Report: NFL's safety changes slow to take hold this season

The NFL has been trying to make football safer through more player safety rules, research on better protection and teaching better techniques for playing. Of course, no change happens overnight.

USA Today examined the NFL's shift in culture in light of helmet-to-helmet hits from Washington safety Brandon Meriweather and Dashon Goldson's suspension for violating safety rules. It concluded that change is a slow process that includes a lot of education.

The report featured concussion researcher Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz, founding director of the University of North Carolina's Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center, who has been working with the NFL for years. Guskiewicz said he was appalled by Meriweather's hits.

Guskiewicz suggested that coaches should be suspended if they can't teach players how to properly tackle. That comes after Goldson didn't seemed fazed by his suspension.

Washington Redskins nose tackle Barry Cofield said he thinks it will take time for players to realize what it takes to make the game safer.

-- Bill Bradley, contributing editor

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