As part of our Podcast-a-palooza this week, we have yet another guest we always enjoy talking go. With Greg Cosell and Peter King podcasts already up and running, it was time to talk with our buddy George Atallah, who serves as the Assistant Executive Director of External Affairs for the NFL Players Association.
Yes, he does have an oversized business card to fit all of that on there.
George was one our go-to guys through and after the lockout — he's always honest, exact and thought-provoking. So, it was good to catch up with him again, as certain pertinent news stories flow through the NFL.
We started with the most nebulous and confusing question in the NFL today — what exactly IS the league's in-game concussion protocol?
"There's supposed to be a number of people who are watching for a possible concussion," George told us. "And as soon as a player is even suspected of having a concussion, the team doctor, or the person on the field designated for medical purposes, that person is supposed to do a concussion test. And that concussion test has certain things involved — I'm sure you've heard that 'SCAT2' is not part of the dinner conversation, unfortunately — but there is supposed be an extensive concussion test. And once the player passes or fails the test, the team then follows the protocol. If the player fails the test, that player is supposed to be taken off the sideline, into the locker room, and treated further."
George couldn't talk to us about the specific circumstances of the Colt McCoy situation as the NFLPA investigation is ongoing, but this is something that is very much on the minds of everyone at the Players Association. He also told us that despite what many people may believe, the people who make appeal decisions in a disciplinary sense (Art Shell and Ted Cotrell) are paid equally by the league and the NFLPA. So, it's not quite the kangaroo court we may think.
We then talked about the new TV deals, and what they mean for the players. Where will all that money go?
"[The new deals] have the players getting a guaranteed 55 percent of all television and media revenue," he said. "Obviously, some of it goes to player salaries and benefits and costs and things like that. The salary cap will grow as revenues grow."
We then talked about the future of the league, what the NFLPA's imperatives are now that a CBA is locked in with the money to follow, and what George thought of the Chris Paul trade ("That's why the NFL doesn't own a team.")
As always, it's a very interesting listen when we talk with George — so do check this podcast out. You can subscribe to the Shutdown Corner iTunes link (in iTunes, go to "Advanced/Subscribe to Podcast," and paste this link in:http://ysportspods.podbean.com/category/shutdown/feed/). You can also use the link below to either left-click and listen, or right-click to save to your computer.