Steelers launch concussion awareness program


A team that has given plenty of concussions over the years via a hard-hitting defense has assumed a position of leadership regarding the NFL’s effort to promote concussion safety and awareness at all levels of the game.

The Steelers and UPMC have announced a program aimed at preventing concussions via safe play and proper tackling, along with proper concussion management.

“Don’t hit the head, don’t use the head” is the tag line.  It comes from a saying that Tomlin uses with his Steelers.

“We are excited about this program and we hope that it will make youth football safer for our kids,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said.  “We want to make sure this commitment to safe play is a priority and I strongly believe that it will help educate football players while using a common theme for proper tackling.”

Dr. Micky Collins, clinical and executive director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program, said that Tomlin’s involvement is a major plus.

“This has the potential to be a very powerful campaign,” Dr. Collins said.  “Coach Tomlin’s simple but profound words are crucial for kids to hear.  Athletes have a conscious decision at the point of making a block or tackle.  Not hitting the head and not using the head are attainable concepts in football.  With the message coming directly from Coach Tomlin, whom football players everywhere idolize, I am hopeful that this campaign will help protect the safety and integrity of the game of football.”

There’s a certain irony in all of this, obviously.  Apart from a bad habit in the recent past of not acknowledging when a player has a concussion, the Steelers currently boast one of the most intimidating players in all of sports, who has been repeatedly fined and ultimately suspended for using the head and/or hitting the head.  Coupled with accounts from last year that hits from players like safety Ryan Clark that drew fines from the league office also drew praise in the film room makes us wonder how much of this is window dressing in an era of concussion litigation — and how much of it is genuine.

Hopefully, the Steelers will prove moving forward that their statements about protecting the head are more than lip service.  After all, it’s not like they called the thing a “concussion-like symptom awareness program.”

18 responses to “Steelers launch concussion awareness program

  1. This is another reason why the Steelers are widely considered one of the best organizations in sports. They are doing a great thing. Great tag line a well.


  2. Glad to see you took a completely positive initiative, one that you have been clamoring about for years, and put a negative spin on it. If the Steelers didn’t do this publicly they are bad guys regardless, but now that they have they are hypocritical as well. Great.

  3. I see that ESPN’s Outside the Lines has launched a series of programs to scare parents from allowing their sons to play tackle football.
    With ESPN’s type of bleeding-heart liberal hysteria and propaganda, shouldn’t be long until this is no more football to worry about.
    Hope everyone enjoys the NBA, which ESPN’s new promotional agenda.

  4. catquick….Have you been listening to all the current and former players who have admitted they hid concussion symptoms so they could remain in games? The list is endless.
    They may not actually think, “I have a concussion.” But they deny having: headache, blurred vision, loss of consciousness, nausea, ringing ears, or any other symptoms

  5. catquick ask:

    If you have a concussion how can you be aware of it?


    As a youth, many many years ago, I was clocked(as we called it then) and I knew it…. back then you were to suck it up and play on… I had a hard time telling who were my team and who was the other guys, but I played on….
    About the only thing I knew for sure was I was messed up…..

  6. This smells like a way to try and get the officials to side on your behalf?

    “But ref, we started the concussion awareness program this offseason, clearly Harrison didn’t just spear that guy…”

  7. Lesson 1:

    “When you come to, and you are sitting on the bench, and the doc is asking you for your name, and you don’t know how you got there, nor what city you are in, nor what your name is, nor why you are wearing a football uniform and pads, THAT’S a concussion…”

  8. The Steelers have been leading the way on concussion education/evaluation since Tommy Maddox was damn near paralyzed in 2002.

  9. Wheeeeeeen they shine light in your eye,and you aren’t sure why
    When Harrison hits your head and you feel like you’re dead
    When Polamalu launches with all his might and he sees a bright light

    -To the tune of “That’s Amore”

  10. If the NFL really is interested in curbing concussions, I suggest they make a highlight video of Jack Ham’s tackling techinque must-see viewing for all involved.

  11. How about the steelers teach their defense how to actually tackle. Look at Ray Lewis, textbook tackle form and he is still playing at a high level at 37 years old. I don’t think that is a coincidance.

  12. @randallflagg52 (aka The Stand)

    When Ray tackled Hines Ward last season at Heinz Field a direct helmet-to-helmet hit across the middle and Ward had to leave the game, was that an NFL text book tackle or Ray Lewis’ Ravens team personal text book tackle ?

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