NEW ORLEANS- Rich Mauti played for the New Orleans Saints from 1977 to 1983, and he took his fair share of hits.
"It's part of the brutality of the game," Mauti said.
Understanding that side of the game, the news about a new study released this week doesn't surprise him, but it is alarming.
A study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association examined the brains of more than 202 deceased football players. More than half played in the NFL. And more than half of them suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE. It's a degenerative disease that can cause confusion, depression, dementia and memory loss.
Mauti, whose son Michael Mauti plays for the Saints, says he wants to learn as much as possible about CTE.
"At least you want to know, what to look for. If there's anything you can do from a precautionary measure or exercise or diet or whatever. You want to know that," Mauti said.
According to the study, there's a strong connection between CTE and repeated blows to the head. It's something that was covered in the 2015 movie "Concussion."
Saints Head Football Coach Sean Payton says he hasn't read the study but the issue of concussions is something that can affect his players, and even his own family.
"I have a son that plays football. He's very mindful and anxious and paying attention to all the reports and studies and methods to reduce those types of events," Payton said.
Despite his concerns, Mauti understands the allure of the game, but he says he hopes players understand the risks that come with it.
"From a player's standpoint the injuries are just too great so, I think focusing on those things and limiting the vulnerability of putting these players in those positions, I think is a good thing," Mauti said.
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