SportsNation Blog Archives Ryan Clark
New rules on low hits in the NFL?
In the wake of two players suffering serious injuries on low hits in the preseason, the NFL is considering the possibility of additional restrictions on hits to the knee. The league has already extended the rules protecting players from hits to the head, which has irked defensive players who claim the new restrictions are unfeasible. Steelers safety Ryan Clark has already spoken out against the potential for additional rules, saying he's "disgusted with the NFL right now," but is it just doing the right thing?
The Ravens and Steelers is a big rivalry -- big import, big stars, big hits and big fines. NFL officials provided the last part of the equation in the form of a $40,000 fine for Steelers safety Ryan Clark for a helmet-to-helmet hit in Sunday's game. Clark isn't the only one taking a monetary hit for dishing out a real one, but is his hit more evidence that the Steelers are held to a different standard?
Did Clark's hit warrant $40,000?
You can watch the hit for yourself here. The story also notes that Clark (seen here in happier times) said Steelers coach Mike Tomlin used the clip as an example of a good hit.
Are Steelers unfairly targeted?
"It wasn't a spear. It wasn't a forearm to the head. It wasn't any of those things and to be fined $40,000 for that? To me it's either targeting me as a single player or it's targeting this team." --Clark on the fine, one of 13 for the Steelers this season
Words that could haunt him?
"So it's going to turn into if you're going to fine me $40,000, I might as well put him to sleep for real or I might as well blow his knee out." -- Clark.
Are all the fines helping?
Roger Goodell has docked the Steelers for $182,000 in fines this season, and James Harrison came close to that by himself last season. But are the dollars adding up to fewer bad hits?
The NFL may have a collective bargaining agreement on the verge of being ratified, but that doesn't mean there is much collective good will on the part of players toward commissioner Roger Goodell. Steelers linebacker James Harrison recently apologized for his caustic remarks about Goodell, but teammate Ryan Clark took up the torch, arguing against the exclusive control of the personal conduct policy the commissioner retains under the new CBA.
Is the commissioner fair game?
Among Clark's comments: "I think (Goodell has) decided to make himself a major part of this game. I don't know if he had some type of high school dreams or Pop Warner dreams of being an NFL football player, but he's made himself the NFL."
Judge, jury and appeals process?
Clark made it a bit personal, but his larger point seemed to be that players aren't happy that Goodell is the lone voice implementing, interpreting and enforcing the league's personal conduct policy.
What about the big picture?
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has former player Brendan Shanahan to be his tough guy on discipline. Would having an NFL Shanahan help?