Ed Reed: If NFL wants to stop concussions, stop the game


Ravens safety Ed Reed won his appeal of a one-game suspension handed down by the NFL for a pattern of illegal hits and will be fined $50,000 instead of missing a game and a game check for a lot more than $50,000.

Reed wasn’t thrilled about the development, however. He said Tuesday night that the fine is too harsh for the hit on Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and said it was a shame that things got to the point of a possible suspension since he thinks he plays the game the right way. Reed said that there’s still much that needs to be done if the league is serious about player safety while also cautioning that you’re never going to be able to get away from the fact that football is a violent game.

“At the same time, we grew up watching the game be played a certain way and playing it a certain way. It is tackle football. It is a contact sport and a brutal one, a violent one at that, the No. 1 violent sport, sad to say,” Reed said, via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “I know concussions has been a big thing. I’ve had concussions before and I know guys are going to have concussions. If you want to stop it, stop the game. Like people say, it’s starting to be a flag football thing.”

While Reed might have trouble with the way things go down, the process worked generally worked well for the players. Reed and the NFLPA felt that the suspension was too harsh a penalty for a hit that wasn’t one of the more extreme we’ve seen so far this season and Ted Cottrell agreed while handing down his decision. It might not do much to make the game safer or make it clearer just what defensive players are supposed to do in some situations, but at least it shows that the appeal process won’t be the sham that many players and observers believed it would be when announced.

38 responses to “Ed Reed: If NFL wants to stop concussions, stop the game

  1. Reed is right.

    It’s the nature of the game. If you walk in the rain you will get wet. If you play football you will get concussions.

  2. The appeal process is still a sham because they knew they were going to overturn the decision before they even dished out the punishment.

  3. Ed Reed is absolutely right, the NFL is just grasping at straws on this one. There’s so many rules in place that its too easy to injure a player, and if a player slows up, they might also get hurt since they won’t be playing full speed.

  4. The NFLPA argued that Reeds suspension was too harsh, while at the same time will be arguing in court that the NFL dis know, and does know about the dangers of concussions and dont do enough to stop them.

    Any players or fans complaining about how soft the game has gotten needs to direct their anger towards former players. If your workplace has had a vending machine in the break room for 40 years, then all of the sudden a group of workers file a frivolous lawsuit claiming the vending machine made them fat and the employer is liable, dont get mad at the employer for taking out the bending machine to limit themselves from future damages against similar ridiculous lawsuits. Blame your coworkers.

  5. not surprising. if you want to stop any workplace injury, you could just stop work. but that’s not really a viable option. being in charge of safety at in a manufacturing plant, i know this all too well. guys will complain all day about being at risk…until management (the people who are ultimately responsible for their employees safety) comes up with a solution that forces them to change. it’s guys like ed reed that make changing the safety culture even more difficult than it already is.

  6. I liked what Wilbon said yesterday on PTI. You have to blame the offensive guy as much on some of these hits as well. You cant expect a guy moving 100 mph aiming for a mans chest area to adjust to a receiver that ducks his head like Saunders did on Reed’s hit.

    Do they all happen that way no, but offensive players are ducking into a lot of the head on collisions as well.

  7. Sounds like Ed Reed missed the whole point and didn’t listen at all. The reason he was suspended is because he always leads with his helmet. Make a clean tackle for once. Use your shoulder, wrap up your opponent and tackle him. This is what they told him they wanted to see, reduced his suspension from one game to $50k, and he still complains. He’ll just continue to spear with his helmet and continue to complain.

  8. Ed Reed got his hand slapped and was told to stop it. As quickly as he was suspended his appeal was heard and it was reversed. The NFL front office was simply sending a message to Mr. Reed….

    So instead of saying thank you and moving forward he is going to run his mouth. I hope he hits Gates in the head on accident and gets suspended for the Steelers game.

  9. the reason he didn’t tackle the way he’s supposed to is he can’t use his shoulder. it’s injured. the receiver ducked but reed could have approached it differently. but with the injured shoulder, he was afraid he’d miss the tackle, like a few games ago…

    why isn’t anybody talking about this?

  10. With players getting better, faster, stronger this split second play is only going to get worse. Please helmet companies make a better solution!

    P.S> Commish why not throw a few bucks into R&D instead of just chaning the game?

  11. leads with his helmet is all i hear….you are taught to keep your head up and tackle which is what he did.

    what is he supposed to lead with his pelvis???

  12. These people who say Reed is a headhunter have only seen isolated highlights on TV. When his own division rivals came to his defense it shows that Reed has always played the game properly!! Sure he has made mistakes and been flagged for it! But he is not a dirty player, which is what the suspensions should be reserved for!

  13. I hate to say it, but I see a not so distant future where there is no NFL because of the concussion problem. The scumbag lawyers are licking their chops and it’s just a matter of time before they run the NFL out of business. No matter how much you teach flag football tackling techniques, your going to get concussions. And now the NFL has Ronnie Lott as its concussion spokesman? God, Ronnie beheaded more players than King Henry VIII. The NFL is running scared, you can see it.

  14. Ed Reed is right again, stop the game and stop the lawsuits and let all the guys playing the game use their college degrees and go into the real world and find a real job.

  15. Well unfortunately Ed , It was the retired players that started all this garbage in the first place . Amazing to me how the players complain about player safety ,injuries and life after football and then turn around and complain when the league has reacted by stiffer penalties with a flag football mentality..

  16. The NFL did this to themselves, selling tapes, videos, CDs of hard hits made however they occurred, and calling them highlights. Then suddenly they stop selling the tapes, make James Harrison the poster child of nasty, and now Ed Reed. What the NFL recorded and sold is now against their rules.

  17. edgarcaetano says:

    the reason he didn’t tackle the way he’s supposed to is he can’t use his shoulder. it’s injured. the receiver ducked but reed could have approached it differently. but with the injured shoulder, he was afraid he’d miss the tackle, like a few games ago…

    why isn’t anybody talking about this?


    So because he’s injured he should be allowed to break the rules? Good logic.

  18. Didn’t deserve a suspension but did deserve a fine. You can hit a player hard without leading with your head or hitting a defenseless receiver in the head. The NFL has to protect the players and themselves against lawsuits. Until players start getting that it’s gonna keep costing them.

  19. This leading with the helmet thing is stupid…. How are you supposed to tackle without your head leading your body…. It is physically impossible to not lead with the helmet smart guys…. Now sliding your head to the side during contact is more feasible…FYI the argument should be do not create contact with your helmet first….

  20. @truthfactory, I don’t believe the NFLPA is involved in the concussion lawsuits in the way you describe it. I know it is popular to tag the unions as responsible for every evil thing in this world, but your comment more than stretches the truth.

  21. Truer words were never spoken.

    It is the modern day conundrum of Football and a PC world.

    Jousting had it’s day too. Now, not so much.

  22. Reed and his fellow coward harrison always whine like sissies each time they get fined. In every instance their arms never leave their sides. They make no attempt to make a tackle. They lead with head and shoulders (thats how shampoo company thought of using teamate in ad ) hurling at opponent to knock him down. This is what NFL is trying to eliminate. Young kids should not copy this style of play at any level.

  23. Everyone has an opinion but has anyone tried it?

    First most of the time he isn’t trying to tackle, he’s trying to knock the ball loose and force a turnover like all good at the position do.

    Second as easy as it is to say “wrap him up” just try it. Would you rather run into something using your shoulder with your arms at your side or with your arms out over your head? Which feels more vulnerable for your shoulder? Especially when it is already hurting.

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