As brain injuries have become a bigger concern, more parents express doubts about letting their children play tackle football. Saints quarterback Drew Brees, however, is an enthusiastic football dad.
“Do my boys play? Oh, yeah. They knock the crap out of each other,” Brees said.
Brees said he still sees football as the same physical game it was when he started playing as a boy, although he does notice that he and his fellow players are more concerned about hits to their opponents than football players were 10 or 20 years ago.
“The game is still played the same,” Brees said. “Obviously the rules have changed, so maybe that hit that a guy would go for, a safety on a receiver over the middle, he’s changing his launch point a little because he doesn’t want to get fined 25 grand or 50 grand for that hit. I think in the past, when a guy would get hit and it was obvious that he was knocked out or woozy, that was a great thing, everybody was jumping up and down cheering like, ‘Yeah, you knocked him out.’ Now I think the mindset is different like, ‘Somebody go out there and make sure he’s OK’.”
The rules have changed, but football remains a great game, one that Brees is glad to pass on to the next generation.