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No future Tom Bradys?

Tom Brady Sr. clearly knows something about raising a football player. He just happened to guide the career of a future Hall of Fame quarterback who's arguably the biggest athletic star that New England has ever known.


But given the current landscape of concussions, head injuries and the long-term effects of playing the physical game of football, Brady Sr. says that putting his son in the game that's been the foundation of Tom Brady's golden life would be a tough decision if he had to do it all over again.

As it was at the time, Brady Sr. made the future No. 12 wait until high school before he played football. Now, Brady Sr. might consider not letting his son play at all.

"No, not without hesitation," Tom Brady Sr. told Yahoo! Sports. "I would be very hesitant to let him play."

This is just the latest example of how everyone is rethinking the game of football and participating in it. Current NFL players have retired recently in part due to the issue of/fear of head injuries. Undrafted players have chosen to pursue other careers. And former NFL MVP Kurt Warner has taken a lot of heat for saying he doesn't really want his son to play football.

Even though the game of football has given so much to his son and the entire Brady family, Brady Sr. says that the recent advancements in medicine and research make it imperative for parents to protect their children above all else.

"This head thing is frightening for little kids," Brady Sr. said. "There's the physical part of it and the mental part – it's becoming very clear there are very serious long-term ramifications. I think Kurt Warner is 100 percent correct. He's there to protect his children, and these other people who are weighing in are not addressing the issue of whether it's safe or not for kids. All this stuff about, 'He made his fame and fortune off of football,' that's true – but we didn't know then what we know now. Apparently, they don't take their own parenting responsibility very seriously, or they don't value their children's health as much as they should."

Brady Sr. also relayed the tale that he actually kept his son from the football field until high school in part thanks to the advice of former 49ers star lineman and current Patriots preseason game analyst Randy Cross.

"That was 27 years ago," Brady Sr. told Yahoo! Sports of Cross' advice. "We know so much more now; we know that not only is the body not physically developed to play football at five, six and seven, but we know the neck and the brain aren't, either. At that time, we thought it was kind of heroic to play at a young age. Now, with the flow of information coming at us, it's obvious the bodies of little people are not structured to absorb the hits."

The father also admits he still worries quite a bit about his son suffering a head injury in the game he loves.

"Absolutely," Brady Sr. said. "That never goes away. The answer is yes, I'm concerned. He claims that he's only been dinged once or twice, but I don't know how forthright he's being. He's not gonna tell us, as his parents, anything negative that's going on. I wouldn't be shocked that he would hide that."

He does take some solace in the fact that Brady tries to be a physically prepared as possible when he takes the field. Brady Sr. says that his son, "better prepared than most to withstand [head trauma]," because of "the way his physical therapist has prepared him. They do specific exercises on the neck and the head that could ameliorate some of the impact of the hits."

In the end Brady Sr. thinks he probably would allow his son to play football if that decision had to be made today, but that it would not be a simple answer.

"If he were 14 now, and he really wanted to play, in all likelihood I would let him," he told Yahoo! Sports. "But it would not be an easy decision, at all."

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