NEW ORLEANS (KCBS) — Former San Francisco 49ers head coach Steve Mariucci praised NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s efforts to reduce head injuries, saying while football will always be a physical sport – they’re also trying to make it as safe as possible.

Mariucci is now an NFL analyst, but he’s also a member of the NFL Players’ Safety Advisory Panel and he has strong feelings about the increased efforts to limit serious injuries in the game.

Mariucci said the panel studies injury trends and rule changes that affect those trends. He said that’s partly because what happens in the NFL has a trickle-down affect to youth football right on down to Pop Warner.

“This is a very physical sport. It’s not singles tennis,” he joked. “We’re trying to minimize the amount of injuries, especially head, neck and spine injuries. All injuries for that matter,” he said.

The idea of making NFL players wear pads on their legs has also been discussed and could happen as early as the next season.

“I’m sure their will be some resistance and we want kids to keep playing. We want moms to say, hey, ‘I feel football is safe enough for my young child at nine years old to play this sport’.”

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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