Blog Entry

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:01 pm
Clark's collision with Dickson resulted in a $40,000 fine. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

On Tuesday there were reports that Ryan Clark and Ray Lewis could expect fines for their play in Sunday night's Ravens-Steelers game. Wednesday it became a reality; Clark was docked $40,000 and Lewis $20,000.

And not long after the fines were announced, Clark spoke frankly on the matter.

"Somebody else needs to step in ... not that I respected Roger [Goodell] before this ... but this is ridiculous," he said. "I'm not going to sit across from [the Commissioner] unless they handcuff me. which is probably the next step anyway."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette writes that Steelers head coach "was said to be furious when he learned about the fine from the league office today."

In a statement released by the team, Tomlin called the fine excessive.

"I am a proponent of player safety and the league's pursuit of improvement in this area," he said. "I, like the vast majority of people in this industry, witness daily the steep price that these young men pay to play this game on so many levels. Ryan has my full support if he chooses to appeal this in any way."

Judge for yourself:

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger also supports Clark and thinks that NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith should get involved.

"It's unfortunate," he said."You never want to see one of your guys get hit, especially for that much money. I went back and watched it. If you slow down and watch it, it's about as picture-perfect of a tackle you can make. His head was down right across the chest and the back of his helmet maybe grazed the wide receivers bottom of the face mask. Someone needs to stand up and do something -- like De Smith. He is our player guy, stand up and do something for our players."

Reviewing Week 9

Fair point. Smith hasn't been seen since the lockout ended. Maybe that's why, when the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Mark Kaboly asked James Harrison Wednesday if De Smith should get involved his response was "Who's that?"

(We're pretty sure that was Harrison being sarcastic.)

But it's not just those in the Steelers organization that think Clark's punishment was exorbitant. Sports Illustrated's Peter King sent the following tweets Wednesday:

"Watched replay of Clark's hit on Dickson 20/25 times. Clark lowers head, aims for chest w/right shoulder. Clips Dickson facemask w/helmet. … This is not the kind of hit to generate a 40k fine. Clark DID hit helmet--but he clearly was aiming lower. Some fine? OK. 40? No way. … 'Fine Clark till he stops.; Stops what? Lowering his head and aiming for a guy's sternum? Bury a guy when he AIMS for head. Clark didn't."

As our colleague Will Brinson wrote earlier, the reason Clark is now out $40,000 wasn't the result of some blindfolded dart-throwing exercise down at league headquarters. It's because the NFL's fine schedule plainly states that the second offense for "Impermissible Use of the Helmet" will run you … $40,000.

The players are well aware of this. They're just apoplectic at the amount. Well, that and the arbitrary nature with with Goodell metes out punishments. Like, say, this.

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Since: Jan 6, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2011 4:03 am

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

Watching the replay, Clark lowers himself and his helmet hits right into the front of Dickson's helmet and the facemask. It was a nice tackle, but it is a penalty and a fine. $40000 is a steep price, but then again the rules are there up front. As much as we all love to see big hits, the League told everyone they were putting player safety first and they didn't keep what that meant a secret.

Since: Aug 12, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:41 am

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

James Harrison is right- Goodell is a f a g and who the hell is De Smith?  He is almost as worthless as Goodell.  If you want to know why there are so many missed tackles in the NFL, it's because of the new rules.  How does Chad Henne throw for 400 yards?  The new rules.  How do rookie QBs dominate the league?  The new rules.  Maybe if offenses didn't design plays where most of the time players are sprinting straight at each other, the hits wouldn't be so big.

Since: Oct 29, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:10 am

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

There saying its 40K for a second offence... so Ray lewis has never been fined for a helmet to helmet hit before... seems unlikely..Or is just a second offense within in one year??

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 12:06 am

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

@ Adullin- for a guy with "superstar" status, not sure if you have been paying attention or not, but Ray Lewis DID get fined for that hit.  

Since: Mar 9, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 11:32 pm

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

I totally agree.  I thought the CLARK hit was a great football play.  Didn't see the LEWIS hit.  Flag and fine the dirty plays, but otherwise let these guys play.  I too am getting tired of all these flags.  Not every little bit of contact is PASS INTERFERENCE where it keeps a Receiver from catching a ball.  It's getting to the point where the QB's and WR's  run every play and ask for a flag to move the ball down the field.  They're more concerned about drawing a flag then playing football and executing a play! 

Since: Dec 11, 2009
Posted on: November 9, 2011 11:29 pm

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark


Speaking objectively, look at the video above in slow motion, EXACTLY what the idiot Goodell is seeing.  I think it was a great play, but the helmets hit.  The evidence is there, I watched the game, seen the play, and seen it in slo-mo.  Take off the blinders buddy.  I am a Steelers fan, hate the new rules, but not dumb enough to see the obvious.  Change the rules Goodell you fairy....

Since: Jun 2, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 11:28 pm

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

I'd be furious with the fine as well this is worse then the average Joe walking down and seeing the meter person writing a ticket for a just expired parking meter.

I know the NFL will fall back on it's for the players safety well it's football guys get hurt and fully are aware that any play could be their last.  Change the helmets but for the game let the guys play the game the way it was meant to be played.  These are getting so ticky tack that it undoes the good they are trying to do.

Since: Mar 30, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2011 11:23 pm

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

So its ok to helmet hit the steelers but not the other way aroud. Ward was knocked out of the game byt he hit Lewis did Helmet to helmet but thats not fined or even called? NFL Not football league.

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:42 pm

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

As a football fan (I'm not a Steeler fan), I loved both hits... Clark's and Lewis'. Both guys were going after the ball to make tackles. I don't really give a about the fines since it's not my money. I just wish the refs stop overofficiating the games. It sucks watching the stoppage in games all the time... and then having to watch replay after replay... It would be better if the refs were invisible and tried to NOT be a part of the game so often. On top of that, it seems so many pass interference calls are being called this year.... and inconsistently. Just nuts!

Since: Jun 17, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:35 pm

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

Helmet-to-helmet is what Lewis did to Ward (the one that DID NOT draw a penalty, though it should have).  Clark clearly lowers his head and plants his shoulder, and actually the side of his body into the guy's chest.  Exactly the way it is taught.  The top side of his helmet grazed the bottom of the guy's facemask, and that is all (about as incidental as you can get).  Rediculous.  Goodell is a joke.

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