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.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
  •  
Comments

Since: Jan 5, 2009
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:50 pm
 

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

While it is true that players too many times go for the highlight hit, as a safety in that coverage, part of your job is to separate the man from the ball.  That is what Clark did, you don't have to tackle if the reciever never gains possession.  Ray Lewis's hit on Hines was clearly helmet to helmet and was on a 'defenseless' receiver as well.  I'm not saying Clark shouldn't have been fined, but the fine shouldn't have been twice as much as Lewis's for the same offense.



Since: Sep 25, 2009
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:39 pm
 

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

He hit helmet to helmet, that's a penalty.  I'm more annoyed with the Ray Lewis fine, he hit hard but all of them looked clean to me.


millkass
Since: Nov 10, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:20 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:14 pm
 

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

The league and the coaches are to blame --- the NFL makes tons of money off the "highlight" hit, and coaches don't teach people how to tackle anymore. When's the last time you saw a DB wrap up? You might not get the flag/fine if you actually TACKLE. 



Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:05 pm
 

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

Slasher,

All you have to do to dispute your claim is look at the still photo on the video.  You don't even need to play it.

That still is from the moment of contact.  In it one foot is clearly on the ground.  So how did he leave both of his feet prior to contact?  Also, the point of contact is to Ryan Clark's right shoulder.  So how is he leading with his helmet?  Most humans have there head between their shoulders so the head could not be what he led sith if the first contact is to the shoulder.  Where is your head located?  I have a good idea.

You also talk about Ray Lewis making a text book tackle.  Thats a load of crap.  He definately led with the crown of his helmet.  Yet you want to argure that it was perfectly legal.  It doesn't stand up to the rule you stated.






Since: Oct 13, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2011 1:51 pm
 

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

I hate both these teams with a passion and this is not to side with either of them...that being said, that was a great hit.  He did what you are always taught as a defender, he lead with his shoulder and dislodged the ball from the receiver's hands.  The only reason his helmet even made SLIGHT contact with Dickson's facemask was because Dickson lowered his head.  Dickson was fine...he got up and went back to the huddle.  They keep calling penalties and handing out fines like this, we'll see more 60 pt games like the Saints put up a couple weeks ago.  Everyone will be afraid to tackle the ball carriers...on second thought...maybe this will help CJ get back on track.   Please disregard. Go Titans! 



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 1:37 pm
 

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

Seriously?  You call that "leaving his feet"????

No wonder why football is going the way of the bird, straight south.  I guess he should of just stopped on a dime to prevent any forward momentum and planted both feet to make the tackle.



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 1:35 pm
 

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

Did you even look at the video replay?  You can't see via the tight-shot at :33-in that Clark's helmet hits Dickson, and then his shoulder follows through?

As stated below, it's a foul no matter where Clark's helmet hits Dickson, head or not.

I did watch it, frame by frame....my conclussion is that Dickenson was more at fault than Clark.  Dickenson is the one that lowered his shoulder and head right after Clark went for the tackle.  Clark lined up to tackle with his shoulder into the sternum of Dickenson, and that is what he did.  Any helmet to helmet contact was from the offensive players persepective. 

Time to start calling this both ways instead of strictly on the defense.  Offensive players need to be held just as accountable for these hits if player safety is an issue.



Since: Nov 22, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 1:26 pm
 

Frame by frame?

You looked at it frame by frame and didn't conclude he left his feet? Did you skip the frame that is shown as a still shot at the top of the story?

And yeah, I am looking at it and I see the helmet hit, then the shoulder right in the area of the video you reference.   



Since: Nov 22, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 1:23 pm
 

Yeah, really

Did you even look at the video replay?  You can't see via the tight-shot at :33-in that Clark's helmet hits Dickson, and then his shoulder follows through?

As stated below, it's a foul no matter where Clark's helmet hits Dickson, head or not. 


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com