Hesitation. That's what I got when this survey turned to whether a player would participate in the Super Bowl with a concussion and whether he believed the NFL is committed to player safety.
All 10 of the Carolina Panthers I surveyed eventually said they would play in answering the first question, and some didn't hesitate. I wasn't surprised. I was surprised more that there were 48 among the 320 who said they wouldn't.
As much as the NFL has done to protect players from the long-term risks of head injuries, the opportunity to play on the biggest stage apparently is more important to the players. That's why they play the game, right?
At least those I talked to were honest enough to admit it.
I'm not sure they were as honest when asked if the league is committed to player safety. Beyond the hesitation, there were some "yes, I guess so" type answers.
In other words, yes, but the league could be doing more is the way I interpreted that.
Bottom line, these questions weren't nearly as easy to answer or nearly as cut-and-dried as picking a favorite player to start a team.