Channing Crowder to keep using helmet

Updated: October 21, 2010, 8:59 AM ET
Associated Press

DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder says the only way of preventing helmet-to-helmet hits is to eliminate the helmet.

Otherwise he's going to use his, regardless of punishment from league officials.

"If I get a chance to knock somebody out, I'm going to knock them out and take what they give me," Crowder said Wednesday. "They give me a helmet, I'm going to use it."

After several recent helmet-to-helmet hits, several of which resulted in concussions, the NFL ramped up the punishment Tuesday. Three players received big fines, and the league warned that starting with this week's games, violent conduct will be cause for suspension.

There's particular concern about helmet hits, but many players are unhappy about the crackdown. That includes Crowder, who said concussions are a normal part of the game.

He thinks he gets one every week and often keeps playing.

"If I'm knocked out, I don't know where I'm at, I can't say my name, now I can't play football," he said. "If I get hit in the head and black out for a second and now I get back up dizzy, OK, I'm ready to go."

Crowder missed the first four games this season because of an injury -- to his groin -- before rejoining the lineup last week. He said he has been getting concussions since high school, but in six NFL seasons he has missed only 13 games, none because of a concussion.

Crowder said the NFL is "making a big deal about nothing" and cited money as the motivation.

"They want to save the receivers and quarterbacks because they sell all the jerseys," Crowder said. "They don't give a damn at all about defensive players because we don't sell as many jerseys as them. ...

"If they want to change football to a graceful sport, change it all the way to a graceful sport. Don't try to save the quarterbacks and receivers because they make the money, which that's what they're doing," he said.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press