Greg Lloyd: If QBs get hurt, so be it–but care for them in retirement

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Former Steelers linebacker Greg Lloyd says he’s sick of seeing the way the NFL is changing to a league that makes protecting the quarterback paramount.

“I don’t want to see a game where the damn score is 75-1 or 75-2, all this passing and passing,” Lloyd said on WXIX-TV in Cincinnati, via “I want to see somebody hit a quarterback. . . . That is what people come to see. And at the end of the day if he gets hurt, so be it.”

I’m not sure how Lloyd envisions a game with a score of 75-1 taking place, but whatever: It’s no surprise that Lloyd, who was one of the hardest-hitting linebackers in the league during his playing days, isn’t overly concerned with the safety of quarterbacks. Lloyd does believe, however, that if those quarterbacks who get hurt on the field are affected by those injuries during retirement, the NFL has an obligation to take care of them.

“The point of it is that if the NFL and the league would get behind and start taking care of their older players and taking care of guys, they wouldn’t have these issues,” Lloyd said. “As opposed to saying, ‘Hey, go out there, do it hard, then bang we’re done with you.'”

But there’s the issue the league is facing: The best way to treat injuries is to prevent them from happening, and the changes the league is making that Lloyd objects to are designed to prevent injuries. Lloyd, however, says you simply can’t prevent injuries from happening in the first place.

“This is not PBS, it’s not the public channel that you go watch,” Lloyd said. “It’s the National Football League, it’s a violent freaking game.”

51 responses to “Greg Lloyd: If QBs get hurt, so be it–but care for them in retirement

  1. 75 -1

    Easy, 36 safeties and a field goal for one team, a double up the right field line with a runner on second for the other. 🙂

    I think games like 76-64 are possible (like Navy vs North Texas a few years ago that ended up Navy 74- NT 62 – and that with Navy running a spread option running attack).

  2. Not a Steelers fan, but this guy was one bad dude on the field. Having said that, there’s no right answer here.

    If you want all out destruction on the field, then the NFL might be providing care for vegetables after they retire (quality of life is nonexistent, despite the best care offered).

    If you want players protected to the max, then you will be watching padded soccer (which means no one will watch).

  3. If QB’s can’t take hits for the millions of dollars their making , there are adult flag football leagues that would be willing to take them!

  4. Even as a Browns fan i cant thelp but agree with Lloyd he is spot on with what he says! im sick n tired of all tthese changes and it becoming what it is.Its as violent game always has been so anyone who plays it,gets involved with it or watches it,knows it! and if anyof those ppl do not like it or doesnst want injuries then dont play or watch it,simple as that! i wanna see hard hits and ppl get hurt and knocked silly just like its supposed to be!

  5. “As opposed to saying, ‘Hey, go out there, do it hard, then bang we’re done with you.’””


    You not only got the privilege of playing a game for a living and making a LOT of money doing it, you also want the league to take care of you after you retire.

    Forgive me if I don’t feel much sympathy for these guys. Sorry, but you’ve got to take some personal responsibility for what happens to you when your career is over. You know it’s going to end at some point.

  6. Wow, what a dope. Kill the qb, but make sure you pay for the funeral.

    In high school, I struggled and was picked on. He was given star treatment.

    I struggled to get into college. He got a free ride.

    I graduated with a large debt. He got a sign bonus check.

    Why should we care about old football players learning the meaning of life in their 30’s? I learned that life isn’t fair back in grade school. They made their choices in life to play and make lot’s of money, they just never learned life isn’t fair.

  7. We all know concussions are bad for you. And the brain is one of the most important organs needed for having a decent quality of life. But the league is only concerned with protecting ownership’s pocketbooks. The ex-player lawsuits are driving the changes to the rules many of us hate. If ownership cared about player safety they would have better treatment for retired players, the rule changes would be designed to protect all players from concussions (like lineman who bang heads for 4 quarters every week), and the ownership would not have been pushing very recently for more regular season games. Roger Goodell serves at the request of ownership – not the players so he is trying to protect his boss’ pocketbooks. But the changes he has put in place make watching NFL games far less enjoyable for me. I am at the point where I only watch it so I can play fantasy football. And since That is the case I am seriously considering cancel long NFL Sunday Ticket and just following baseball (never thought I would type that sentence). If others feel the same (hating the direction of the NFL rule changes) they will voice their opinion by what they choose to watch too. I really think we have already seen the golden age of the NFL and now we will see its decline.

  8. I believe we should get ready for a change in the NFL that will begin to look like flag football. In their effort to minimizing injuries they are forever changing the game to a point where it will not be recognized as the game of just a few years ago. Those players that assumed the game would always be a hard hitting where you just wiped off the blood and got ready for another snap will be gone soon. As the NFL law suits bring out the loses for the league there will be some former college and high school players joining in their own lawsuits. Those schools just may believe it will be more cost effective to drop football in favor of soccer.

  9. it’s odd how it’s the players, when putting themselves in the position of the fans, feel football simply HAS to be violent to be any good aesthetically… while fans (perhaps in part putting themselves in the position of the players) are perfectly willing to try to skim a little of that pure violence off the top if it means less players get hurt.

  10. Despite the NFL generating a lot of money, the resources are finite. It would be a pretty crappy business model if the NFL just said, ‘Aw, screw player safety and injury prevention, we’ll just let the next generation of players and fans pay for it.’

    Who’s going to pay the additional costs? The NFLPA? Lower players salaries in the future? Higher ticket prices? I’m sure the response from most will be the owners. That’s right, the owners should let the players make their own rules and the entire defense should be alllowed to club the QB over the head repeatedly with baseball bats like they did when the league was great. Then the owners shold have to pay all the medical and legal costs later.

    It’s a business and you have to plan for the future.

  11. This is the same guy that held a loaded gun to his kid’s head for getting a bad grade. Lloyd should be in a prison cell – not on the headlines of PFT running his mouth – and this is from a Steelers fan that really started getting into football in the early 90’s when Lloyd was a true beast.

  12. @buddybowl69: I respectfully disagree with your well thought out post. The beauty of football is that it’s the ultimate team sport,one goes down and another comes up. If Bledsoe doesn’t get hurt Brady(6th round pick) may not get a shot. Same scenerio with Tiki Barber and countless other players. Injuries and the subsequent players’ careers who take off because of said injuries are one of the most fascinating parts of the game.

  13. @buddybowl69:To conclude,the real issue is that injuries only effect the teams who don’t draft well and stock up depth throughout their team. Examples:Patriots go 11-5 without Brady who’s lost in week 1,Steelers lose Roethlisberger for 4 games (due to suspension) and go 3-1 without him and go to the SB,Ed Reed misses half a season and the Ravens still make the Div. Round of the playoffs,and the Texans lost their first 2 QBs,starting WR,and starting RB for portions of last year and still made the Div. Round of the playoffs. Teams who draft well can weather injuries,teams like the Colts,Browns,and Raiders who’s drafting has been poor fall apart when they lose a prime player because they have no depth.

  14. Football is a violent game you know this when you sign up to play period. Stop trying to make it out to
    be what it is not or to change it to something other then it is not. It is a tough physical sport with violent contact at times. You know this, I know this, The Players know this if you dont want to play football as it is and was meant to be played then dont play the game. Just stop whining and giving multi millions to players who sign to play FOOTBALL. I agree on players safety but this is just getting way out of control. You can not ask a player going full speed to stop and think about where and how to hit someone.
    You go full speed read and react, almost an instinct for an NFL player. Take that instinct away and you have sloppy fundamentals.

  15. jpfreeman6272 says:

    I am at the point where I only watch it so I can play fantasy football.


    And that makes you part of the problem. Fantasy football is one of the main reasons the sport is getting watered down. It’s not about the game anymore, it’s all about the stats.

  16. How about Kurt Warner, Steve Young, Johnny Unitas, Len Dawson, Warren Moon, Joe Theismann etc? All of these players were not deemed NFL starter quality initially and then when given a chance to play had great careers. If the question is whether I want to see backup quality QBs and have football played the way it was until very recently – my answer is a resounding “yes”.

  17. Blitzburgh43 says “And that makes you part of the problem. Fantasy football is one of the main reasons the sport is getting watered down. It’s not about the game anymore, it’s all about the stats.”

    You’re certainly entitled to your opinion blitzburgh43, but my fantasy leagues reward points for Offensive and defensive statistics that have been a part of the NFL game for quite a while now. So I don’t quite follow how me and others following and caring about NFL statistics has lead to the watering down of the NFL game. Fantasy footballers are not driving for the NFL rule changes that this article was about. And I would argue I and many other fantasy footballers have watched more football than the casual fans of the game or one particular team. You probably could blame us fantasy footballers for higher ticket prices and higher NFL Sunday Ticket subscription prices though.


  19. The bottom line here is liability. The league DOESN’T want to have to shell out money to take care of these crippled players later, which is why they want to protect them now.

  20. Lloyd is right. The NFL should set up a system to take care of retired players with health concerns arising from their short career. In that same breath, I would also add that the NFLPA should also be contributing to that system by reducing overall salaries in the next CBA. I don’t think anyone is really arguing whether these athletes need medical care after their short careers are over. The disagreement is over who should be paying for it. I say both sides should shoulder the costs. As a relatively young guy with a work related back injury, I can tell you that there’s no job that is worth your health. I don’t care how many millions they are paying you to do it.

  21. Oh, I love Greg Lloyd. He played with so much passion. And that’s the dilemma. How do you protect players without neutering the passion of the game? Well, you start by mandating equipment like the ProCap helmet that’s been shown to reduce the effects of hits on the brain.

    The NFL has the financial resources to make the game less dangerous without diluting the sport. But the league also has a financial incentive–Fantasy Football and attracting more casual viewers–to hamstring defenses. Don’t be so sure all these efforts to minimize hits are solely for the health and welfare of the players. Ultimately, the NFL will put profits above all else.

  22. I’m sorry but the NFL should not be forced to help retired players.

    They know the risks when they play the game. No one is forcing them to play, and they are paid high amounts of money (higher than many other, far more dangerous jobs.)

    If the NFL WANTS to help retired players, then that would be nice of them to do, but they should not be required to do so.

    EVERY player going in knows the risks, yet none of them walk away.

  23. austinforever says: May 20, 2012 8:56 AM

    Trust a former Steeler to say this. He should have brunch with James Harrison, scum of the earth tend to get along.


    For decades, the intimidation of players like Lloyd, Jack Lambert, Deacon Jones, Ronnie Lott, Joe Greene, Dick Butkis, Jim Marshall, Lawrence Taylor, Mike Singletary, Sam Huff, Ray Nitschke and many others has been celebrated and respected.

    In one fell swoop, Roger Goodell took a Sunday in October of 2010 and all of a sudden, started making hitting too hard a bad thing. And to make things worse – weak minded fans who have no clue about the way that these players approached and played the game all of a sudden fall for it and consider these players terrible human beings.

    The worst of this hypocrisy comes from Browns fans – who complain about how dirty Harrison is and Ward was, but openly celebrated the injuries to Roethlisberger and Mendenhall last year – to the point that you would have thought the Browns won the games instead of being swept. They cared more about the Steelers players being hurt.

  24. I wanna see quarterbacks hit too because they get too much media pampering!!!!

    Greg Lloyd, you’re my man!!!

  25. Blitzburgh43 says “And that makes you part of the problem. Fantasy football is one of the main reasons the sport is getting watered down. It’s not about the game anymore, it’s all about the stats.”


    I actually agree with this statement. I was a hardcore NFL fan but ever since NFL started to promote and make $$ off of fantasy football, my interested in NFL has gone down. It basically has turned football fans from X and O’s into Dungeon and Dragons.

  26. fsf7, LOL.. Browns fans still celebrate Turkey Jones spiking Bradshaw. If a player did that to Ben today, they’d immediately petition for a statue to be built for the player. They are hypocrites with a joke of a franchise.

    As for Lloyd, he’s basically just pointing out the inevitable… One day hitting the QB will be off limits and the league will go downhill. Whether it’s timed downs, touch, or flag.. It will happen in our lifetimes because the league is too keen on protecting their key investments, quarterbacks.

  27. Agree with him all you want, but he is wrong. Fans do not watch the game just to see the QB get hit. If that was the case then the NFL would take away the forward pass. QB’s and the passin game is the star of the league. And, despite numerous assinine statements that the NFL will be a flag football league soon, the NFL has never been more popular or more profitable. That alone means the owners are correct in the direction they are headed, and most of you are wrong.

  28. Try suing your employer after 20 years for the carpal tunnel and stenosis of the spine you suffered from sitting at a desk and starring at a computer all day. Ha! Life ain’t fair guys. Too bad you got to play a game you loved for a living and could retire in your 30’s.

  29. “Who is Joe Namath? This is a guy who, if he played in the league today, I’d probably just go hit him late and see what he did, just for the hell of it. Joe Namath can go to hell; he can kiss my ass.”

    — Greg Lloyd, after NBC commentator Joe Namath accused Lloyd of playing dirty (1991).

  30. SGTR0c. I hope I got you sign in right because of all the posters I’ve read in the last couple months since I’ve been on board you have the most truthful, right and honest. I could not agree with you more. I worked my butt off everyday of my life, sacrificed my mind, my body and nobody paid my way there were certainly no Million Dollar bonus checks. Nobody is there to take care of me and believe me, I took plenty of hits along the way as most of us have. 2-20 million a year for 6-12 years, id be able to take care of myself. Easily. They played football all of their early lives, got to the dream and poured it away. That’s NOT the NFL’S fault, the fans fault or the media’s. It’s theirs. Pay me 22 mil, and I’ll let you smack the crap outa me every Sunday for 19 weeks. One year would be more than enough for me. I’d be set for life and my family as well. It came with the TURF so to speak poor little abused millionaires. Get em a freaking lollipop, they’ll feel better

  31. How about NFL players nut-up and learn how to take care of themselves. They act like leaving the league is worse than being an orphan. They have millions of dollars to pay for their own damn medical care and insurance. Maybe you can’t have that 15th car or that 4th beach house, get over it. I know 35 year old laborers whose bodies are breaking down, but no its the adult children fresh from the playing field that need extra care. You can say concussions lead to things, which they do, but is anyone really surprised about Seau killing himself? I could tell he was messed up when he was still a young guy. Bodily injury is the price they CHOOSE to pay for fame and fortune that most people never have. Shut up and be an accountant then.

  32. The whole concussion lawsuit garbage is nauseating.

    Lloyd is dead-on. It is common sense that if you get hit in the head a number of times, risk comes into play with your brain, etc.

    We all know that. It is just like if you walk across dangerous high mountains, you can fall and die.

    If you tend to swim in dangerous areas, you can drown, freeze, or get eaten by crocodiles.

    In the 1940’s, they had a term they used all the time: “I think he is a little punchy”. That was referring to someone a bit stupid likely caused by being hit in the head too many times.

    We all know it. Just call it what it really is: More people wanting money off a successful business or organization. Sorry state of affairs.

  33. Guy flat out blasted people every week an made no apologies for it. He was a throwback and you could tell quarterbacks knew where he was and he got into their head.

  34. The problem is that repetitive collisions are what cause the serious problems.

    Repetitive collisions are part of the game.

    So you either get rid of that, and make the sport completely different or you take care of them in retirement or some combination of both.

    If they NFL wants the concussion suits to go away, they will have to do more than fine players who hit other defenseless players; they will probably have to get rid of the tackling element.

    Gordon nailed it in the comment above; there is just no solution.

  35. Teams are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in quarterbacks. They don’t want to see them hurt. If a team is going to make that kind of investment on a player, they are going to want them on the field. Greg Lloyd may not like it, but a franchise QB is more important than any other position. Especially in todays’ NFL.

  36. I’m with you, Greg, I want to see a certain quarterback hit over and over again….

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