Former Detroit Lions offensive tackle Lomas Brown was the anchor on the line that paved the way for the great Barry Sanders. Brown, 50, was a six-time Pro Bowl player after being selected sixth overall in the 1985 draft. Brown, an ESPN announcer, recently shared his thoughts about several of the recent rule changes made to protect players.
I know (NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell) has wanted to improve player safety, and I know it’s something that had to be addressed because a lot of health issues were going on with older players. It’s a different game now. There’s a lot of stuff that we used to could do that you can’t do nowadays. If you do, you’ll get fined. It’s just a different day in age.
I know the commissioner said he wanted to come in and get the safety of this game to where it needs to be at. He’s doing it. By hook or crook, he’s getting it done.
I don’t think you can take the head out of the game. Football is game of tackling and blocking. You’ve got to use your head. Your head is connected to your body, so automatically it’s going to be involved in the play. I don’t think it can ever be taken out. The only way they can take it out is to take off helmets, and I don’t think they’ll do that.
I remember what Lem Barney said. I know he said there might not be any football in about 20 years from now. I just don’t see it. Football is just such a big money-maker. People love the game of football. I don’t see that. I can see a lot more changes coming for the game.
As for as the issue of high tackle, just ask any guy. Guys would rather be getting hit up high than to be hit low. That’s the biggest thing that the commissioner is going to have to deal with. Guys feel more comfortable getting hit up here (points to chest area) than being hit down here (points to knees) because that can take away your livelihood right there.
As told to Falcons beat writer D. Orlando Ledbetter