Oakland Raiders: Antonio Brown’s helmet adventures — Part III

Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images /

The great helmet debate continues and Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown’s newfound Schutt AiR Advantage doesn’t pass certification. What now?

In case you haven’t been following, Antonio Brown has been generating headlines of late from Oakland Raiders training camp with everything surrounding his foot injuries and controversies related to his unapproved Schutt AiR Advantage headpiece that he’s worn since 2009.

Brown’s former helmet preference is now over 10 years old in the eyes of league approval standards and rules and regulations have been put into place to enhance the safety of players’ heads.

This means that not only does Brown have to upgrade his helmet choice, but the entire league also has to step out of its comfort zone to upgrade on the basis of safety, per league rules, and make the change as well.

Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees are among the top-name players in this league that are now saddled with this perceived “burden” alongside Brown and from what I’ve read up on and studied about helmets in this past week, the threshold from a 2009 Schutt helmet to a more recent one is not that sparse.

Must Read. Oakland Raiders: A definitive case for Jim Plunkett’s enshrinement in Canton. light

The gist of the issue is older helmets provide adequate protection, but the newer ones provide just a little bit more (as you could imagine). The problem I think many players are now facing is a change in comfort and routine.

I’ve been on the football field with a new helmet in my day, and although an upgraded headpiece is shinier and more protective, it takes some getting used to; very much like a new baseball glove (it has to be broken in and used a lot to get it to settle).

With new equipment like helmets, they tend to fit rather tight at the beginning of usage, which in the summer heat, is a test of will in and of itself that can break guys at any minute. But once that passes after a week or so, you start to adapt and become more comfortable.

More from Las Vegas Raiders News

What I think players are concerned about is the possible weight of the helmet itself and vision impairment. With more advanced/protective innovations in safety, does that make the helmet itself a little heavier?

Possibly. If that’s the case, physical performance could dip slightly due to the extra weight being carried around. In terms of vision (which I’d say is the biggest concern of players), is the extra padding potentially contributing to a decrease in full-field vision?

We’ll soon find out.

We’re now in Part III of the Antonio Brown helmet chronicles. Part I was Brown threatening retirement if he couldn’t wear his preferred helmet. Part II was the league reaching out to say AB could use his old brand of helmet if he could find a more recent one.

More from Golden Gate Sports

Now we come to Part III where Brown has found a 2014 version, but it’s still not good enough for the league. So, in all likelihood, Brown is going to have to compromise and break in a certified helmet within the next couple of weeks before Week 1.

He’s supposed to return to Raiders training camp today (Monday), so we’ll see where this goes. Brown is acting like a diva; there’s no doubt about that even if he had a legitimate gripe in this helmet situation.

And the beginning of this training camp hasn’t looked all that promising for the Raiders and himself if we’re being honest. But now it’s time to buck up and go.

Chemistry still has to be improved with Derek Carr. Relationship with the team needs to be shored up. And above all, he needs to heal up and get back to 100% physically.

Next. Oakland Raiders: Preseason Week 2 — Stock Up/Stock Down. dark

This is a big year for Antonio Brown and the Raiders, so a lot has to be improved on in the next couple of weeks if the team is going to find any success in 2019-20.