Long Pond, PA
Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown declared that the NFL still lags behind NASCAR in terms of safety.
"NASCAR stepped up their safety concepts, and I think the drivers feel NASCAR is doing everything that can be done," Brown was quoted by ESPN.com as saying. "So we are a little behind NASCAR in that respect."
"Someone in NASCAR realized there were certain things that could be done to make it safer. The same thing has to happen in football. It's two different sports, but you want to make sure it's as safe as you can make it," added the former Cleveland Browns rusher.
Brown made the declaration at Pocono Raceway where he was a guest of legendary driver and car owner Richard Petty for a Sprint Cup race.
Brown said he liked what NASCAR has done to make the sport safer for its drivers, with collapsible walls, head and neck restraints and cars with crush panels.
However, Brown said he sees positive signs that the NFL is taking player safety seriously.
"Part of that was forced on them because of the concussion lawsuits, but I think when we come out of this we'll have a much safer game without taking away from the impact of the game," Brown said.
At the same time, Brown criticized the league's move to penalize players, specifically running backs lowering the crown of their helmets outside the tackle box.
"I understand they have to make changes, but some of the rules are made by people who didn't play the game," Brown said.
The 77-year-old Brown recently returned to the Browns as an special adviser and plans to assist players when needed, especially on second-year rusher Trent Richardson.
"They have a little running back there I might be able to help," Brown said. "And some of those players are staying out a little too late at night. I have a little advice for them, as well."
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