NFL Health Update: Jeff Feagles glad to be Heads Up Ambassador

NFL HEALTH AND SAFETY UPDATE -- SEPT. 18, 2013

Q&A WITH HEADS UP FOOTBALL AMBASSADOR JEFF FEAGLES

A retired 22-year NFL veteran, Jeff Feagles serves as a Heads Up Football Ambassador for the Ridgewood Junior Football Association (RJFA) in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Feagles, a former punter, earned Pro Bowl selections in 1995 and 2008 and won a Super Bowl ring with the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII. Feagles spoke about his role as a coach and Ambassador.

Why did you decide to become involved in Heads Up Football? Why is it important to you?

Once I finished coaching at the junior football level, which I did for seven years, I still wanted to be involved in the program. When I found out about Heads Up Football, I figured this would be great not only for me, but for our program. This was important to me for two reasons: 1) the safety of our children and the importance of training coaches on proper tackling; and 2) I wanted to try and get parents -- whose kids do not play football because they think it is too dangerous -- to understand how Heads Up Football can change their perspective.

What do you hope to share with the youth football players throughout the season?

I am hoping to share the correct way to tackle and use the fundamentals the coaches have been taught in practice and games. I want the players to grasp the terminology all the coaches are using. I also want the players to feel comfortable with what we are teaching and be able to self-coach, monitor and correct the other players if they are doing something incorrect.

How have you seen attitudes towards sports safety change?

The attitude among our coaches has been very positive. At first, most of them were skeptical about teaching this new technique. Once I was able to host a clinic and they were certified online, the concept and reality kicked in for the coaches. The most encouraging sign I have seen has come from the parents. They are very excited that there is a protocol for concussions.

INDIANA LAWMAKER SPONSORS BILL REQUIRING HEADS UP FOOTBALL CERTIFICATION

Indiana State Senator Travis Holdman announced Friday that he will sponsor a bill which would require that youth football coaches using taxpayer-funded fields be certified through Heads Up Football. Should the measure be approved, Indiana would be the first state to require Heads Up certification.

"When legislators have an opportunity to really look at this, what the issues are, what it can do for player safety and our youth, we think there won't be any question they'll endorse it," Holdman told The Associated Press.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS HOST HEADS UP FOOTBALL EVENT

The Chiefs hosted a Heads Up Football clinic this week at The University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex. Chiefs alumni Shawn Barber and Anthony Davis, who are certified as Heads Up Football Ambassadors, attended the event and were joined by Dr. Stephen Lauer from The University of Kansas Hospital.

The clinic educated local youth football players, including Heads Up players from Wyandotte County Youth Football and Cheer, and their parents on concussion awareness, proper tackling and equipment fitting.

-- NFL Communications

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