New safety rules in the NFL aim to lessen the number of concussions and serious injuries, and the league recently reached a $765 million settlement with hundreds of retired players.
Former Tennessee Titans tight end Frank Wycheck suffered lots of concussions during his career and feels the new rules the NFL introduced as part of the recent concussion settlement will change the game.
"They'll be staying away from the high hits where they'll go helmet to helmet, because then you'll get a penalty flag for a personal foul or you can get a fine, a big fine, $50,000 taken out of your paycheck," Wycheck said.
Wycheck says it's the consequences that will take away some of the players' instinct and add hesitation.
"It's hard to tackle, in general, at full speed, but to pick out a bullseye spot on a runner, it's very hard to do," he said.
Running backs will have to be more careful, too. Now, they can be fined if they lower their heads to run into another player.
Besides new rules, Wycheck says the money from the settlement going to research will really help players and trainers realize the risks of playing with what some thought was just a headache.
And Wycheck knows the effects. After 26 years of playing football, he still suffers from headaches and sensitivity to light, so he sticks to radio announcing now.
Doctors at Boston University have approached Wycheck to donate his brain after he dies for research.
He thinks it's a good thing, but hasn't decided if he'll comply with that request.
And he has some advice for the Titans' season opener this weekend.
"In Pittsburgh, it is always tough. Their crowds are amazing. And it's tough, so the Titans better stay in it early," he said.
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