Bill O’Brien: If I had video, I would have pulled Tom Savage right away

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Texans coach Bill O’Brien spent a portion of his Monday press conference running through the steps that led to quarterback Tom Savage being cleared to return to Sunday’s loss to the 49ers for a series before he was pulled from the game and placed in the concussion protocol.

Savage took a big hit from Elvis Dumervil in the second quarter of the game and could be seen with his arms in the “fencing response” that sometimes occurs when people suffer concussions when on the ground after the hit. O’Brien said that the medical team told him they would check Savage after that hit and took him to the blue tent on the sideline for a quick evaluation that led to Savage returning to the game.

O’Brien said he couldn’t see the hit or the response from the sideline, but assumed Savage got hit because of how many people were around him. O’Brien does not have access to video on the sideline that would have showed him the hit and Savage’s reaction, something the coach said would have led to a different decision.

“With benefit of seeing the video, obviously from my standpoint — the care for the player — I would have never let that player back into the game and I don’t believe [head trainer] Geoff Kaplan would have let that player back in the game,” O’Brien said, via Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle.

O’Brien saying he asked Kaplan to check Savage again after a three-and-out and that he was told after the second check that Savage could not return to the game. It was not clear from O’Brien’s account whether the spotters in the booth or the unaffiliated neurological consultant on the sideline took a look at the video, which they are supposed to have access to, before clearing Savage to return to action.

The NFL is looking into the handling of the concussion and the NFLPA announced on Monday that it will be doing a “full review” as well.

15 responses to “Bill O’Brien: If I had video, I would have pulled Tom Savage right away

  1. Seriously Bill are you telling me that you never watch your QB play to see that he got blowed the hell up…this guy is a danger to players

  2. Because what it looked like changes the evaluation of an ‘independent’ neurologist? At some point everyone needs to accept what’s widely known to all who evaluate head trauma and many who suffered it, the onset of symptoms is often delayed. It’s not about callousness or indifference, it’s impossible to evaluate symptoms that haven’t manifested yet.

  3. So O’Brien is the only one in the organization watching what is going on, and if he misses it, it’s just plain missed. That explains so much.

    Letting him stay in the game after he’s convulsing on the ground like he has just been thru electric shock was the most cringe-worthy NFL moment since Shanahan ignored RGIII’s wrecked knee and sent him back out there to limp around.

  4. I think this is more of an indictment of the concussion protocol test on the sideline. It shouldnt matter if anyone on the sideline saw the video…..the officials saw the hit, he was sent out of the game for testing and clearly “passed”. The real story here is, how he was allowed back in the game at all by the medical staff. I dont care if the Texans staff could see the hit or not.

    The coach should never have had to ask for a second evaluation….which he miraculously failed.

  5. You have a whole season worth of video on Savage. His play before the concussion should’ve been enough to bench him weeks ago.

  6. You’d think that reviewing video for possible concussions would be common sense. Clearly team management is putting massive pressure on team doctors and evaluators to go through the motions in their concussion “evaluations”. There are too many examples of players being allowed back on the field after massive hits to the head. The NFL should be fining and suspending coaches, then they might take concussion evaluations seriously.

  7. I am not a Bill O’Brien fan, but come on. What on earth is the point of having independent neurologists on the sidelines if we are just going to blame the coach anyway when someone is cleared to re-enter a game?

  8. Coaches are not allowed to watch the TV broadcasts from the sideline or coache’s box because the broadcasts include close-ups of coach communication and analysis. Not sure why that simple fact has been left out of the conversation.

    Perhaps they should let the “independent” medical staff see that stuff, that might help.

  9. How come coaches NEVER see anything “controversial” Weither it’s a penality, official’s call, or a hit. Every time a report questions them it “I didn’t see it” or “I didn’t have a good angle” or some other BS. You have the best seat in the house!!

    Just say what we all know…. “I didn’t ask….No one told… So I played the guy”

  10. This is the second time this has happened to the Texans. Didn’t this happen to T J Yeats in Baltimore a couple of years ago?

  11. The unfortunate and inevitable over-reaction to this will be to pull any guy from a game anytime he takes any kind of a hit.

    When a QB gets pulled from the SB with 2 minutes left just to be sure as part of the protocol, the league just can’t survive.

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