NFL Health Update: Pop Warner endorses Heads Up Football

NFL HEALTH AND SAFETY UPDATE -- AUGUST 7, 2013

POP WARNER ENDORSES HEADS UP FOOTBALL

Pop Warner, USA Football and the NFL announced Pop Warner's endorsement of Heads Up Football on Thursday at an event at the Cleveland Browns training facility. Pop Warner leagues will begin voluntary adoption of Heads Up Football this season. JON BUTLER, executive director of Pop Warner Football, said that all 1,300 of organization's associations will go through Heads Up training before the start of the 2014 season.

"Our No. 1 priority is the game," Commissioner ROGER GOODELL told ClevelandBrowns.com at the event. "We know what we do at the NFL level affects every other level of football. There's a greater level of awareness, of the safety of playing the game the right way. We believe the game is safer than ever. We believe it is better than ever for those who play and those who watch. The game is more exciting and safer than ever. That's a good place. We're optimistic about the future. This program has helped us bring fundamentals back into the game."

Read more about the announcement in USA Today, or click here for the press release.

COMMISSIONER GOODELL JOINS COACH URBAN MEYER FOR MOMS FOOTBALL SAFETY CLINIC

Commissioner Goodell joined Ohio State University head football coach URBAN MEYER for a Moms Football Safety Clinic.

Approximately 500 mothers attended the clinic at Ohio State University, where they had the opportunity to ask Commissioner Goodell and Coach Meyer questions. The attendees rotated through stations on topics important to youth safety in sports, including:

Goodell said the goal of the clinic was to provide mothers in attendance with, "…a better education, a better sense of what we're doing in football to make the game safer and where they can go to get the right kind of information."

Click here for an article from the OSU Lantern about the event.

TEAMS HOST HEADS UP FOOTBALL EVENTS

The Falcons and USA Football hosted a Heads Up Football Player Safety Clinic on Saturday, August 3 at Marist High School in Atlanta, GA. This marked the third Player Safety Clinic that the Falcons and USA Football have hosted this summer. Former Falcons linebacker and Heads Up Football Master Trainer, BUDDY CURRY, instructed more than 30 Player Safety Coaches from the region on concussion awareness, Heads Up tackling and equipment fitting. Curry was joined by Falcons alumni BOBBY BUTLER and ROBERT MOORE.

DR. KEVAH KHAJAVI from the Georgia Spine & Neurosurgery Center also spoke to the group about concussion-related issues with youth sports.

"We have made a lot of progress this summer with the Heads Up Football initiative," said Curry. "We have spoken to a number of coaches and youth leagues from all over the state and they seem genuinely excited about the program and are eager to see the results this fall."

The Bears hosted their second USA Football Protection Tour on Thursday, August 1. More than 200 youth football players, coaches and parents visited Soldier Field to learn about Heads Up Football. The program covered proper tackling, equipment fitting and concussion awareness. Parents and coaches learned about the program from USA Football representatives, received instructions helmet fit from Riddell representatives and discussed concussion awareness with the Bears team doctor, DR. ADAM BENNETT. Former Bears safety GARY FENCIK and former Bears defensive tackle and Heads Up Football Ambassador ANTHONY ADAMS joined youth football players for on-field drills.

The Broncos recently held their annual Health and Safety Symposium in partnership with USA Football and HealthONE Rocky Mountain Youth Sports Medicine Institute. Nearly 200 youth football coaches from the Denver area and Fort Collins attended the forum, which included presentations on concussions by HealthONE's DR. SUE KIRELIC, Heads Up Football by Master Trainer WAYNE VOORHEES and USA Football Regional Manager MATT DELUZIO. Broncos Equipment Manager CHRIS VALENTI demonstrated proper equipment fitting and HealthONE's DR. BROOKE PENGEL led a session on the importance of hydration.

The Vikings recently hosted two Heads Up Football events.

More than 150 youth players along with their parents and coaches participated in the USA Football Protection Tour at Mall of America Field in the Metrodome on Saturday, August 3. Former Vikings player E.J. HENDERSON participated in Heads Up Football drills and spoke with attendees about the importance of removing injured players from games.

The Vikings hosted USA Football Day on Monday at training camp for local youth coaches, commissioners and their family members. The event was intended to thank attendees for adopting Heads Up Football in their youth leagues. The group was given special access to the facility and spoke with Head Coach LESLIE FRAZIER and General Manager RICK SPIELMAN. Vice President of Public Affairs LESTER BAGLEY gave an update on the new stadium and its design. Pro Bowl player MATT KALIL and USA Football All Fundamental Team long-snapper CULLEN LOEFFLER thanked the coaches and commissioners for their commitment to safety and the game of football.

For more information on the NFL's health and safety work, please visit www.nflevolution.com

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