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: Sep 26, 2010
Posted on: November 11, 2011 5:23 am

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

Trade in the helmets for hair extensions and padding for padded bras ladies, the NFL obviously thinks the Lingerie League is the way to go.

What a stupid fine.  A flag was enough, perhaps with a warning highlighting the concern of helmet coming too close or "leading" with the head.  A second offence should then get a suspension, but that is all policy to be made between seasons, not during. 

The reason the players' association cannot get involved is their conflict of interest with the legal case on head injuries predicated on "leading with the head" causing neurological and brain injury.  The NFL has to be seen to be tough on it or the court system may think they are not taking it seriously.  That said, information and warnings before punitive action when many see it as part of doing his job.   

Since: Mar 30, 2007
Posted on: November 11, 2011 2:19 am

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

I also see the players looking for a flag every play. Every touch or bumpe when the pass ends up inc and the players looking for a flag. It reallt is sad.

Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: November 11, 2011 2:10 am

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

This is stupid.  How can you fine a guy for doing his job, which is hitting people and tackling the opposing teams player?  I can't stand all these fines for guys who only do their jobs at what they practice every week.  I don't care what team you support, the fines need to stop.  Unless you want to make it the NFFL (National Flag Football League), let these guys go to work.  The NFL did just fine without all this bull.... for years and if this is what they want they should go back in time and fine Aneis Williams for the hit that ended Steve Youngs career.  (It's a joke people so calm down) 

Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 11, 2011 1:15 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Oct 2, 2007
Posted on: November 11, 2011 12:38 am

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

ORANGE & AQUA, you are the idiot and that can be confidently said after reading your response to Mike Tomlin's statement involving the Clark hit and fine he received from the NFL!  Some but not all NFL players and coaches are arrogant, that just comes with working in a fast paced very demanding business. It probably didn't hurt any since he was hired by one of the best run franchises(Rooney Family) in all of professional sports at the age of 35! Then you go on and say he inherited a super bowl winning team and has done nothing to "put his footprint on this team". I would say his Steeler defense which has not ranked lower then 5th in any category is a big footprint. That and after getting the head coaching job becoming the youngest head coach to win a super bowl two seasons later. Then you go on to call the man stupid, I don't think William and Mary graduates stupid people but just like you said you could do a better job then Mike Tomlin right? You feel bad for the players? YOU? There is not a player on that team that does not have faith in their coach or would want to see another coach on their sidelines.  But we should listen to you because as you say M.T. doesn't know how to teach or coach! I'm not a Steeler fan, just surprised more Steeler fans did not put this undesirable who I can only hope has not had the chance to reproduce in his place!

Since: Jul 23, 2009
Posted on: November 11, 2011 12:24 am

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

how can you play defense if fines are being imposed on hard hits... this is Steelers football... 
it was these hits that gives NFL its popularity today. 

Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: November 11, 2011 12:20 am

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

Get your facts straight before posting NONSENSE,The Steeler def is old and slow.And ranked 7th not 3rd.And a good
I know they're ranked 3rd.....You said 7th

Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 11, 2011 12:08 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Oct 2, 2007
Posted on: November 11, 2011 12:04 am

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

I think it would benefit some readers to look up the NFL rule book on-line and do some research on how the league applies fine amounts.  It is obvious that the league needs to rethink the mandatory fine amounts after the season keeping this play in mind. It looks like Clark in no way intended to create a helmet to helmet hit but in the course of the hit the two helmets did touch and by rule that is a penalty which results in a fine. This was Clark's second fine for a helmet to helmet hit. I have not seen his other hit that resulted in a fine but overall I do not feel that he is a "dirty player" at all!! Players need to go hard at their union player reps and sick them on Goodell in the off season and demand the league reevaluate the mandatory $40,000 fine for a SECOND VIOLATION changing it from mandatory to a reviewable play after the game by league officials. There are already to many reviewable plays on the field slowing the game down.  Then if deemed intentional the $40,000 fine should be enforced. Goodell is turning the NFL into touch football and fans as well as players need to make their voices heard.  The new helmet to helmet rules and most definitely plays around a Q.B. while passing are confusing players and the referees are not making consistent calls in the backfield at all!  NFL QB's are taking advantage of this big time.  This penalty and fine could have been avoided if Clark would have wrapped his arms around the receiver instead of trying to make a highlight hit. Way to many defenders try to do this these days and are hurting other players as well as themselves physically and finically! Not to mention an increase in missed open field tackles resulting in extra yards.

Since: Jun 2, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 11:52 pm

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

Nata and Lewis are allowed to lead with helmet and nothing...Game after game of the same.

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