Scott Peters played seven years in the NFL, for the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers. While injured, he began to cross-train in BJJ and MMA.
Even before his retirement in 2009, he opened an MMA training facility, Fight Ready, in Scottsdale, AZ.
Now Peters is bringing MMA techniques to the football field, with the goal of evolving the game, and solving the concussion issue.
"Guys are taught from an early age to lead with their face, their helmet," says Peters.
Repeated head contact and sharp blows to the helmet are shortening players careers and causing problems for them after retirement.
"The old-school method is still being taught, unfortunately. This is what guys are learning at the lowest levels on up to the NFL. That's what I did when I played, and that's lead with your forehead first," says Peters.
Born out of Peters' mixed martial arts training, he has begun teaching and incorporating new techniques to players both young and old by fusing them into blocking moves. He finds these techniques are more effective. They reduce helmet-to-helmet contact.
"This is the evolution of the game of football, especially in the tackle box," says Peters. "This is the great eliminator, the great equalizer."
Peters' system is called "SAFE" football.
"It's coming forward with your hips and your hands up," he explains. "It mitigates, if not eliminates the need for helmet contact within the tackle box, which could eliminate the majority of concussions."
The University of Washington has hired Scott and brought him up to Seattle to train their players with the SAFE football techniques.
"The explosive movements that he was demonstrating on my players was quite unique, and I was going, hmm. We ought to continue to research this even more," says University of Washington offensive line coach Dan Cozzetto.
Peters says he doesn't see teaching SAFE football as a job but as a mission to help players at all levels reduce the number of hits to the head.
"I'm looking at this as an obligation from the standpoint of helping a solution to the concussion crisis, and it is a crisis at this point," says Peters.
His clients include a number of NFL players and the Penn State football program.
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