“I knew something was wrong,” he admitted. “I was doing something to myself that could be damaging long-term.”

That’s what was going through Ted Johnson‘s head back in the early-2000s, when he finally realized how serious these constant blows to the head were getting. Johnson was one of the first NFL players to open up about head injuries. The former Patriots linebacker’s career was hampered with concussions, especially late in his tenure, when he’d suffer two-to-three concussions per week.

Johnson spoke at the Ninth Annual Sports-Related Conference on Concussion and Spine Injury earlier this month. Also speaking at the conference were Robert Cantu, MD, and Mark Proctor, MD, — two leaders in the head and spinal injury field.

NESN.com’s John Beattie sat down with Johnson, Dr. Cantu and Dr. Proctor to discuss the concussion issue in the NFL and in youth sports, as seen in the video above.