Hall of Fame coach and legendary NFL broadcaster John Madden said he doesn’t believe in the league’s Heads Up Football program, saying kids as young as six or seven shouldn’t be wearing helmets and learning tackling drills.
According to USA Football’s website, the Heads Up Program aims to help make football “better and safer” for youth and high school football players through education and certification.
At a roundtable discussion during the Hall of Fame weekend, Madden said he doesn’t believe the fundamentals and techniques of football can be taught to coaches in a short period of time.
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“[T]hey can’t learn them in a short time,” Madden said, via Pro Football Talk. “I was a coach, and I put a lot of education and experience into coaching. . . . How long does it take to get a certificate?”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said it takes around 90 minutes to get certified as a coach in the program.
“And all due respect to the program, I don’t believe in it,” Madden said. "I respect coaches, I respect what good coaches do. I know that you don’t learn to be a coach in an hour and a half.”"
- Scooby Axson