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Report: Former Patriots LB says Belichick prodded him to practice with concussion

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Feb 2, 2007.

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  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD height=7><SPACER type="block" height="1" width="1">February 2, 2007
    NEW YORK (AP) -- Former New England Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson said coach Bill Belichick subjected him to hard hits in practice while he was recovering from a concussion -- against the advice of the team's top trainer. Johnson, who helped the Patriots win three Super Bowl titles before retiring two years ago, told The New York Times that a collision with another player during that 2002 practice led to another concussion. And, after sustaining additional concussions over the next three seasons, he now forgets people's names, misses appointments and suffers from depression and an addiction to amphetamines.

    </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><STYLE type=text/css> td.yspwidearticlebody { font-size: 13.5px; }</STYLE>
    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD height=7><SPACER type="block" height="1" width="1">There's something wrong with me," the 34-year-old Johnson told the Times in a story posted on its Web site Thursday night. "There's something wrong with my brain. And I know when it started."
    The Boston Globe, which is owned by the Times, posted a similar story on its Web site.
    Johnson, who played 10 years in the NFL, said he began to deteriorate in August 2002 with a concussion during an exhibition game against the New York Giants. He sustained another concussion four days later after Belichick prodded him to participate in a full-contact practice, even though he was supposed to be avoiding hits, Johnson said.

    The next month, with their relationship already strained, Johnson confronted Belichick about the practice after the coach asked him to meet in his office.
    "I told him, `You played God with my health. You knew I shouldn't have been cleared to play,"' Johnson told the Globe.
    Belichick told the Globe he got no cue from Johnson in practice that day that he was hesitant about participating in the full-contact drill.
    "If Ted felt so strongly that he didn't feel he was ready to practice with us, he should have told me," Belichick said.
    The Patriots did not allow Jim Whalen, still their head trainer, to comment for this story, according to the Globe.
    Patriots spokesman Stacey James told The Associated Press on Thursday night that the team was aware of the report but was not prepared to comment.
    In a story last month, the Times reported that brain damage caused on the football field ultimately led to the suicide of former NFL defensive back Andre Waters last November, according to a forensic pathologist who studied Waters' brain tissue.
    "We have been focused on the issue of concussions for years," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the AP. "It remains one of our prime concerns as we continue to do everything possible to protect the health of our players."
    NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to answer questions about the issue at his annual state of the NFL news conference Friday.
    Dr. Lee H. Schwamm, the neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital who examined Johnson, wrote in a memo on Aug. 19, 2002, that Johnson sustained a second concussion in that practice, the Times reported.
    Schwamm also wrote that, after speaking with Whalen, that the trainer "was on the sidelines when he sustained the concussion during the game and assessed him frequently at the sideline," and that "he has kept Mr. Johnson out of contact since that time."
    Johnson said he spoke with Belichick the next day about the incident, but only briefly, the Times said.
    "He was vaguely acknowledging that he was aware of what happened," Johnson said, "and he wanted to just kind of let me know that he knew."
    Johnson sat out the next two preseason games on the advice of his neurologist, but played in the final one. Then, thinking he was still going to be left off the active roster for the season opener against Pittsburgh, he angrily left camp for two days before returning and meeting with Belichick.
    "It's as clear as a bell, 'I had to see if you could play,"' Johnson recalled Belichick saying, according to the Times.
    Moments later, Johnson said, Belichick admitted he had made a mistake by subjecting him to a full-contact drill.
    "It was a real kind of admittance, but it was only him and I in the room," Johnson told the Times.
    After returning to game action, the linebacker sustained more concussions of varying severity over the following three seasons, each of them exacerbating the next, according to his current neurologist, Dr. Robert Cantu.
    Cantu told the Times he was certain that Johnson's problems "are related to his previous head injuries, as they are all rather classic postconcussion symptoms."
    He added, "They are most likely permanent."
    Cantu, the chief of neurosurgery and director of sports medicine at Emerson Hospital in Concord, Mass., also said Johnson shows signs of early Alzheimer's disease.
    "The majority of those symptoms relentlessly progress over time," Cantu said. "It could be that at the time he's in his 50s, he could have severe Alzheimer's symptoms."
    Johnson told the Globe he estimates he had at least six concussions in his last three seasons, but reported only one because he already had a reputation as an injury-prone player and he didn't want to make it worse.
    "Looking back, it was stupid not to tell anyone," Johnson said. "But I didn't know then that every time you have a concussion, you are four to six times more susceptible the next time. I had no idea the damage I was causing myself."

    I guess LT was right...


    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-patriots-johnsonconcussions&prov=ap&type=lgns




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  2. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    Hobo Bill strikes again ........
     
  3. KimPossible

    KimPossible BoltTalker

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    It's dangerous to play with a serious head/brain injury...sometimes the second or third blow to the head can cause alot more damage...Several head injuries sustained over years can cause alot of problems...even if CT scans are negative.
     
  4. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    Does that mean I have to stop hitting Trumpie in the head with a hammer? Or can I use a rubber mallet?
     
  5. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    :yes:
     
  6. benjamink15

    benjamink15 BoltTalker

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  7. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    No, this is only applicable to those with brains....:icon_tease:
     
  8. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    LT's kinda backin away from that, sorta-

    LT on Belichick


    MIAMI -- San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson said he's looking forward to being coached by Bill Belichick in the Pro Bowl.

    Tomlinson added that he spoke in the heat of the moment when he suggested the Patriots' post-game celebration after their playoff win over the Chargers -- which he felt was classless -- was a reflection on Belichick.

    "Obviously, the head coach is the leader of the team, but he can't control what his players do," Tomlinson said this morning after accepting the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award along with Drew Brees. "A lot of times, in the heat of the battle or right after the game, you kind of say things sometimes that you want to take back.

    "For me to say they probably get it from their head coach, that may be not true. I don't know that for sure. I think more times that players react in ways that may be classless, it has nothing to do with the coach.

    "So I'm looking forward to seeing Bill and having him coach the game. I think we'll have a good time."

    Tomlinson also said his remarks about not wanting to say two words to Belichick might have been misinterpreted. He said he didn't plan to say two words about the post-game incident.

    "I think they know it was wrong, but at the same time, Bill has no control over that. It's not a fact that I won't talk to him," Tomlinson said.

    I guess that's an apology.

    Sorry, no linky :icon_eek: :icon_sad:
     
  9. in_a_days

    in_a_days dgaf

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    :icon_sad:

    That's a really sad story...
     
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