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League makes mistake by meeting with Suh

Detroit Lions v Denver Broncos Getty Images

On Tuesday, a much-publicized meeting occurred between Commissioner Roger Goodell and Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.  Also attending the meeting were Jeff Fisher, former Titans coach and current advisor to the Competition Committee.  Lions coach Jim Schwartz, who once worked for Fisher in Tennessee, also was expected to attend.

Peter King of SI.com wrote earlier today on Twitter that the league “really likes Suh” and “wants him to be a face-of-the-league type guy.”  That’s fine.  And it’s smart.  But conducting a meeting with Suh under the guise of helping Suh understand the league’s rules and policies may not have been very wise, in the grander scheme of things.

The mere act of granting Suh the meeting enhances the perception that the rules and policies are too complicated to be understood without the assistance of the league office.  So now will every player need to sit down with the Commissioner before properly understanding the rules?

The far better approach would be to equip coaches with the right information about what is and isn’t permitted, and to require them to ensure that players understand the differences.

Since October 17, 2010, when a rash of illegal hits by defensive players on defenseless offensive players forced the league to enforce the rules more aggressively, players have been expressing confusion, disagreement, and/or outright defiance regarding rules that, frankly, aren’t that hard to understand.  Teams — and, specifically, coaches — are in position to tell the players in no uncertain terms what is and isn’t allowed.

But it’s not in a coach’s interests to risk neutering players, especially when coaches aren’t fined for the illegal hits.  So coaches could be subtly manipulating their players, privately expressing confusion, disagreement, and/or outright defiance with the rules, which results in players publicly doing the same.  More important for the interests of the coaches, the players continue to play aggressively on defense, which helps the coaches’ teams win more games.  Which helps the coaches remain employed and, for the coaches that succeed, get paid a lot of money to do so.

The mere act of meeting with Suh highlights the current disconnect between the NFL and its players.  Perhaps the league is simply acknowledging those differences in the hopes of resolving them before they become irreconcilable.  But until the league ensures that the coaches are telling their players what the rules are and how to properly respect them, the differences will remain.

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78 Responses to “League makes mistake by meeting with Suh”
  1. thesportsguy52 says: Nov 1, 2011 11:32 PM

    To me, this article misses the entire point of Suh’s visit, and the fact that it’s a GOOD thing. Say what you want about the commish, but he has always been open-minded towards players, coaches, and fans. What’s more, the fact that he didn’t shut the door on Suh says a lot, and looks good in the court of public opinion. I’d like to ask you and Peter King how this while thing would go down if the league office turned Suh away…not well. I’m guessing there would be some backlash there, no?

    Kudos to Number 90 for taking the initiative and going about this proactively, and props to the league office for hearing him out and clearing things up. By the way, who knows? They may screw around and accidently happen to just fix and polish these lame, complicated rules with a few more of these discussion.

  2. delintzman says: Nov 1, 2011 11:34 PM

    Goodell shows he has no grip on reality by meeting with a second year player and endorsing him as the face of the league. we all know it would be better to continue to promote those that are good both on and off the field. I guess it is easier to put the pressure on Suh to be the man so he realizes his play and life are now under a microscope

  3. hakk03 says: Nov 1, 2011 11:35 PM

    As I posted on the other suh/goodell thread earlier, it feels like goodell was acting on some kind of ulterior motive. Too much schmoozing (w/ the tweet and max pub) to too unlikely of a guy.

  4. Andre's Johnson says: Nov 1, 2011 11:36 PM

    When college undergrads are studying mass media and they get to the unit on sensationalism and yellow journalism, they all should get a copy of this blog post.

    If it were just another sports blog, no big deal. But since you’re part of the NBC label, you have something of a duty, I think, to be a responsible journalist – even if your article is editorial in nature.

    Suh has been fined a bunch. He’s annoyed because he’s getting negative press and losing money. He goes with his coach and the competition committee guy to meet with the commissioner and figure out how he can stop being fined. There’s nothing secretive, underhanded, or suggestive going on.

    Your point about the disconnect between the league office and the players: so what? Everyone knows there’s a disconnect; this doesn’t do anything to change that. It’s just a dude who wanted clarification. We already knew the league rules are weird and screwy.

    Sometimes you need to get over yourself. What’s next? A post that somehow includes referenda on Tim Tebow, the Rooney Rule, and independent neurologists all in one story?

  5. b1rdbath says: Nov 1, 2011 11:37 PM

    There used to be a name for a guy like Suh. They used to call them “FOOTBALL PLAYERS”

    Players shouldn’t have to meet with the commisioner to explain that they are playing the game the way its meant to be played.

    Can you imagine Madden calling a game back in the day asking if Suh was dirty? No. He would be praising him for playing his heart out.

    Can we get football back?

  6. greggyd717 says: Nov 1, 2011 11:37 PM

    I don’t think this was a mistake. Suh realizes that he is being flagged for a lot of things and he just wants to make sure that he is given an opportunity to view the tape on what he did and get an opinion on how he can play better to fit within the rules. I applaud him for suggesting this meeting if he feels that it will help him play better and keep his wallet lighter. If James Harrison had this idea, people would praise him for wising up and wanting to change his ways. Maybe this meeting will lead the commish to see that the rules were not spelled out clearly enough to the players and it will result in a refresher course of sorts for all teams.

  7. emphericalevidence says: Nov 1, 2011 11:39 PM

    I can agree with the league wanting Suh to be a face for the league, but don’t think this was a bad idea. Remember how the Denver – Lions game was hyped? Good Vs Evil?
    Suh requested the meeting, not the league. Suh is not happy with the penalties and the fines.

    Two simple things here:
    If the league turns down a meeting with a player – you’re saying that could be a good thing?

    This meeting was about Suh and his image, and I am positive the league let Suh know they want to spin that image to increase revenue. They do it with all the stars.

  8. canadianvikingfaniii says: Nov 1, 2011 11:39 PM

    I can’t imagine what they give the coaches anything different than what they showed Suh in the meeting. I mean you can’t change game tape like a CGI movie or something. Having someone edit Suh ripping a person in half. I think you are blowing the whole thing out of proportion.

  9. uberniner says: Nov 1, 2011 11:40 PM

    The league should get the refs together with the coaches to explain what the will and will not call. Right now, it seems very arbitrary to me.

    I understand that the league told the refs to err on the side of safety, eg. call a penalty for anything that looks remotely like spearing, even if you aren’t sure. That’s just wrong. The refs should get together to decide much more precisely what to call and what not to call, then communicate that clearly to coaches and players.

    There are just too many hard fought games being given away on bad calls.

  10. tfbuckfutter says: Nov 1, 2011 11:43 PM

    I heard James Harrison tried to get one of these meetings, but when he was told no, he raged-out and hit the secretary with his helmet.

  11. oaktown49er says: Nov 1, 2011 11:45 PM

    The league should meet with the officials and explain the rules, or even basic anatomy, “this is a shoulder not a helmet”

  12. kilo0986 says: Nov 1, 2011 11:45 PM

    Youre right about the rules not being hard to understand, but when you have week after week after week of inconsistent calls the line really gets blurred and people get confused. It should have been the refs in that.meeting

  13. catman72 says: Nov 1, 2011 11:46 PM

    So someone had to explain to Suh that you can’t grab a QB around his neck after the ball is gone and twist-slam him to the ground?

    You would think a guy who depends on a china-doll like Stafford to get him a championship would be more sensitive to how QB’s are treated.

  14. catman72 says: Nov 1, 2011 11:50 PM

    Why an opposing offensive line hasn’t executed a text-book cut block on Suh at this point is beyond me.

  15. redbullenergydrink says: Nov 1, 2011 11:55 PM

    Suh, just keep your hands off the opposing qb’s facemask.

  16. turdfurgerson68 says: Nov 1, 2011 11:55 PM

    Suh is a beast, the Lions are finally good again…what’s the NFL doing?!? Maybe they should be looking into all the cheap shots the steelers pulled on the patriots.

    Leave the lions alone….

  17. thetroit says: Nov 1, 2011 11:57 PM

    Rules not that hard to understand? Really? How about the league flagging and then upholding a fine for a legal push in the back tackle by Suh on Jay Cutler last year? A little clarification on rules from the league office is definitely needed.

  18. alwaters9 says: Nov 2, 2011 12:02 AM

    Hopefully the league will instruct the officials to quit calling the phantom penalties, but that won’t happen. Short of that, the challenge rule should be expanded to include penalties. Why is it ok to challenge catch/no catch, fumble/no fumble, which are many times judgement calls, but not be able to challenge penalties, which are also judgement calls and many times just as important.

  19. rayjayjohnsonjr says: Nov 2, 2011 12:02 AM

    The League met with Suh to humbly explain, on a bended knee, the rules and thank and gush over his coming to the meeting? Did they also explain thats it’s not rocket science to understand that it’s a no no for him not to continue to attempt to mame QB’s? Does all of this really warrant a meeting with the commish when a third grader can understanding the longstanding rules of common sense? What in the he** is the NFL coming to….

  20. Chris says: Nov 2, 2011 12:04 AM

    The league doesn’t really have a choice but to accept the meeting, it shows good faith on the leagues part and ensure a strong public image (something we already know the league cares very much about).

    Additionally, the point about every player is now entitled to a meeting seems a little over the top. Not every player is scrutinized nationally on a weekly basis and been fined +40k in only a season and a half in the NFL.

    For once I think the league and hopefully all parties can move forward now.

  21. bdert says: Nov 2, 2011 12:06 AM

    As a result of this meeting…the league will likely be reluctant to fine Ndamukong….savvy on his part to request a sit down…he just earned a license to rip your QB’s head off in keeping with “the rules”

  22. mmmegatron says: Nov 2, 2011 12:11 AM

    Why was it a mistake, suh felt like he was getting a bad rap and wanted to better understand why he was getting flagged. It was also not a bad time to show goodell and the nfl that he is not that kind of player. After all, he is already arguably the best defensive player in the league, and will be for many years to come.

  23. 4evrnyt says: Nov 2, 2011 12:11 AM

    Open door policy. It’s called, good business.

  24. mmmpieyummy says: Nov 2, 2011 12:20 AM

    Screw the rules and just play football the way you are taught…these guys can afford the fines.

    The 15-yarder that comes with it in the game hurts alot worse because it hurts your team…but until the league hires and trains full-time referees, there is no point in trying to follow the rules.

    The guys in stripes can’t even interpret them correctly.

  25. joeyballgame4 says: Nov 2, 2011 12:30 AM

    according to dave birkett of the Detorit Free Press, the lions did want this meeting to be public. It was leaked by the NFL. so dumb.

  26. sparty99 says: Nov 2, 2011 12:32 AM

    Mike, all due respect, but coaches have 1 job to do: to win games. In that regard they’re in the exact same boat as the players. If Suh gets called for a personal foul but the Lions come away with a W, Jim Schwartz is a happy man. Start hitting the owners with fines for the “dirty” play of their players, and they’ll make sure their players know the rules.

    I’m writing this from the eyes of a Lions fan, but Suh has had two deserved fines (against Delhomme last year and Dalton this year). Somehow that’s gotten him labeled as a dirty player. He’s clearly trying to understand the ever-evolving rules as opposed to flaunting them like some players.

    Would you prefer Suh’s methods or that of James Harrison or Dunta Robinson, who clearly won’t change their ways until they’ve sent someone the way of Daryl Stingley?

  27. derekjetersmansion says: Nov 2, 2011 12:34 AM

    He can play clean, but I don’t think he wants to.

  28. footballisking says: Nov 2, 2011 12:40 AM

    “players have been expressing confusion, disagreement, and/or outright defiance regarding rules that, frankly, aren’t that hard to understand. Teams — and, specifically, coaches — are in position to tell the players in no uncertain terms what is and isn’t allowed.”

    If you have an easy way of explaining it please send that memo to the league office because they cant even tell officials,players or coaches what the rule is they just tell officials “err on the side of caution” (but we are grading you on your performance evaluation on the issue)

  29. psdaleno says: Nov 2, 2011 12:44 AM

    i liked goodell at first but how the hell did he manage, in a few short years, to create a league in which viewers, players, coaches, and broadcasters have trouble understanding the rules?!

  30. forthelove says: Nov 2, 2011 12:47 AM

    privately expressing confusion, disagreement, and/or outright defiance with the rules, which results in players publicly doing the same.

    Nailed it.

  31. green18blue52 says: Nov 2, 2011 12:49 AM

    Goodell: “just keep your meathooks off of Aaron Rodgers and we won’t have any problems.”

  32. sarcasticks says: Nov 2, 2011 1:19 AM

    “The far better approach would be to equip coaches with the right information about what is and isn’t permitted, and to require them to ensure that players understand the differences.”

    I agree, but there will always be teams with coaches who do not adequately relate this information to the players. If a player feels that he is not receiving appropriate counsel from the coaching staff, should he not be allowed to request clarification from the league? And should the league’s response be along the lines of, “Go ask your coach.”

    This isn’t a black and white issue. Meeting with a player who requests clarification on rules and the enforcement thereof can under no circumstances be construed as anything other than appropriate and proper.

  33. goodluckking says: Nov 2, 2011 1:38 AM

    “But it’s not in a coach’s interests to risk neutering players, especially when coaches aren’t fined for the illegal hits. So coaches could be subtly manipulating their players, privately expressing confusion, disagreement, and/or outright defiance with the rules, which results in players publicly doing the same. More important for the interests of the coaches, the players continue to play aggressively on defense, which helps the coaches’ teams win more games. Which helps the coaches remain employed and, for the coaches that succeed, get paid a lot of money to do so.”

    Thats one theory, or perhaps the coach just doesn’t the way ref’s enforce the rules as he so eloquently explained to one ref and a certain 49er coach.

  34. goodluckking says: Nov 2, 2011 1:39 AM

    also transparency

  35. hedleykow says: Nov 2, 2011 1:41 AM

    The public face of the NFL matters only to those who buy and sell advertising, and maybe to a few of the old ladies in Wednesday nights’ quilting class. I really don’t see the point in discussing this any further.

  36. mistersmith22 says: Nov 2, 2011 2:11 AM

    Suh is the face of the “old” NFL: bigger, stronger, and faster, and more tough/evil than anyone you’d meet on the street.

    The new NFL is the kind of league where the SD DB couldn’t try and pop out the ball on a normal HB (well, FB) reception without drawing 15 yards. Where a hit that’s TEXTBOOK earns you a penalty.

    Suh is what a football player should be. He’s not what the “NBA on grass-slash-fieldturf” wants. That’s the problem.

  37. zbigern says: Nov 2, 2011 2:33 AM

    Lets be level headed here. This meeting was a good thing that will most likely be addressed in the off season by the competion committee. The REAL problem here is when players get FLAGGED for doing nothing outside of their jobs. To hell with a fine. They can AFFORD FINES. Its about the way these inconsistencies affect games, AND THE GAME.

    As a Packer fan I have to fear Suh twice per year but as a FOOTBALL fan I fear penaltiws that neuter football players, in turn effecting the GAME.

    Goodell is a great commish but fan reaction is killing our sport. His hands are tied too. The refs do their jobs as imsteucted by their boss. Their boss needs to hold them accountable just likw you and me have to…flagging Clay Matthews for roiding out on Ponder is just ine example but a good one. That kept an inept team in the game qhen it coulda
    /woulda

  38. jcd213 says: Nov 2, 2011 3:00 AM

    Definitely not the face I think of when I think of football.

  39. johngaltwho says: Nov 2, 2011 3:35 AM

    I think its fine for the league to grant a rules clarification meeting to any coach or player. Lets be less cynical and say thats a good thing but the artcle does make a good point. Even a cursory review of Suh’s fined and flagged hits do not require a PhD to understand. The league can meet privately with the player and tell him:

    Don’t leave your feet (launch) yourself at a defenseless player.
    Do not lead with your head or target the opposing player’s head.
    Avoid contact with the quarterback’s head at all times.
    Do not hit a quarterback who is in the act of giving himself up (sliding).
    Make an attempt to slow your momentum when reaching a quarterback after he has released the ball.
    Don’t hit people after the whistle.

    I dunno, these rules seem reasonable and relatively simple to me and apparently 95% of the players and coaches are able to grasp these concepts.

  40. mrw41042 says: Nov 2, 2011 3:41 AM

    I understand the safety issue with league and their players but what is bothersome is when the league fines players for hits that are reviewed and are not being penalized on the field.
    When hits are legal hits are being fined ex: Cedric Peerman gettin fined by my a legal hit on Brandon Tate’s punt return week six at PBS vs. Indy in the second half of that game. He got fined $20,000 for a hit that was legal hit that is not right.

  41. lookatthefarside says: Nov 2, 2011 4:21 AM

    There should be a 48 hour time delay. That way Goodell can have time to review the serious hits representing all of the teams. [sarcasm]

  42. thetruth619 says: Nov 2, 2011 5:12 AM

    Maybe while he’s in there they could try and explain why he got fined for PUSHING (yes…PUSHING) a scrambling Jay Cutler to the ground last year. We fine football players for pushing now?? And no….not just penalize. The league reviewed the tape….and said, ”yup….that was a definite push to a guy running with the ball…..fine him”. Amazing…

  43. bcjim says: Nov 2, 2011 5:42 AM

    They should have met the, imo, big dumb goon the door, slipped a rule sheet through the crack and said get lost.

  44. jamezz23 says: Nov 2, 2011 6:04 AM

    The biggest BS call was the one on Monday night I think. The hit on the ”deffensless recievier”. The reciever went up caught the ball by his fingertips and isn’t aloud to get hit what so ever. Was even a perfect tackle to the leagues standards today. I quit watching that game and went to bed after that…

  45. scudbot says: Nov 2, 2011 6:06 AM

    So the face of the league is now a guy who gratuitously shook Andy Dalton around long after a play was over during Dalton’s NFL debut game, but the NFL is all about player safety and players and refs can’t get a handle on how and when to apply its poorly defined rules.

    Goodell is a disaster.

  46. ruggerlad says: Nov 2, 2011 6:07 AM

    The right thing to do is change the rules back and let the boyz on D play football. Goodell is making tackle football an embarrassment to be called a contact sport.

  47. scudbot says: Nov 2, 2011 6:09 AM

    Also, if you wore yellow shoes this week with your throwback uni you get fined but if you wore them last week you didn’t get fined, and never mind about the white content rule for socks until we decide to fine you for violating the white content rule.

  48. gadgetdawg says: Nov 2, 2011 6:20 AM

    Maybe the league needs to pull all the players that have multiple fines together for a meeting and explain (in detail) what is and what is not acceptable.

    They can have the officials watch the meeting through a one way mirror and explain to them afterward that they have done a horrible job enforcing (or not) those rules.

    The officials arbitrary ‘call this sometimes, don’t call that another and just make stuff up a third time’ calls would leave most confused.

  49. brett76 says: Nov 2, 2011 6:44 AM

    The entire thing is garbage, just like this BS Suh is dirty. Yeah his plays against Delhomme & Dalton in the preseason last year & this year were dumb plays….however, there haven’t been any in the season that were.

    The hit on Cutler…He SHOVED him in the upper back. He didn’t forearm him to the head. He put 2 hands in Cutler’s nameplate & pushed him into the turf. Hardly illegal.

    The “Horse Collar” on Marion Barber…he had the guys fake weave dreads….again hardly illegal. It happens all the time. It’s why Rickey Williams & Edgerin James cut theirs..they were sick of getting it pulled.

    For those making comments about the NFL needs good people ON & OFF the field for their faces of the league…you will not find anyone better then Suh off the field. The stuff he does for people in need & the money he gives to charity is 2nd to none. It isn’t his fault people want football to turn into touch football. Soon the Lingerie league will be harder hitting then the NFL.

    As for the stupid changes in rules & if it is too hard to understand them…that is all to obvious. Even the officials don’t understand them anymore. Just look at the stupid Process Of The Catch or Calvin Johnson rule. If you just look at Johnson’s play…1st the official on the field signaled TD, which gets lost by everyone including the refs because they would have had to over turn the call. However, like Jim Miller said to Mike Pierra on NFL Radio, if you watch the play, Johnson catches the ball, gets 2 feet down, then falls to his butt with ball under control, then he rolls over, HIS LEFT HAND THEN TOUCHES OUTSIDE OF THE ENDZONE, then he tries to get up & uses the ball to push himself up & that’s when the ball comes out.

    As Miller said, once his hand goes out of the back of the endzone, the play should be over, as he is out of bounds & he completed 2 moves before that.

    Not that the play matters anymore, but to have a stupid rule like that. All you are saying is he got penalized for trying to be happy for getting what would have been the winning touchdown. If once he fell to his back, if he just lays there a 2nd instead of trying to get up, it’s a TD…..DUMB RULE.

    I also find it funny all the player safety crap with no head shots, yet it is fine for players to come in 100 miles an hour at another players legs & knees. Example, I’ll stick with the Lions…Louis Delmas & his hit on Ovie Mughelli. Mughelli was in obvious pain & Delmas felt bad right when it happened, but the NFL lets that go, unflagged & unpunished. You see DBs “tackle” like this all the time. Yet don’t touch a QB anywhere above the shoulder even if it’s just fingers brushing his helmet as you go by him….

  50. woodyg says: Nov 2, 2011 7:15 AM

    Suh is immature & intellectually challenged ….. You have to give special attention to that segment of our society even if it means special attention ….. The rest of the players understand the dilemma the NFL has when trying to communicate with Suh ….. You’d think his coaches could handle the ‘Suh Problem’ in-house ….

  51. snarkzilla says: Nov 2, 2011 7:18 AM

    The league takes concussions and player safety very seriously. Here’s your officially sanctioned Riddell helmet. No, no need to wear a mouth guard.

    Hypocrisy, thy name is Goodell.

  52. garyman1 says: Nov 2, 2011 7:26 AM

    I respectfully disagree with the headline. By meeting with Suh, the Commissioners office shows that they are not just some arrogant office suits that don’t listen to the players and hand out fines at their pleasure. What does it hurt by listening to a different viewpoint and helping to clarify your position ?

  53. wenellniners says: Nov 2, 2011 7:49 AM

    When college undergrads are studying mass media and they get to the unit on sensationalism and yellow journalism, they all should get a copy of this blog post.

    If it were just another sports blog, no big deal. But since you’re part of the NBC label, you have something of a duty, I think, to be a responsible journalist – even if your article is editorial in nature.

    Suh has been fined a bunch. He’s annoyed because he’s getting negative press and losing money. He goes with his coach and the competition committee guy to meet with the commissioner and figure out how he can stop being fined. There’s nothing secretive, underhanded, or suggestive going on.

    Your point about the disconnect between the league office and the players: so what? Everyone knows there’s a disconnect; this doesn’t do anything to change that. It’s just a dude who wanted clarification. We already knew the league rules are weird and screwy.

    Sometimes you need to get over yourself. What’s next? A post that somehow includes referenda on Tim Tebow, the Rooney Rule, and independent neurologists all in one story?

    ____________

    exactly what he said.. couldn’t agree more

  54. marinephinfan says: Nov 2, 2011 7:55 AM

    What a stupid article. It just goes to show how little these guys know not only about football, but life.

  55. 2ndaryinsanity says: Nov 2, 2011 8:18 AM

    I think you (PFT) are missing the bigger picture. Players are confused because the ref’s are not consistent when throwing flags (especially helmet to helmet hits and defensless receivers). Ref’s are the one’s who need a sit down with Goodell.

    Every week there are horrible penalties that often have a major influence on the outcome of games. I realize the ref’s are human and make mistakes, but it’s a shame when a player makes the effort to tackle within the rules, and draws a flag anyway. It seems to happen most often when a defensive player makes a hard (but clean hit).

  56. ricardocabeza says: Nov 2, 2011 8:19 AM

    Suh wanting a meeting to clarify rules is like Bernie Madoff having a sitdown with the FTC.

  57. FinFan68 says: Nov 2, 2011 8:30 AM

    While the rules are more complicated than they need to be, they are not the main problem. The problem is the inconsistent application of the rules by the refs and the political statements made by the fines.

    Refs need to flag (or not flag) based on what they actually see on the play. Who is involved and how players react afterwards should not influence their call. Either they see something wrong or they didn’t. STOP ASSUMING.

    The league needs to stop the ridiculous fines for simple penalties. Leave the fines for the obvious headhunter plays, cheap shots, hits well after the whistle, taking a swing at a player, etc. Fines are for infractions that are discipline issues and serious safety concerns, not innocent mistakes made in the midst of a fast moving play in a game that is inherently violent.

  58. nevin999 says: Nov 2, 2011 8:34 AM

    So you think the Commissioner should have a Closed Door Policy to the players?

  59. cshearing says: Nov 2, 2011 8:48 AM

    The idea that there is no confusion over the rules is laughable. Even the refs do not seem to know. When the word “defenseless” exists in the rules, making the same hit legal in other circumstances, you have judgement calls being made. Judgements that can differ based on the person. Judgements that can cause confusion and inconsistency.

  60. wewantmoretebowandfavrearticles says: Nov 2, 2011 8:53 AM

    The competition committee should hopefully spend the offseason working to make things easier on the defensive side of the ball. It is utterly ridiculous when the league office sends out their tape of what is illegal and what is legal but the tape has ALL offensive highlights. No sacks, no interceptions, no big hits: all of the big plays that define the league are offensive plays. It’s time the game of football comes back down to earth and defenses be allowed to actually play the game without fear of a pass interference penalty for a little contact past 5 yards, “hitting a defenseless receiver” (Whatever the hell that means), or roughing the passer. The rules have gotten out of hand. The league has gotten out of hand. The NFL isn’t supposed to be a track meet it’s supposed to be about the game of football. That’s 3 phases of the game: offense, defense, and special teams. So far the league has only shown it cares about one phase of the game and has structured its rules to kill off the importance of building the other two. Completely and utterly ridiculous.

  61. snarkzilla says: Nov 2, 2011 8:57 AM

    I agree that NFL teams ought to be communicating NFL rules to their players. I’d bet that they’re doing that just as they have for decades, that there are copies of rule books lying around, and that there are illustrative videos available to every player.

    Just another publicity stunt on the way to Goodell turning the NFL into a reality show starring Roger Goodell.

  62. lks311 says: Nov 2, 2011 9:03 AM

    bcjim says:
    Nov 2, 2011 5:42 AM
    They should have met the, imo, big dumb goon the door, slipped a rule sheet through the crack and said get lost.
    ———————————————————–
    I just love it when people get on these comment boards and call athletes names they would never utter in person…like big dumb goon.

    BTW, Ndamukong Suh has an Engineering degree from the University of Nebraska…what’s yours in?

  63. getyourownname says: Nov 2, 2011 9:04 AM

    Using the logic of this article, the League should never do anything that is construable as a sign of having made a mistake earlier. So there shouldn’t be a Rules or Competittion (I forget) committee to review rules and suggest improvements, and the League shouldn’t accept plays sent in for review by teams who are upset with ref calls. I’m sure there are more examples, the point should be clear.

    As a lawyer you should understand the reasons behind always encouraging review and evaluation of your actions.

  64. silverdeer says: Nov 2, 2011 9:05 AM

    Put yourself in Ndamukong’s shoes. I am sure that there are a couple of plays where he understands why he was fined. However, if I was him, I would still be pissed and totally confused about the Cutler fine. He gives Cutler a forearm shiver in the back knocking him down when Cutler was the ball carrier and not in the “process” of a slide and still gets fined. Makes no sense in my book.

  65. jcjets says: Nov 2, 2011 9:07 AM

    Is there a disconnect, tho? The majority of defensive players seem to get it just fine. Makes sense to me that the league would meet with the players that aren’t getting it.

  66. m2karateman says: Nov 2, 2011 9:21 AM

    woodyg says:
    Nov 2, 2011 7:15 AM
    Suh is immature & intellectually challenged ….. You have to give special attention to that segment of our society even if it means special attention ….. The rest of the players understand the dilemma the NFL has when trying to communicate with Suh ….. You’d think his coaches could handle the ‘Suh Problem’ in-house ….
    ——————————————————–
    And if you were any dumber we’d have to put your feet in dirt and water you twice a week.

    Suh is very intelligent, very mature. He completed his degree in Engineering at Nebraska. His grade point average was well above 3.0. He makes millions of dollars, and is generous and charitable, not blowing it on “making it rain” or buying hundreds of thousands of dollars on jewelry.

    Suh’s only problem is that the referrees flag him when he doesn’t do anything wrong. He got flagged for taking down Marion Barber by the hair. It was called a horse collar tackle. He got flagged for hitting Jay Cutler in the back. It was called unneccessary roughness. He didn’t hit him in the head, at all. He even got fined for that hit. He shouldn’t have been.

    So when this “immature & intellectually challenged” player, as you put it, takes the initiative and asks for a meeting with the league to better understand why he’s getting flagged and fined for what are legal plays, shows that he is neither immature or intellectually challenged.

    You, however, are the definition of both.

  67. leofan1234 says: Nov 2, 2011 9:40 AM

    The point of Suh’s meeting was clear; he just showed Goodell how inconsistent the rules are being enforced.

    Smart move by a smart player.

  68. pleasantsurpriselefty says: Nov 2, 2011 9:40 AM

    What’s at play here is the league realizing that their autocratic fines policy is over the top. Announcers and commentators are playing hits over and over and asking where the foul is. They have fined clean, hard hits and players and the media are calling attention to it.

    The meeting was nothing more than the league trying to stop the fine mentality from getting out of hand.

  69. hatesycophants says: Nov 2, 2011 9:41 AM

    What a totally BS perspective. Thank you!

    Go Lions! Go Badgers!

  70. starrpack says: Nov 2, 2011 9:43 AM

    Wait a minute. How come Suh is the only one who can’t understand the rules? I know James Harrison had trouble with them, but he seems to have figured it out or he quit whining. Maybe he doesn’t want to or maybe he doesn’t like the rules, but he should get over it. I think it is just a play to get the refs to lay off of him. I guess we will see in the coming weeks. In the meantime, maybe he should just play smarter and within the rules, although I don’t think their coaches are helping. Geez, the Lyins win a few games and it goes to their head.

  71. lembeck4 says: Nov 2, 2011 9:56 AM

    “The far better approach would be to equip coaches with the right information about what is and isn’t permitted, and to require them to ensure that players understand the differences.”

    Yeah, they tried that, it didn’t work.

    What the NFL should do is open its’ doors to the officials and teach them what is and what is not a penalty, because so far this year in my opinion the zebras are off the mark.

    And as to whether it’s a good idea for the league to meet with player(s) to review the rules – if the league has the nerve to keep throwing out 5 digit fines then yes, the league should damn well make sure the players understand what is and is not allowed.

  72. pioniere says: Nov 2, 2011 10:02 AM

    I like your stuff Mike, but this article missed the point entirely.

  73. moseszd says: Nov 2, 2011 10:34 AM

    Twice this year Dashon Goldson has been penalized for 15-yards for personal fouls that were ‘head-to-head.’ The first was, as shown by multiple replays, shoulder-to-shoulder. The second was, as shown by multiple replays, forearm-to-shoulder.

    So, yeah, I kind of don’t blame Suh for trying to get an honest answer to such things as:

    Is a shoulder part of the head? Can I, under any circumstances, touch a QB?

  74. glac1 says: Nov 2, 2011 10:55 AM

    Why does the league love guys like him? If he doesn’t play by the rules throw him out. Special treatment for their “anointed” stars is unfair.

  75. commonsenseescapesyou says: Nov 2, 2011 12:08 PM

    Have you seen some of the penalties called against Suh?! There’s an answer he has to meet with the league, and why the coaches can’t “coach” this stuff: there’s no explanation. There are, quite simply, some TERRIBLE calls.

  76. TheDPR says: Nov 2, 2011 12:37 PM

    I’d like to meet with the Commish about all the ticky-tack pass interference calls this year (both offensive and defensive) that directly change the outcome of games. Can someone set that up for me?

  77. whyalwaysthehate says: Nov 2, 2011 1:38 PM

    Suh should stop whining, pay his fines, and clean up his game.

  78. bobhk says: Nov 2, 2011 2:57 PM

    Why in the world would anyone want Suh to be the face of NFL. He’s a trash talker. Hardly got a personality.
    I’d think they’d want someone like Rodgers or Newton or even Luck next year (if he performs well) to be the face of NFL. But Suh? C’mon!

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