Mike Tomlin's Statement - Craig Wolfley Web Site and Podcast

“I think the fine that Ryan Clark received was excessive. I am a proponent of player safety and the league’s pursuit of improvement in this area. 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.”
-Mike Tomlin

As usual, Mike cuts right to the point. The player safety issue that has taken the league in a direction in which it seemingly can’t find a consistent basis in which to determine fine-able hits is starting to unravel the edges of the integrity of the game.

There also seems to be a lot of leeway in the assigning of fine values, such as using the verbage “repeat offender” to kick in the escalation of fines instead of acknowledging a player’s attempt to fly right and make a hit within the bounds of the rules and arguably coming up a little short by the new standards.

How does Ryan warrant a double dose as compared to a guy that although he’s on the list for the first time, knocks a guy out of the game? The last time i looked, Ravens TE Ed Dixon got up and walked away from Clark’s hit and Hines Ward checked into la-la land.

Notice that Mike Tomlin did not say Ryan shouldn’t be fined. He said it was excessive. Like as in the case of a player trying to play within the mandates being set down, and still trying to be what he is. A professional football player.

I understand that repeat offenders who demonstrate an unwillingness to get with the program should be assigned escalating fines. Deliberate unabashed attempts to flagrantly violate league mandates are one thing. Trying to perform within the rules and still play football appear to be at diametrically opposite ends of the spectrum at this point in time.

What’s next? Are we going to see fines in the future for holding? That’s against the rules too. You want to talk about repeat offenders, there’s a whole bunch of them in the NFL.

You can walk through Ryan’s hit frame by frame on video. What you see is a guy trying to time up a hit on a guy at game speed not lead with his head but his shoulder, aim for the mid-section not the head, run through not launch. At game speed, not super slo-motion.

Yeah, you got some incidental head contact, which was by comparison your average driver getting into a fender bender while avoiding a major head-on collision. This is analagous to a kindergardener being sent home from school for packing a squirt gun in his back pack in a “zero-tolerance” school zone.

Ryan’s hit lined up with the new NFL safety guidelines as well as you can in real-time. But if you feel you got to, i can see an argument for a reasonable fine.

But $40,000? C’mon, get serious. Again, the NFL demonstrates common sense is lacking here folks.


4 Responses to Mike Tomlin’s Statement

  1. RetiredMD says:

    Common Sense???? There is NO sense, common or otherwise to explain the hypocrisy that is today’s NFL.
    The league needed a strong, progressive leader in the mold of a Pete Rozelle going forward. Instead, we get another “Phineas T. Bluster” (AKA Mayor of Doodyville) as Lord High Commissioner.

  2. PA2AK says:

    To me, there are two separate issues to this rule. First, is the flag thrown in the game. They need to try and be more consistent. Its difficult and at game speed everything looks different (they always give the ref the benefit of the doubt when it comes to “game speed” difficulties…but not the players). They need to get rid of the immediate flag throw and go to a huddle by the refs. It won’t disrupt the game any more than being flag happy, and it will at least show that they are trying to get it right in the game.

    The second issue is what you are talking about, and it is clear like you say…no common sense. When you have days to come up with the decision for and amount of the fine, are you not able to try and determine the reasons for the helmet to helmet contact? Was it intentional? Was it because one player was simply out of position? Was it incidental contact, or did the defender adjust to lead with the crown of his helmet? Repeat offender should only come into play when it is clear that the defender is not trying to play within the rules.

  3. The NFL will not regain it’s creditability as a class organization until Roger Goodell has been sacked. For a loss I might add. I lost all respect for this man with his trying to coverup the spygate incident. What gives this man the right to destroy evidence Before anyone can see it? That tells me that this man is unethical and of low moral standards. These new rules he has backed for the players safety are so slipshod, but wait, that means he can penalize whomever he wants to in whatever amount he wants to. Something isn’t right here. If it looks fishy, smells fishy, you get the point, right?