakthrough in helmets or some rules changes far more radical than anything they’ve yet tried. It’s only natural to see more diagnosed with the added emphasis. But bringing those numbers down could prove extremely difficult if not impossible.

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