For those who think game plans and play calls are complex Nathan Peterman Jersey , it would be helpful to take a behind-the-scenes look at the medical setups that go into an NFL game.
Talk about multi-faceted.
The league provided such an opportunity at US Bank Stadium this week, and it was enlightening.
From the spotters’ booth upstairs to the exam rooms, locker rooms and ETM facilities in the bowels of the building to the blue tent on the sideline, dozens of people are involved in health and safety protocols.
They range from neurotrauma physicians and athletic trainers to data technicians to ambulance drivers and emergency personnel, with perhaps 30 medical folks on the sideline.
Even the game referee is a part of the procedures.
The league has been criticized for years that it rarely has had player safety and health as a focal point, and it’s placed a high priority on upgrading every such area.
Game day includes a pregame meeting, new this season, held 60 minutes before kickoff that involves everybody on the health side of football.
”It’s a big group,” said Dr. Allen Sills, the league’s chief medical officer.
That group goes over the Emergency Action Plan, an exhaustive outline that describes who does what in virtually every case of injury or emergency. It’s so detailed that it includes arm or hand signals to help all involved determine what action is needed.
”The collaborative effort between teams is where it should be … seamless and flawless,” said Vikings head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman.
The emphasis, of course, is on immediate treatment whenever an injury occurs. The hour-long meeting’s value became apparent when Bears tight end Zach Miller dislocated his left knee and tore an artery that supplies blood to the lower leg in a game at New Orleans. Miller could have lost the leg had it not been for the quick action by the well-schooled medical staffs.
”These are the kind of situations we’re practicing for,” Sills said. ”They’re incredibly rare Adolphus Washington Jersey , but we want to be prepared for it.”
They need to be prepared for injuries large and small, ranging from situations when a visit to the blue tent is enough – a retaped ankle, perhaps – to sending a player inside to an examination room, or even to the hospital for particularly major issues.
U.S. Bank Stadium has a specific ”quiet room” for examining concussions – all stadiums must have an area for such exams. Naturally, with revelations in recent years about the dangers of concussions in football, more attention is paid to head trauma than ever.
In that ”quiet room” are the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant and a team physician or member of the team medical staff. They compare the player’s baseline test to his current status. Sugarman said he has never seen a disagreement between them about a player’s condition after the 10-12 minute exam.
”Sometimes, after two minutes you know they’ll fail the test,” Sugarman said.
No one from a team – coaches, executives, owners – is allowed into any of the exam areas, not even the blue tent just a few yards away on the sideline.
”I don’t have owners telling me to get him ready … sooner,” Sugarman added.
The roles of the concussion spotters have increased in importance and attention after a handful of players, most notably Houston quarterback Tom Savage, clearly were hurt but didn’t get the immediate care required. There will be four UNCs – unaffiliated neurotrauma consultants – at this Super Bowl. Typically, each sideline is staffed by one. After the protocol changed in December following the Savage case Henry Anderson Jersey , an additional one was added for the playoffs, as well as a centralized UNC based at the league. That central UNC will be in the spotter booth for the Super Bowl.
The jobs are usually filled in each city by certified athletic trainers charged with noticing player head injuries from their upstairs booth. The spotters are paired with video technicians who watch the broadcast feed and tag plays that result in injuries – although they’re not always easy to spot.
A spotter can communicate with sideline medical personnel in a variety of ways. If there’s a reason to stop the game to get an injured player off the field, he has that power, often shouting into his device: ”Medical Timeout.”
The referee will stop the game when so instructed; Sills estimated it occurred eight to 10 times this season.
A sideline monitor then can show video of the play to team or unaffiliated medical personnel. A decision can be made more quickly and accurately about the next steps, if any are needed, and the medical staff has a better idea of what happened than how the player might describe it.
Sugarman is more than grateful for the assistance and the technology that makes it possible.
”People like me might have looked at it with a crooked eye,” he said with a smile. ”Big Brother looking over your shoulder. But it’s been invaluable. You can’t see everything. It’s very protective to know they’re looking out for you.”
Last summer for the first time the league brought together all sorts of medical staffers from each team, plus unaffiliated consultants and spotters for a training session dedicated to head trauma and concussions. Those sessions will continue.
Sills bristles when he hears that the NFL is not doing enough regarding head injuries. Standing in a specialized X-ray room underneath the Super Bowl stadium, he vigorously defends the NFL concussion policy.
鈥?Jim Caldwell may have been the Detroit Lions’ most successful coach in the Super Bowl era.That was not enough to save his job.The Lions fired Caldwell on Monday after a season in which the team raised hopes before fading and missing the playoffs with a 9-7 record. They also fired offensive line coach Ron Prince, keeping the rest of the assistants under contract in case the next coach wants to retain any of them.Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford called Caldwell “one of the finest leaders we’ve ever had as our head coach.”“Not only did he guide us on the field to three winning seasons, but he also set a standard of excellence off the field that had a tremendous impact on everyone in our organization and our entire community,” Ford said in a statement.Caldwell was 36-28 in four seasons and went 0-2 in two postseasons with the Lions. Including three years with the Indianapolis Colts, he is 62-50 and 2-4 in the playoffs with one Super Bowl appearance.Lions general manager Bob Quinn said he wants a coach to take the team to the next level 鈥?postseason victories and championships. Quinn added that he fired Caldwell, in part, because he thought the team was capable of winning more than nine games in each of the last two seasons.Detroit defensive coordinator Teryl Austin will interview for the job Tuesday Jourdan Lewis Jersey , according to a person familiar with the coaching search. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team had not identified any candidates. Austin has interviewed with many NFL teams in recent years.For the first time, Quinn has to hire an NFL coach. After Detroit gave him a shot to be a first-time general manager a little less than two years ago, he chose to keep Caldwell. After letting him go, Quinn’s future with the franchise may hinge on his next hire.“I feel pressure every day in my job,” he said. “I signed up for it.”Quinn was a part of New England’s personnel department for 16 years before the Lions hired him and says he might consider Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels because of his familiarity with them.Houston Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel, who also has ties to Quinn in New England, and Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur are also potential candidates.Caldwell received a multiyear contract extension before the season, but the team didn’t announce the move for months. This season ended with a 35-11 victory over Green Bay on Sunday for Caldwell’s third winning record in his four years.Led by quarterback Matthew Stafford, Detroit met relatively modest expectations this season, but raised hopes with 3-1 and 6-4 records only to drop out of postseason contention by losing three of five.Caldwell became Detroit’s first coach to have at three winning seasons in his first four years since the early 1950s.He didn’t scream at his players and showed interest in their lives.“I love Caldwell,” receiver Marvin Jones said. “I’ve been here for two years and he’s the best coach I’ve ever had. Everybody is quiet two minutes before his meetings because he demands respect without yelling. He doesn’t yell at all. You never want to disappoint him. We just had to make more plays for him.”When Caldwell was hired almost four years ago, he was working for a franchise with only one winning season in a 13-season stretch.“We’re going to be smart,” Caldwell said at the time. “We’re going to be a football team that takes the field that’s not going to shoot itself in the foot.”Detroit’s defense, though, was short-handed in consecutive games late in the season. The Lions were down a player for a snap when Minnesota scored a touchdown in a win at Detroit on Thanksgiving and were missing two players when Baltimore converted a third down to help it take a two-TD lead in a victory.“I’m not sitting up there making excuses Jake Fisher Jersey , it’s unacceptable,” Quinn said.Even as it became clear Caldwell’s job may be in jeopardy, he took it in stride.“That’s kind of the way it goes,” he insisted going into his last game as Detroit’s coach. “That’s every year, right? I told you guys a story a long time ago about Marty Schottenheimer. He got fired at 14-2. So anything less than a Super Bowl, obviously it could happen.”The Lions have never played in a Super Bowl. And since winning the 1957 NFL title, they have won only one playoff game and that lone victory was in 1992.Caldwell went 16-8 against NFC North teams, but wasn’t able to help the franchise win its first division title since 1993.In each of Caldwell’s four years with the Lions, they ranked among the NFL’s worst in yards rushing. That glaring weakness put a lot of pressure on Stafford and a shaky line, resulting in a struggling offense that failed to score consistently.Quinn said players will not be involved in the interview process, but Stafford hopes offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter is back next season.“I would love to have the opportunity to keep working with him,” Stafford said Monday as the players cleared out their lockers. Josh Okogie Jersey ,