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 3, 2008
Posted on: November 10, 2011 7:35 pm

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

Maybe Goodell's leotard or panties were too tight when he was looking at the film? Either that, or it was 28 days since his last hissy fit.

What a wuss, turning this into the Nonhit Fairy League.

Since: Mar 20, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 7:34 pm

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

The whole joke comes from the fact, Ray Lewis goes helmet to helmet with Hines Ward and announcers and NFL celebrate it as "Ray being Ray"

Since: Mar 20, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 7:21 pm

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

What are you peed about Mike,,1st of all your an arrogent cu.nt..2nd of all if those are clean hits well than ur an idiot..You inherited a SB champion and have done nothin to put ur foot prints on this team,,Dam I could coach this team..You sit on the sideline with that stupid look on your face, you know the LOST LOOK..Maybe if you taught your team the right way to hit oh wait you don't know how to teach cause your a terrible coach, you were severely out played and coached by the ravens..And yet all you did was sit on the sidelines with that STUPID LOOK again..I kinda feel for those players cause thats a SB team there in Pitt, to bad their coach is bring them DOWN..

Since: Nov 15, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 7:20 pm

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

I'm a Raven Fan and felt the tackle was a good one.  Questionable call at best and certainly not worthy of a fine.  Ray's tackle on Ward was a penalty and worthy of a fine.  I'm pleased Hines is OK and was also pleased Ray knocked that stupid Hines Ward grin right of his Ward's face.  See you in the playoffs Pittsburgh

Since: Nov 10, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 7:01 pm

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

Quit being furious, and try getting back to coaching the basics. Everybody whoever thought about playing football knows that you "see what you hit". Tomlin, how about setting aside some practice time and reiterate to them to keep their heads up when they are tackling. Harrison doesn't even realize that at the moment of impact he lowers his head. I like most other NFL fans don't want to see one of his defenders seriously hurt making these types of tackles.

Since: Mar 10, 2008
Posted on: November 10, 2011 6:46 pm

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

Came across and lrad in with shoulder to hit him. wimpy call bad fine. whats next flag football!!!!!!!!!!!!

Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 6:27 pm

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

epiphany, are you serious? You mention rules, but even the call on the field was wrong. Do you know the rules? The call on the play was for "Hitting a defenseless player". Straight BS! I thought, and have only seen that call made when a player trying to catch a ball, misses it, and the defensive player still hits him. I understand that, and agree with Goodell and the league trying to protect the players. However, Dickson was a not a defenseless player when he got hit. He had the ball in his hands, and Clark did what he was supposed to do by dislodging the ball with a legal hit. Notice the refs didn't flag him for a helmet to helmet hit. Bad call, and even worse fine. Who looks at these hits, and determines if a fine is in order? I've yet to hear a former coach, or player say that the hit was illegal, or deserving of a fine. Period.

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 6:22 pm

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

Serphnx.... What part of that hit is helmet to helmet? Clark led with his shoulder... He got flagged for the silly defenseless receiver sissy call... Soon enough Goodell will have guys 2 hand touch over the middle..

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: November 10, 2011 6:19 pm

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark


That would be a true statement, if it were a head to head hit. That's what's pissing everyone off here. I don't care who they play for, if it's warranted then fine them. That hit was BIG, but clean. Kinda like when a defensive lineman wiffs on a QB and barely touches his helmet with a finger and gets flagged for a hit to the head of the QB. It was a bad call and an even worse fine. If this is what football is going to be, let's take the pads off and put flags on them.

Since: Sep 24, 2008
Posted on: November 10, 2011 6:03 pm

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

Tomlin is not furious about the fine amount...he's furious asbout getting swept by the Ravens and for his defense to allow the Ravens to go 92 yards in less than 3 minutes with 1 tiomeout left.

This is just fuel for the fire.

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