Is it possible to make tackle football safe? It wasn’t safe on Sunday for Michael Vick, Alex Smith, and Jay Cutler, all three of whom left their games early after suffering concussions. And it’s not just a dangerous game for quarterbacks, of course—the NFL has now moved past 130 diagnosed concussions this season, according to the watchdogs at NFL Concussions.
But NFL commissioner Roger Goodell believes that these injuries can be the exception rather than the rule. According to Goodell, there’s a technique that can turn American blood sport into safe football. It’s called “heads-up tackling,” and he wants to teach it to the nation’s children. “You have to have the right fundamentals. You have to learn how to tackle safely and how to play the game safely,” Goodell says in a video about a “groundbreaking national youth football safety program” created by USA Football in partnership with the NFL. (USA Football, which is endowed by the NFL and the NFLPA, is the sport’s youth governing body.)