In the wake of last week’s disclosure by Steelers safety Ryan Clark that the hit for which he was fined $40,000 previously had been shown to the team by coach Mike Tomlin as an example of the proper way to dislodge the ball, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met Thursday with Tomlin and Steelers owner Art Rooney, according to Jay Glazer of FOX.
Per Glazer, the meeting was aimed at allowing the Steelers and the league office to get on the same page regarding the issue of illegal hits.
It makes sense. Coaches have been largely overlooked when it comes to the frustration expressed by players when it comes to the flags thrown and fines imposed by the league office. Many players, when complaining publicly, are merely echoing things they hear in meeting rooms.
And so the league office needs to be sure that the teams — specifically, the coaches — understand the importance of teaching the right techniques to players. Given Clark’s comments regarding Tomlin’s characterization of a play that cost Clark $40,000, that’s apparently not happening in Pittsburgh.
It’s likely not happening elsewhere, either. Under current rules, the coaches don’t get fined. So why should they risk neutering their players?
The only way to ensure that proper techniques will be taught will be to hold coaches personally responsible and accountable for failing to teach proper techniques. Thursday’s meeting possibly represents the first step in that direction.