The retirement of Chris Borland after one NFL season continues to draw reactions from all corners, including from current NFL players. 'Monday Morning Quarterback' conducted a roundtable discussion with nine players. Two of those happen to be New York Giants -- Geoff Schwartz and Andre Williams. Another, Stevie Brown was a Giant the past three seasons and could be one again next year.
Here are a few of the more interesting things
Williams on the way he thinks about head injuries:
"The way I think about life, I kind of think everything is a risk and there is not necessarily any surefire way you can avoid it. You might not be playing football, but you are driving every day, or flying in planes. [Giants tight end] Larry [Donnell] was just on a plane that skidded off the runway. There are risks once you open your eyes in the morning. I don't necessarily look at football as doing anything above and beyond. I also think I was built differently from somebody else. I might be more able to play football than someone else, so it's "safer" for me to play than someone else. I think God puts people in different positions in life where certain risks are mitigated. I don't necessarily worry about my health when I'm playing football. That would detract from my game."
Schwartz on worrying about long-term brain issues:
"I know my wife is scared of that. I try not to think about it. It's a risk of playing this game. Mentally I'm still just as sharp and haven't had a concussion in my career. For every scary story about CTE, there are plenty of stories of guys who leave the game and are successful off the field without any side effects. I try to think about that."
Schwartz on whether the NFL is doing enough about head injuries:
"I don't know what else they can do. The game is violent. We now know the risks. None of us can say we don't know what we signed up for. I think it's up to the players in certain cases to be responsible and take themselves out when they get concussed. But then again, we are competitors and want to play. I get why players don't always report them."
Williams on players being responsible to each other:
"A big part of health and safety is also the kind of culture we are building around the game. When I step on the field, no matter who my opponent is, and as much as all my fans are telling me, "you need to hate the Eagles," I don't hate anybody in an Eagles uniform. I respect my opponents because they are risking their health on the field every day. I have a respect for the game and for the people who make the game what it is. I don't play with hate in my heart, or to injure people. I pray before every game that people remember why they are playing the game, and not those negative feelings, because I think sometimes that's where injuries come from. Injury prevention is in terms of what we do with the helmet, but also the culture surrounding the game, and I think that's just as important."
This entire conversation is an important one. The 'MMQB' piece is one you should read in its entirety.