Ernie Sims, the "shark in the water", agrees that head-hunting is part of his game.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t, because I have tried to lead with my helmet, and I’ve been penalized for it and everything,” said Sims, who spent his first four years with the Lions. “Why did I lead with my helmet? Because I wanted to spear somebody. That’s why. That’s why I did it. It might not be healthy for me personally, but that’s just what I chose to do at that point in time.”
So ... the crackdown on leading with the helmet makes sense then, right Ernie? If you do it intentionally, and the league wants you to stop, then don't do it. Right?
“As a defensive player, the name of the game is to tackle, get him on the ground, any way you can, and you don’t think about trying to have your head in the right place. We practice on it, but when the bullets are live – yeah, you want to stay sound to your fundamentals and techniques, but at the end of the day, you’re going to do whatever you can do get that person on the ground.”
Oh, so leading with the head just happens, unless you do it intentionally. I get it now.
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Another thought on this topic: remember that the whole brain injury thing isn't about concussions. Or, better stated, it isn't strictly about concussions. From the Malcolm Gladwell piece on the topic:
But a football player’s real issue isn’t simply with repetitive concussive trauma. It is, as the concussion specialist Robert Cantu argues, with repetitive subconcussive trauma. It’s not just the handful of big hits that matter. It’s lots of little hits, too.
We should be careful when thinking about this issue to avoid having this key point get swept under the rug.
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Final thought: I am really enjoying the return of Reuben Frank as a prolific beat writer. His gig at BCT had reduced the quantity of his writing, and as his new gig is clearly showing, that was a significant loss for his readership.