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Kansas City Chiefs Receiver Steve Breaston: Hard, Illegal Hits Won’t End Overnight

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Steve Breaston doesn’t quite know what to make of the situation in New Orleans with the bounty investigation. That’s because he said well before the situation developed that he believes it’s a defender’s job to dish out hard hits on players like him who are going across the middle and catching the football.
In fact, Breaston’s pretty blunt — particularly for a player on the offensive side of the ball — when it comes to his thinking on hard hits. He understands and appreciates that the league is working to make the game safer for players like him, but also realizes those hits are going to keep coming. As he puts it, the culture of the game isn’t changing instantly for one rule change or even one year of adjusted rules.

Steve Breaston joined KCSP in Kansas City with Nick Wright to discuss his take on the Saints’ situation, why he feels it’s a defender’s job to try and hurt him, players taking shots on the field, if there’s any way for the game to really ever be played more safely and the upcoming season with the Chiefs.

What’s been your reaction about the entire bounty investigation and now the newly released audio?:

“I don’t know. I didn’t hear about much that went on today, and I don’t know what’s going on with the investigation and things like that, so I don’t really have no take on it. I just know that, as of now, football’s a violent game. It is what it is. It’s a contact sport.”

As an offensive player, do you feel that it’s the job of a defensive player to try and knock you out of the game?:

“I think I’ve said it before, I feel like that every game. I feel like defensive players are trying to, not trying to injure you in a way, but inflict pain. … If I go across the middle, in order for that defender to jar the ball out of my hands, he’s going to have to hit me hard. Or it wouldn’t be the game of football. That’s just part of the culture. That’s just football. It’s been like that since we started playing when we were younger.”

Do you know when you go on the field which guys you have to worry about perhaps taking a shot at the knees?:

“I have no clue. Some things, when they happen like that, it’s just some things happen out of the person being competitive. Some unfortunate things happen in the sport. I don’t think people go deliberately try to end somebody’s career. Like I said, it’s a physical sport.”

Is there a healthy and safe way to play football or is it just always going to be brutal?;

“I think it’s just naturally always going to be brutal. You can replace the rules. I understand what they’re trying to do. It’s best to take care of the players and that’s understandable. I’m all good for that. But this game’s been played for years and it’s been played a certain type of way. It’s not going to take just one rule here or one year, even. It has to change as we move on. It’s not going to take one year for everything to get cleaned up. It’s kind of difficult. In between that transition, you’re still going to see those hits. There’s going to be fines, but they’re moving the game to be safer for the players. I understand that, but it’s going to take some time.”

The Chiefs have gone out and made some offseason acquisitions. How excited are you to get back together with this group that you’ll have?:

“I’m very excited. Not just for the new guys, but for the other players that went down to injury last year. … I’m just excited about us starting from scratch, being healthy and being able to build on the things that we tried to do last year. I think it hurt us when a number of people went down last year. We started scrambling a little bit and then other people got playing time and I think that’s going to help us out as a team going into next year. Those guys that wasn’t going to play last year got playing time … and we’re going to build

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