Thursday, July 18, 2013
Shamarko Thomas Must Use His Head Regarding "Blow Up" Hits
But he says that Thomas didn't always listen. Even "Thomas concedes that he wasn’t focused." He admits that he "was troubled that his mother and father had divorced. The emotional pain stung more because he was the oldest of six children." Then Thomas’ life got even worse when his parents died within a year of one another. He was angry, frustrated and confused. He was a very troubled and obstinate youth.
He forged a friendship with his high school coach, Chris Scott, changing his life. He calls Scott his biggest supporter. His early life and that relationship is described in this Virginian-Pilot article. - http://tinyurl.com/khbr9m6
As Robinson wrote in his blog Wednesday, Thomas showed his own support when he dropped by to help out at coach Scott’s "sweltering youth camp." It was there that he asked Thomas "if in OTAs so far his coaches have discussed with him how he hits."
In case you don't know by now, Thomas flies all over the field, throws his body around with reckless abandon and HITS. He has the nose for the ball and the instincts that will help him fit snugly under the wings of two current Steelers safeties. - http://youtu.be/lMfYx-GbbWE
But as Neil McCauley famously said in Heat: "There is a flip side to that coin."
To continue with what Robinson wrote, he said he'd asked 'whether the coaches cautioned him to change or to be wary' considering his style. He said that Thomas "smiled and admitted it’s come up, and that the Steelers stress proper form -- i.e. wrapping up, leading with the shoulder and not the head -- rather than going for a 'blow up' hit." - http://hamptonroads.com/2013/07/thomas-fine-hitting-hard
Thomas' response? “I’m gonna get some fines, I’m not gonna lie," he said. "That’s just how I play. It’s football.”
The other side of the coin is that these are two safeties who are also known for their big hits. i.e. One's biggest strength can be his biggest weakness. Clark had two concussions last season alone, and Polamalu has had...well, a lot.
While we're not saying that either of them will end up like Reggie Ray from Not Another Teen Movie, we're simply stating that this kinder and gentler, 1,000 points of light NFL is doing all it can to protect *cough* its players. And however inconsistent their approach to it may be, their intentions do have merit.
A 1994 study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health stated that retired football players, with at least five seasons in the NFL, are three to four times more likely to die from diseases of the brain compared with the general public. - http://tinyurl.com/mec72xn
Now, we don't know whether or not Thomas was even serious about getting fined. But he does need to be made aware against throwing things like that out there in the future considering the perception of the Steelers defense - NFL referees whistles come quickly enough as it is.
That said, we still don't want to see Thomas adversely change his style or have his growth stifled. Even though he may be fine with being fined, he still needs to use his head instead of using his head.
TIDBITS: Steelers among eight NFL teams to participate in pilot program that would put player medical records online. - http://t.co/NsvgNr5hwj