The latest Pittsburgh Steeler to complain about the NFL cracking down on illegal hits is Ryan Clark, who’s complaining preemptively in anticipation of a potential fine for a hit on Braylon Edwards.
Clark picked up a 15-yard penalty for the hit on Edwards Sunday, but he insists that the officials erred in throwing the flag, and that he’s not expecting to be fined.
“No, I’m not, and I will be [ticked] off if I get it,” Clark said, per the Tribune-Review. “It’s Christmas, man. There is a picture of it in the hallway, so if I do get one I am going to hold up a picture to my face so the NFL can clearly see it.”
Clark, who stuck up for teammate James Harrison when the league slapped Harrison with this season’s biggest fine, said he didn’t commit a penalty when he drilled Edwards.
“I didn’t hit him in the helmet,” Clark said. “There wasn’t any head-to-head contact. My arms are actually in front of me, and if I can’t do that then I can’t play football.”
And Clark said he’ll hit future receivers the same way he hit Edwards.
“Ten out of 10 times I’ll do the same thing,” Clark said. “Running up and hugging him or waiting for him to get on the ground and jumping on his back is not going to give me the opportunity to dislodge the ball. That is what it is coming to now. Any hard hit and anything like that they are going to throw the flag.”
When NFL players are fined, the money goes to charity. Clark doesn’t like that, saying fine money should be set aside to take care of players if there’s a work stoppage.
“How about it goes to families and these kids who won’t have insurance after the March deadline?” Clark said. “You want to take money and give it here and give it there, but how about us having no insurance? Families of five? Three kids? Put money there and take it when it is supposed to be taken.”
I have a feeling Clark won’t be getting much sympathy from fans on that front — even if plenty of fans agree with him that his hit on Edwards shouldn’t have been penalized.