In case you ever wondered why concussions are now handled by independent doctors on the sidelines instead of teams, well, Marvin Lewis is why.
Via the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Bengals coach gave a remarkably insensitive and tone-deaf answer when asked Wednesday if he had concern for linebacker Vontaze Burfict as a human being considering the number of concussions he’s endured.
“Well, he had a concussion against Atlanta,” Lewis said of their Sept. 14 game. “That’s that biggest concern that way. You don’t want him to have, you know, but again I coached defenses and linebackers for a long time and concussions didn’t linger. Now we have found that because of the media and things they seem to linger longer. There’s a lot of attention paid to it. I don’t know why they linger longer. I don’t remember them lingering like they do now.”
So to recap, media attention has made head trauma more serious than it used to be. Got it.
Thanks Marvin. Remind me never to let my son play for you.
Actually, his remarks shine some light on the strides made in concussion treatment. In years past — before the media made head trauma more serious than it used to be — people like Lewis would have been in charge of determining whether a player was fit to continue.
Now, having independent neurologists there to take that responsibility away from them has made the players, if not the game, safer.
If it were some hard-head rookie coach, some wannabe drill sergeant, you’d almost understand it. But this is a guy with a decade in the league as a head coach, and a member of the league’s competition committee.
Frankly, he should know better.