May 4, 2012; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan addresses media after first day of minicamp at the Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim O
Following the Jets second day of minicamp on Saturday, coach Ryan was asked how he feels about the concussion issue. The question has come up a lot lately, in light of Junior Seau’s death. Many NFL players have since stated that they don’t want their children to play because of the fear of concussions.
Rex, however, in spite of his son Seth suffering a concussion, “absolutely” wants his son to continue to play, acknowledging that concussions are part of the game.
“That’s part of it,” Ryan said. “But, you know, I mean, we are so much further along now.”
The NFL has made strides in recent years regarding player safety, which has encouraged the Jets fourth year head coach.
“Obviously, you have concerns when that happens, but it’s just one of those things, an unfortunate part of the game,” Ryan said. “It does happen occasionally, but I truly think everybody’s working to try to get this thing minimized. We’ve got to protect our players, protect our athletes, without question. I think we’ve tried to do that with the helmets, with the way the trainers are and everything else.”
In light of the Seau situation, where he committed suicide, maybe in part related to head injuries, many players, such as Kurt Warner, have stated that they would prefer their kids not play football. Rex, however, can appreciate the good that football has given him.
“I love the sport,” Ryan said. “This game has been incredible to me and my family. I mean, amazing. In fact, we made a great living doing what we love to do, and that’s be around the sport. This game is not for everybody. When I look at the young men that we have playing this game on this level, I’ve always said these are mighty men, there is no question.”
Rex acknowledges that the game is physical and violent, and you have to be a special person in order to play it.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion on this. The game has been great to the entire Ryan family, and they should continue the tradition through future generations if that is what they choose. My feeling is that you can’t live in fear. If they want to play football, and understand the risks, there is no reason why they shouldn’t play.