Scoop B: Former Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings & Detroit Lions Defensive Lineman Corey Wootton Talks NFL & CTE, Brett Favre & Big Ten Network

Big Ten Network’s Corey Wootton. Photo Credit: YouTube

Former Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions defensive lineman Corey Wootton spent six seasons in the NFL after being drafted by the Chicago Bears in the fourth round (109th overall) in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Wootton retired last season after registering 12 sacks and three forced fumbles in 86 career games.

A dedicated husband and family man, it was admirable that he cited his dedication to his loved ones for his ultimate retirement decision.

Now a college football analyst with the Big Ten Network, Wootton breaks down plays, interviews future football stars, which his extension to his love for football.

Wootton isn’t a stranger to the Big Ten. After all, he earned first-team All-Big Ten honors while suiting up for Northwestern University in 2008.

Corey Wooton while a member of the Chicago Bears. Photo Credit: CSN Chicago

A cemented career in-tact, Wootton often finds himself answering the same question over and over again!

What was it like to sack Brett Favre? Ain’t you tired of answering that question Wootton?

“The thing about that title is I don’t like it in a way because I feel like people are celebrating me taking him out or his last play,” Corey Wootton told Frederick Ennette on a recent appearance on the Triple Threat Podcast

For those tardy to the party: while still an NFL rookie with the Bears, Wootton sacked Favre, who would then have a concussion and later retire. It was the last time anyone sacked Favre, as he’d later retire.

“You never want to take anybody out and that was never my intention,” said Wootton. “You know in the game of football, between the lines when the whistle is blown, you have to do what you have to do. And you know, I was making a play and slammed him into the ground and unfortunately he hit his head on a really hard surface that wasn’t heated.”

If you’d like to see the hit you can click here to view it.

Added Wootton:

“It was a terrible situation to see him have a concussion on his last play, but it was definitely good to have my first sack against someone like him. A Hall of Famer, arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game, but you know that’s football. Football is a brutal sport. Everybody that watches on Sundays, realizes that week in and week out there’s concussions, hits, all of it. So people know what they signed up for and you know like I said: ‘it’s just unfortunate to see someone get injured like that.’”

 

To be fair, tabbing Wootton as the last guy to sack Brett Favre isn’t totally fair to either party. At the time of the hit, Favre was 41 years old and had the third worst NFL quarterback rating along with 19 interceptions thrown that season. “It was one of the few times I went blank in my career,” Brett Favre said after the hit. “It was the way I swung around on the turf. I wouldn’t say it was necessarily the hit.” 

Wootton didn’t just talk Favre on the Triple Threat Podcast. He also weighed in on CTE, CTE research and the adjustments the NFL is making with the game of football. “They’re trying to make the game safer, these targeting calls, these helmet to helmet plays,” said Wootton.

“And I think it’s great because you see a lot of these former players and even current players have issues with memory and balance and different disorders. People having dementia and you know it’s unfortunate considering that as a kid you kind of know that football isn’t the best thing for you, but you think: ‘hey as long as I’m not getting any concussion, it’s no big deal.’ But now these constant hits are what’s the issue. I feel like they still have yet to understand exactly what it is, so I think you’ll definitely see some people retire early. You saw the past year especially when I retired in 2016, how many people under 30 years old were retiring and looking at their future; you know people were playing five, six years saving up their money, getting their little benefits and then moving on to the next career which I think is smart.”

Wotton examined it even a little closer to home:

“I had a teammate I played with, Kent Shaw for the Bears and he ended up playing in Tennessee as a special teamer and he just got diagnosed with ALS in 2014,” he said. “A guy who never had a documented concussion. They say you’re a third more likely to get ALS playing football, so it’s just unfortunate. But I like what they’re doing, trying to make it safer. But it’s football regardless of what you change, this and that you’re still gonna be hitting heads and bumping heads with people.”

 

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About Brandon Robinson

Brandon 'Scoop B' Robinson is a managing editor and columnist at RESPECT Magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @ScoopB and Instagram: @Scoop_B. As a 12 year old, he was a Nets reporter from 1997-1999, co-hosting a show called Nets Slammin' Planet with former New Jersey Net Albert King and Nets play-by-play man Chris Carrino. He's also been a writer and radio host at CBS and a staff writer at The Source Magazine. He's a graduate of both Eastern University and Hofstra University. You can catch him daily on the Scoop B Radio Podcast. Visit ScoopBRadio.com to listen. For inquiries and to contact Brandon 'Scoop B' Robinson visit ScoopB.com