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League will show owners video of clean hits

Brandon Meriweather, Todd Heap

As the NFL tries to muster support for its new approach to hits with the helmet and/or to the helmet against defenseless players, the league office is starting at the top of each organization.

Next week, when owners gather in Dallas for their quarterly meeting, they’ll see a video of clean hits made since a rash of big hits on October 17 prompted the league to take action.

Executive V.P. of football operations Ray Anderson told the Associated Press that the video “clearly shows players making adjustment” in their hitting technique, which means that they have “gotten the message.”

“Frankly, some players who previously have been fined or disciplined have made the adjustments we are looking for to play within the rules,” Anderson told the AP.  “It is hard to declare any trends this soon; it’s premature to do that.  But certainly what we are seeing, not just us in this office, but officials and coaches have reported they see players making appropriate adjustments.  And particularly where in prior instances there may have been a little more hitting, perhaps some gratuitous shots being meted out, players now refrain.”

Anderson suggested that, even though no player has been suspended yet, suspensions won’t only be used for first-time offenders.  One sufficiently troubling illegal hit could get a player suspended.

“Everyone doesn’t get a free pass, no matter how egregious a hit might be the first time,” Anderson said.  “We don’t want anyone thinking that this is my one time to make such a hit, and I can stay on the field.  They should not be operating under that false assumption.”

Anderson also addressed a common refrain among fans of certain teams being targeted, a notion that has been fueled by the decision of folks like Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, Steelers president Art Rooney, and most recently Ravens coach John Harbaugh to publicly question fines imposed on their players.

“We don’t put any credence into that and would dispute that unequivocally,” Anderson said.  “I have been hearing that since the first time I understood what competitive football was, and any of us who follows football has been hearing that for decades.

“The integrity of the game is first and foremost.  Under this Commissioner and leadership of this office, that is not something we would tolerate or condone.  If we ever believed any of that was going on, we would come down with a vengeance.”

We think that the league likewise should be prepared to “come down with a vengeance” on those with positions of leadership and authority at the various franchises who are perpetuating, subtly or otherwise, the notion that, to some degree or another, the fix is in.  We prefer to think that the NFL is merely trying to navigate on the fly some fairly choppy waters; fiercely partisan fans who hear their head coach or owner say things that imply deliberate favoritism or bias will not be so understanding, and the league will suffer for it.

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28 Responses to “League will show owners video of clean hits”
  1. myspaceyourface says: Dec 9, 2010 9:03 AM

    Will they show Harrison hitting Jason Campbell as one example and compare it to him hitting Fitzpatrick. . . .

    One hit was fined and flagged and well. . . . . the other wasn’t.

    They looked to be identical hits. . .

    Will the video include an interview with Harbaugh saying his players understand the rules and abide by them.

  2. sjoyner56 says: Dec 9, 2010 9:05 AM

    …..i guess they are going to show them video of a flag football game,goodell straighten this mess up and the players play pro football the way it was meant to be played

  3. marty2019 says: Dec 9, 2010 9:08 AM

    I still don’t understand the fine for Suh’s hit on Cutler. He didn’t hit him with his helmet or in the helmet, or anything. Just gave him a shove to help him go down.

  4. florio4prez says: Dec 9, 2010 9:12 AM

    League will show owners video of clean hits.

    League will also show owners video of illegal hits.

    Additional 2011 Compensatory Draft Picks will be awarded to any owner(s) who can correctly identify which videos showed the clean/illegal hits.

    A league source indicated that few picks are expected to be awarded.

  5. ianwhetstone says: Dec 9, 2010 9:13 AM

    “We think that the league likewise should be prepared to “come down with a vengeance” on those with positions of leadership and authority at the various franchises who are perpetuating, subtly or otherwise, the notion that, to some degree or another, the fix is in.”

    Yes, that sounds like a great way to assuage the fears of conspiracy-minded fans. Um, not.

  6. Pooped says: Dec 9, 2010 9:32 AM

    “We think that the league likewise should be prepared to “come down with a vengeance” on those with positions of leadership and authority at the various franchises who are perpetuating, subtly or otherwise, the notion that, to some degree or another, the fix is in.”

    It’s great to see that Florio supports free speech for all. Tool.

  7. SteelTown6 says: Dec 9, 2010 9:33 AM

    If the rules are so clear, why the need for an instructional video? Hmmm?

  8. johntonioholmes says: Dec 9, 2010 9:34 AM

    No, I’m not that partisan. Suh’s hit was clean. Ngata shouldn’t have been fined, either; he should have been flagged, but not fined

    And I’m a Steelers fan. Then again, I tend to think that only egregious or dirty hits should be fined, like Finnegan, Seymour and Wlifork.

  9. bspurloc says: Dec 9, 2010 9:35 AM

    it is going to be all “IN THE GRASP” tackles.

    Will they show the “TACKLE” where I think it was Tuck had the QB in the grasp then let him go thinking the ref blew the whistle and ended up being a touchdown instead?

    Will they just show tackles where everyone is standing around no one is trying to get the extra yard, no one is trying to stop them from getting the extra yard? AKA trying to succeed instead of stepping out of bounds for no reason

  10. cometkazie says: Dec 9, 2010 9:38 AM

    Anderson is saying in effect many players are smart enough to make the adjustments and the rest are too dumb to.

  11. xxwhodatxx says: Dec 9, 2010 9:41 AM

    I’ve seen the video it’s a blank tape….

  12. tonyinjax says: Dec 9, 2010 9:51 AM

    This just released….. Spygate III has teamed up with Wikileaks to provide you with the never seen footage of the video that the NFL will be providing the owners…..

    [flash=300,300]http://www.youtube.com/v/Q1Mq46kaQn4[/flash]

  13. dcpatfan says: Dec 9, 2010 9:57 AM

    “Now for our clean hit segment, we will show a textbook sack by Myron Pryor on Brett Farve. We will be refunding the fine issued”-goodell

  14. steelersmichele says: Dec 9, 2010 10:13 AM

    Because showing the players the videos of leagal and illegal hits worked so well…

    “some players who previously have been fined or disciplined have made the adjustments” and some players who previously haven’t been fined or disciplined have started to make illegal hits considering the fines that have been given the past few weeks.

    There is no rhyme or reason to the fines, so when it comes time to actually suspend someone, it won’t be absolutely clear why that’s happening–especially if it could happen to a first time offender. Good thing the player will be able to appeal the suspension.

    cometkazie says: Anderson is saying in effect many players are smart enough to make the adjustments and the rest are too dumb to.

    So McClain, who just recently got fined for an “illegal” hit, are you saying he’s dumb because he’s “adjusted” in the wrong direction?

  15. tmc4real says: Dec 9, 2010 10:17 AM

    You would think they start by showing them to the referees so they can flag them first.

  16. nsevh76 says: Dec 9, 2010 10:31 AM

    “Anderson suggested that, even though no player has been suspended yet, suspensions won’t only be used for first-time offenders. “.

    What? The insinuation here is that they were considering 0nly first time offenders.

    Florio is such a tool.

  17. kirkandhanh says: Dec 9, 2010 10:44 AM

    Videos like this is like watching porn for Florio!

  18. originalsteelcurtain says: Dec 9, 2010 10:48 AM

    Change the rules if you must Goodell and Anderson, to make the game “better”…if you truly think it makes the game “better”.

    Just do it in the off-season, so everyone is clear on what is coming…and they don’t have to adjust on-the-fly.

    To tweak the rules/ enforcement of the rules in-season is moronic…a total knee-jerk reaction to a few illegal October hits.

  19. masteel says: Dec 9, 2010 10:50 AM

    What about the hit Ryan Clark made on J. Ford with Oakland. He hit him clean with a shoulder lead tackle while J. Ford was wrapped up by another Steeler DB – yet he was flagged for personal foul and 15 yards. On the play Clark got dinged up, and stayed on the ground injured momentarily but was able to leave the field on his own and did finish the game.

    Will the league admit a mistake a show this to be a clean hit? That was penalized as a bad hit?!

  20. dilberry says: Dec 9, 2010 11:00 AM

    You would think they start by showing them to the referees so they can flag them first.

    this

  21. stixzidinia says: Dec 9, 2010 11:10 AM

    The league isn’t suffering because of claims of bias. The league is suffering as a result of poor leadership that is robbing the game of its integrity. The league is suffering as a result of transparent dishonesty in using the guise of “player safety” as a means to push through a ridiculous 18 game season and protect marquee players for the sake of accumulating revenue dollars. The league is suffering as a result of its Commissioner claiming his agenda is “what the fans want” when, in fact, he has consulted with exactly zero fans.

    Roger Goodell = worst Commissioner in the history of the NFL. And he won’t be around much longer pissing of cornerstone owners. Rooney helped get him hired, he can also help get him fired.

  22. FinFan68 says: Dec 9, 2010 11:28 AM

    The NFL’s assertion that players are making an adjustment due to the inconsistent fines and flags is absurd. They could go back to last year and find several examples of “clean” hits and other examples of “illegal” hits. Only a moron would think that there is actually a discernible difference between last year and this year. Sure, there may be a couple of plays where a LB didn’t try and take someone’s head off, but how many? The league’s stance on illegal hits is understandable but they are including legal hits in the fines/flags in order to beef up their argument and show how they are making the game safer for an 18 game season. The explanations on why perfectly legal tackles are now viewed as illegal hits is some of the most comical stuff I have heard from the league in years. It is absurd and the league has no idea what the hell it is doing

  23. steelersmichele says: Dec 9, 2010 11:30 AM

    tmc4real says: You would think they start by showing them to the referees so they can flag them first.

    Agreed. If the refs would start making more consistent calls, maybe the players would know what they could and couldn’t get away with on the field.

  24. scrapdawg12 says: Dec 9, 2010 11:32 AM

    Video of a player going to make a tackle and whiff’s. No harm, no foul

  25. patsfansince73 says: Dec 9, 2010 12:37 PM

    Will the league also explain why it is acceptable for someone on offense to lead with the helmet, but it is not acceptable for someone on defense to do it? Where is the safety there?

    The majority of the fines this year should be refunded for the simple fact the offensive player is the one who initiated the helmet to helmet, not the defender.

    When a defender has already made his move to tackle/hit/bump or otherwise stop the offensive player and the offensive player makes a counter move to avert it which in turn causes the “illegal hit”, then it is NOT one. The league should look at that fact before even thinking about a fine.

    I totally agree with those wanted GODell’s head on a stake. Both he and Stern from the NBA are the worst either sport has had in my lifetime (and I’m close to the half-century point). Those with a partial brain would be better for both sports than these two empty heads.

    Make a CLEAR definition of what an “illegal hit” is – black and white, no gray area so there are no questions as to how and why it should be called. Also make it so that both sides of the ball have to adhere to it, otherwise it’s not fair to those who are trying to do the right thing. It’s like seeing two kids out on the playground in a fight and then taking the weaker kid to the side, tying a hand behind his back and then throwing him back out there for the bully to rip him a new one.
    Yeah, maybe a bad analogy, but you get the point.

  26. bspn2 says: Dec 9, 2010 12:40 PM

    Bob Kraft (Roger Goodell’s boyfriend) will be the only owner who won’t have to watch this video since all hits against Cheatriot players (especially Marsha) are automatically illegal.

    The refs should be forced to watch this video over and over again…

  27. mborz says: Dec 9, 2010 1:01 PM

    Showing a series of legal hits is easy. Showing a series of illegal hits is also easy. That’s not the problem.

    The problem is still inconsistency. In order to address that, they’d need to show all of the questionable hits since the crackdown and explain each one. Because there are a lot of cases where certain hits appear to be identical to others but have been treated differently, in both penalties and fines. That’s where the rub is. That’s where the rub will always be — consistency. And the borderline cases are where it needs addressed, not the “completely illegal” or “completely legal” hits.

    Florio, it still bothers me that you still stubbornly hold on to this notion that this is all about education and teams getting behind this effort and telling their players to clean it up. Over and over, we’ve seen examples why it’s not that simple, yet you keep pretending it is.

    Even though you’ve never liked it when any player, coach, or team spokesperson has said anything bad about this enforcement, there have been a lot of good points brought up in their discussions (and lots of bad ones too, which makes it convenient for you to focus on the bad ones and ignore the good ones). Can you show me one example where the NFL has shown that they’re listening to any of the complaints and making adjustments?

    As far as teams being targeted: Of course the league hasn’t said to the officials to target certain teams. But officials are human. To me, when Chris Collinsworth said “Steelers fans must be thinking what the… heck” after Miller got his concussion, spoke volumes. I’ve seen 15 yard penalties for Steelers diving into a pile after an apparent fumble (with wasn’t whistled dead at that point), seen the Steelers get called for 15-yard penalities that the NFL later admitted was a mistake, then watched Miller get completely laid out and Ben get his nose broken with no flags.

    Again, it’s all about consistency.

  28. footballisking says: Dec 9, 2010 5:43 PM

    Stay strong owners dont get brain washed into sucking up to Goodell and the league office like Florio has…tell Goodell and his friends to take a hike and go sabotage another sport…or at a minimum put handcuffs on the power he has

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