It was a notable milestone for Bills LB Nick Barnett last Sunday against the Rams. When he teamed up with Da’Norris Searcy to stop an end around by St Louis Chris Givens in the first quarter, Barnett recorded the 1,000th tackle of his NFL career.
Wednesday night, in an appearance on The John Murphy Show, the 10-year veteran linebacker says he’s proud of the milestone tackle.
“It’s definitely a great accomplishment,” Barnett said on the radio show. “It means I’ve been around a little bit, and hopefully I can get a couple of hundred more.”
With 1,000 tackles on his NFL resume, Barnett has undoubtedly been involved in some serious collisions on the field. And it brings to mind the recent concern in the league on concussions, and the effect of repeated blows to the head on a players’ health long-term.
Barnett told host John Murphy he’s given it some thought.
“It could be a problem, you never know.” he said. “I’ve had maybe two or three concussions in ten years playing, and you don’t know how that affects you until later on down the road. I try to keep my head out of it as much as I can and tackle the right way. But sometimes you don’t see someone coming from the side and hitting you in the head. Or whatever it may be. It’s a game we play, risk versus reward. I love to do what I’m doing.”
The league has instituted a wide ranging crackdown on illegal hits to the head, in an effort to protect players health. And Barnett was asked if the crackdown has made him change his technique
“I haven’t altered my tackling technique as much as I’ve altered the way I take on lead blocks,” he said.
“When I first got in the league, you were talking about guys who run in there head first, and try to knock people out including themselves. I think that technique is not good for the game and not good for you as a player. You’ve got to use your hands and get off blocks. Sometimes you don’t even need to hit that lead blocker if you see where the ball is going. I think I’ve altered that.”
The John Murphy Show airs weeknights from 7-9pm on the flagship station of the Bills, WGR Sports Radio 550.
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