DETROIT - AUGUST 12: Brian Leonard #40 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs for a short gain during the second quarter of the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on August 12, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
The issue of concussions is changing the game today more than any issue has before it. Hits are being deemed illegal, outrageous fines issued, all the while the league is facing a lawsuit against thousands of former players. Bengals running back Brian Leonard believes that the league, and even the teams themselves, are moving in the right direction.
"Concussions are part of the reality and the business of the game," said Leonard. "The medical people say that anytime you get hit and see stars you have had a form of a concussion. But the problem has been compounded because of players leading with their head when they make tackles."
"NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is putting a stop to that, taking action against all types of illegal hits. And the teams are doing the right thing. If a player shows symptoms of a concussion, the trainers will have him out for a game."
Leonard believes that the issue of concussions can be reduced, but not so much at the professional level. Rather through youth football, according to the Watertown Daily Times.
Leonard believes that another important factor in combatting the proliferation of concussions lies at the grass roots — coaches teaching and emphasizing the dire importance of proper tackling technique to youngsters.
The team's third-down back is holding a camp for kinds in last June that will emphasize proper technique.
"We will definitely be talking to the campers about the importance of doing things the right away to avoid concussions," Leonard said.