Thursdays regular 10 a.m. visit with Danny and Spiegs on WSCR 670 AMs The McNeil & Spiegel Show started to look a little past all of the concussion maelstrom and at the San Francisco 49ers game looming next Monday.
Looming is probably a good word for it.
49ers quarterback Alex Smith is looking to be a probable for the game, having been cleared for non-contact work following his concussion last weekend against the St. Louis Rams.
Jay Cutler has not been and the surprise will be if he is not declared out as early as Thursday both for his protection and for the Bears to make a statement that they arent going to risk a second concussion eight days after the first.
That means Jason Campbell as the Bears starting quarterback, with Josh McCown as his reserve. Mac was a little surprised at the lack of expressed concern over Campbell in place of a starting quarterback for the Bears, but my sense is that Campbell is not just any backup.
We talked a little about players reactions on the differences in delivery between Campbell (timing-oriented) and Cutler (when I see you getting open, here it comes in a hurry!). I also mentioned that I have never seen a chemistry among quarterbacks like the one Cutler, Campbell and McCown, where the whole is clearly better than the sum of the parts because of the support mindset in the quarterbacks room. McCown makes Campbell better.
The guys mentioned Mully and Hanley Show host Mike Mulligan talking earlier about changes coming in the game because of injuries like the ones to the three quarterbacks last weekend (Cutler, Smith, Michael Vick). I agree that there will be changes but I do think this will take at least a generation to change.
In football a generation means maybe 10 NFL years with accompanying changes in the feeder system of college. The awareness is growing among players but too many of them still regard hits to the knee more egregious than ones to the head.
I mentioned Brian Urlachers comments that for some reason the NFL thinks its OK to cut the knees, which can end a career, but not OK to hit the head, which maybe costs a player a week or two.
The knee worry is understood. But a blown ACL, for example, does not end a career. Just ask Adrian Peterson up in Minnesota, who had a monster knee injury last December. Or ask Corey Wootton, whose knee injuries started at Northwestern, held him back, but he now is a very, very productive impact player. So that thinking needs to adjust.
The change will be when players realize that concussions cost a lot, lot more.
We touched on the blow delivered to Cutler by Houston linebacker Tim Dobbins, who the guys mentioned as being proud of his knockout blows. Dobbins got a 30,000 fine; I thought he should have been suspended for a clearly premeditated, avoidable blow to mans head.
Watching the hit, all I could think of was Jack Tatums premeditated, avoidable blow to Darryl Stingley. What do you think the late Chicagoan and New England receiver would tell Urlacher and current players about whether blows to the head or knee are more devastating?