Former Seahawks player teaches young players to avoid concussions

by: Natasha Chen Updated:


SEATTLE - Craig Terrill is part of the USA Football Heads Up program, which seeks to teach children to tackle in a manner that protects them from many of the head injuries now plaguing current and retired professional players.

The National Football League recently settled a lawsuit with thousands of retired players over exactly this issue, resulting in a payout of $765 million.

"It's a physical sport, you're going to get bumps and bruises, but the important thing is protecting your head from concussions," said Terrill.

Larry Evans, the athletic director for the CD Panthers, said, "Concussions have been a major issue in football from the pros down to the little league."

Evans said that players who get concussions during their games are not allowed back to the field until a doctor has given the OK.

The issue was all too real at the beginning of the season when two children were sent to the hospital with concussions.

Briget Pressley's son was involved in that tackle, though he wasn't hurt.

"We understand football is a sport that they love, but when it comes to brain concussions, they really need to watch themselves and put themselves first," Pressley said.

Pressley is also a nurse, so she jumps in to help when a player goes down. She said that as a mother and a health practitioner, she worries about injuries when these young players' brains have not fully developed.

Larry Evans said the culture in pro football has to change.

"I think they have an issue with that because a long time ago, the thing was hit them hard and don't let them get up," he said.

But in this new culture of playing both aggressively and safely, kids are learning to play  an old game in a new way.