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Jim Brown says he didn’t need to use his head to run

Jim Brown

Former Cleveland Brown Hall of Famer Jim Brown speaks during an NFL football news conference at the Arizona Biltmore, Monday, March 18, 2013, in Phoenix. They announced the NFL has agreed to pay $42 million as part of a settlement with a group of retired players who challenged the league over using their names and images without their consent. (AP Photo/Matt York)


Some running backs are worried about a rule that would prevent them from initiating contact with the crown of their helmets outside the tackle box.

But the guy who doled out as much punishment as he ever received said he didn’t see a problem with it.

I didn’t use my head,” Hall of Famer Jim Brown said, via Newsday’s Tom Rock. “I used my forearm. The palm of my hand. And my shoulder. And my shoulder pads. I wasn’t putting my head into too much of anything. I don’t think that’s a good idea.

“At least it doesn’t sound like a good idea to me if I’m not guaranteed that my head is going to be strong enough to hurt somebody else and not hurt myself.”

All-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith was among the first critical of the proposed rule, saying it was “almost impossible” to not lower your head going into contact.

“Emmitt probably used his head,” Brown said. “I don’t know.”

“Nobody I ever broke bread with, and I see players all the time, talked about using their head running the football. I’ve seen Barry Sanders and Eric Dickerson and Marcus Allen and Franco Harris and we’ve all been together — we were all together at the Super Bowl — and no one talked about using their head.”

If the league gets its way, no one will, either.