What difference a helmet makes

Lots of times I see a player seemingly unaware of where the ball is or where opposing players are and I get incredulous.

Then I think about. I played an incredible amount of tag and flag football and I always had great awareness, but I tried to play tackle once for about 3 games. Didn't like the helmet. It messed with my senses. One play, I was playing a safety and there was a guy running down the sideling. I was backing up and watching the QB being pretty sure I knew where the player was. Turns out he was 20 yard further down the field. Never made that mistake without a helmet on. Another time I was returning a punt and I ran past the first few guys and slowed down just a touch to try to dart between 2 others. Bam, I was taken down from behind. Had no idea that anyone was following so close.

I wonder, do those playing tackle for many years get to where they have the same awareness with or without the helmet.

Sounds like you have peripheral vision impairment or the helmet did not fit right .

Played with a helmet many years the only impairment was with sound .It blocked out sound. The the ear holes help but they also protect the ears a bit .

Use to tap/slap the ears on the helmet of the opposition and it would stun them a bit temporarily .