NFL Health Update: Jake Plummer goes to Alaska for USA Football
Q&A with Heads Up Football Ambassador Jake Plummer
As the start of youth football season arrives, Heads Up Football Ambassadors like former quarterback Jake Plummer will be travelling to leagues nationwide to reinforce the fundamentals of Heads Up Football. Plummer, who will serve as an ambassador in both Idaho and Alaska, is preparing for his visit to Heads Up leagues in Anchorage and Juneau next week. He answered some questions before his trip.
Q: Why did you decide to become involved in Heads Up Football? Why is it important to you?
A: I became involved because I believe that many youth football players are being instructed incorrectly. With Heads Up Football's basic instructions on tackling technique, I believe that many injuries can be avoided, therefore allowing young players the ability to continue playing the sport they love.
Q: What do you hope to share with the youth football players when you travel to Alaska?
A: I hope to share the Heads Up Football tackling techniques, which focus on seeing what you're hitting and not leading with the crown of your head. I also want to share some of my experiences playing youth football, and the fact that you have to play hard and with no fear of injury, but most importantly you have to use proper technique. This means that your head is not a weapon when hitting, but instead is used to get you in the right position to hit properly.
Q: How have you seen attitudes toward sports safety change?
A: I have definitely seen a shift in attitudes about sport safety. More coaches and even the players pay closer attention to their teammates during competition, making sure they are not playing if they have sustained any sort of head injury at all. There still needs to be a monumental shift in how the game is taught to our youth. They are not highly trained athletes like those in the NFL, and they need constant coaching on proper tackling and hitting techniques.
Redskins partner with Health Diagnostics Laboratory Inc.
The Washington Redskins recently announced a partnership with Health Diagnostics Laboratory (HDL) to serve as the team's Health and Wellness Partner. HDL will provide players, coaches and staff with cardiometabolic testing and healthcare consultation. This summer, players and staff underwent a comprehensive blood panel that looked at biomarkers beyond cholesterol to identify potential risk factors.
Team doctor Tony Casolaro said the screenings "add another level of investigation" to the NFL's comprehensive medical plan. He also said the results are kept private between the players and the team's medical staff.
"We're able to let our players and coaches know what risks they might be facing in the future," said Bruce Allen, Redskins General Manager. "If we can educate and motivate people for a healthier lifestyle today, we're going to ensure a better tomorrow for them."
Player Care Foundation screens former players during Hall of Fame weekend
Earlier this month in Canton, Ohio the NFL Player Care Foundation worked with the Living Heart Foundation and the Urology Care Foundation to offer former NFL players cardiovascular and prostate cancer screenings. In total, 40 former players were screened during the event, which was held at the McKinley Grand Hotel. Of those screened, one former player was found to have a condition that required immediate medical attention.
Raiders host Heads Up Football event
The Oakland Raiders on Saturday hosted a Heads Up Football Player Safety Coach Training at the team facility in Alameda, Calif. USA Football Master Trainer and West Region Manager Bassel Faltas and former All-Pro linebacker and Heads Up Football Ambassador Hardy Nickerson instructed more than 35 player safety coaches from leagues throughout the Bay Area on Heads Up tackling, concussion awareness and equipment fitting.
-- NFL Communications