Rooney, Tomlin meet with Goodell

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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.

61 responses to “Rooney, Tomlin meet with Goodell

  1. And I’m hoping there is a second meeting–with Mr. Rooney explaining to Goodell that the fines are getting out of control and that the oficiating needs to be more consistent.

  2. In today’s NFL, the proper technique is to let the receiver catch the ball then tear the flag off his belt! They are going to keep legislating the physical nature out of the game until the NFL goes the way of NASCAR. I agree you shouldn’t be going after a man’s head or hitting him after the ball has past, but come on man, the defense has to be able to hit someone while they are attempting to catch a pass. If not let’s just put a halo around them the way punt returners used to have.

  3. They should have asked Hines Ward to sit in, while they were at it. He should always be consulted on clean, legal hits.

  4. Techniques of tackling are taught in pee-wee football…

    This meeting is to clarify a rule that is based of perception, not technique. Goodell will look to showcase to Tomlin why his players have been targeted and ways of controlling players (harrison, clark and polomalu) critical words against league policy.

  5. Players and coaches are going to have to start suing the NFL for their salaries, because it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the league is signing deals that it has no intention of honoring.

    It’s like being in business with a swindler.

    Clark put his shoulder pad on the ball and knocked it loose. Technique doesn’t get any better than that.

  6. Why don’t they fine the teams instead of the players? That would stop the illegal hits altogether because teams would pressure their employees not to deliver them. The answer is undoubtedly, A: no one including the owners, players, and probly goodell really know what’s illegal and what’s not. B: The fines are a tactic for the league to recoup money from the players above anything else, and I’m not sure the owners sit back and watch as these fines are thrown around if they are the ones footing the bill. Remember, the people handing out the fines ultimately work for the owners. I really don’t understand how the NFL is allowed to engage in the transparently self serving rolling out of fines whenever they see fit.

    Basically its like your boss calling you into his office and telling you he’s docking you pay because he doesn’t like the color of your shoes and you are typing too aggressively.

    Suits are crooks.

  7. Why not provide anyone carrying the football a police escort to the endzone? Football is becoming too silly to care about it.

  8. If a well respected owner is being called to the carpet by the league office the owners may need to check the power of the league office.

  9. The technique was fine. The receiver dipped his helmet at the last second resulting in unavoidable contact with the face mask. Heath Miller took a similar hit near the goal line vs Cincy but didn’t dip his head. He took a vicious shot, but no contact with the face mask and no fine.

  10. Improving on the technology available to keep players safe might also be in need. Padding for helmets and other body parts.

    Interpreting legals hits is getting harder and harder.

  11. Why would Tomlin (and other coaches) care about neutering their players? Because these plays get flagged for 15 yards!

    The very hit in question (Ryan Clark on Ed Dickson) drew a 15 yard penalty and gave the Ravens (who went on to beat the Steelers in a close game) a big first down!

  12. @rr2000K –

    I must have missed the total on that fine John Harbaugh received for Ray Lewis spearing Hines Ward in the head a couple of weeks ago. Can you post the link to the article on that one?!

  13. How can a organization be so “classy” yet whine whine whine. Do they think they don’t have to follow the rules the rest of the league follows? Probably. Hey Goodell, don’t let them talk you into allowing the Refs to gift wrap them another Superbowl. Stay strong….

  14. Are you sure they didn’t meet to go over how they’re going to fix the playoffs and superbowl in order to help the steelers win.

  15. One way to fix it is to require that the player actually extend their arms when they tackle. This launching at the runner that has become prevalent in the last few years is done strictly to inflict damage.

  16. It’s been a lot of years since I’ve been home to the ‘Burgh. What is a “Pittsburgh Platter”?

  17. Maybe they could put electronic sensors in the helmets, that would register whether there was helmet to helmet contact or not. That would take all the guessing out of it.

  18. These flags are becoming ridiculous. Last night, the hit Dawkins laid on Burress was hard and perfectly clean, yet gets nailed for a 15 yarder for a hit on a defenseless receiver. The league is going to hell when it comes to this officiating. I understand the concept of protecting the players, but these players aren’t forced to go out there. Its the same game they’ve played their entire lives and they know the risks.

    Goodell is making all of these calls because he’s deathly afraid of having someone die on the field or get paralyzed. His heart is in the right place, but it’s hypocritical until they force all of these players to wear the most advanced safety equipment available.

  19. Ryan clark is the dirtiest player in the NFL even realistic stiller fans admit that. He leads wit his helmet nearly every play he is involved with.

  20. Pittsburgh Platter:

    When an extremely intoxicated woman is escorted to the back stall of the mens restroom to engage in sexual acts while the man deficates.

    It is a well known fact that 85% of woman from pittsburgh have received at least one pittsburgh platter from Ben Roethlisberger.

  21. So the league offices are going to tell the teams how to tackle?! Is that it? So the suits who don’t play the game are going to tell the players how to play football? Is this still a sport?

  22. I really dislike this commissioner. He’s ruining this wonderful game. In baseball umpires are known for certain strike zones. In the nfl there’s way to many judgement calls. Seriously you get flagged for tackling too hard. It effects the outcomes of games. I’m over him already.

  23. Whats so hard to understand here? Your helmet hits anothers, it’s a helmet to helmet hit… a kindergarten kid can understand that…

    Not that Clark’s helmet to helmet hit was bad enough, but his childish comment afterward is where the real problem lies…

    Clark said if he’s going to get hit with such a big fine on what he and Tomlin and teammates believe was a clean hit, “I might as well put him to sleep for real” or take out the receiver’s knee.

    Quit whining and play the game correctly!!…

  24. Stop trying to act like you’re above the rest of the NFL, Pittsburgh

    This is the most overrated organization in sports history. Especially the Rooney’s who everyone treats like some venerable gods of football……right.

  25. Would love it if one of these days Goodell would be interviewed by someone who isn’t sucking off the teet of the NFL so you could go after his hypocrisy and all the inconsistency he has introduced with this crap. But we all know he wouldn’t sit down with anyone he doesn’t already own.

  26. It’s just kind of sad to see how much certain commenters here hate the Steelers.

    Envy only makes you seem small, helpless, and desperate.

    Is that you, John Harbaugh?

  27. @trbowman

    you may dislike the Steelers. That’s fine. But to call them the most overrated organization in sports history is not just inaccurate, it’s stupid. There’s been 45 Super Bowls. They’ve been in 8 (tied with the Cowboys for the most) and won 6 (the most). If you want to hate them based on emotions that’s fine, but facts don’t back up your statement.

  28. It is about time. How many illegal hits have the Steelers been fined for and how many more should they have been fined for in the last 2-3 years?

    I’d feel sorry for the players if they weren’t already making big money. If there is any element of this being coached to players, the NFL can’t just let it sit. Since Clark put it out there (true or not), the NFL has to address it with the team.

  29. I think we are all missing the point…. If you look at the hit, Clark lead with his shoulder, and his helmet barely grazed the face mask…

    Text book hit, and I a football fan.

    The late hit last night on the Broncos, which never was close to helmet to helmet was another example of….

    What the heck is the rule?

    Goodell, creating confusion one week at a time…

  30. It’s not the Steelers and the league office that need to be on the same page. First, the commissioner needs to understand the difference between a legal hit and an illegal hit. Then the commissioner needs to explain the difference to the officials. Finally, the owners need to remind the commissioner that he works for them.

  31. tedmurph says:Nov 18, 2011 2:26 PM

    They should have asked Hines Ward to sit in, while they were at it. He should always be consulted on clean, legal hits.
    You don’t remember obviously that Hines Ward was taken out by a helmet-to-helmet hit from Ray Lewis. No flag and no fine…no worries right?

    All we are asking for is a level playing field, what is wrong for one team on any given week is wrong for all other teams on every other week.

    Shocking I know…

  32. How on Gods green earth was the Lewis on Hines hit not a penalty?

    You know it was reviewed, and no fine just raises more questions than answers.

    Ask Big Ben and Brady to sit with Goodell and have Roger explain why hits on Brady are penaltys, and why they are not with him.

    There is no Steeler favortism.

  33. Players and refs are playing the game at full speed.To many rules interpretation not only by players but officials and then the league office watching the film over and over to determine fines. Lets play football again!!!

  34. @ravenspit …

    Art II is the grandson of the Steelers’ original owner Art Rooney. And believe it or not, players all over the league were able to find steroids all by themselves from the 60s-the 80s when they were finally banned. One of the biggest users, who helped get them banned, was Lyle Alzado. He played for your team back when they called you the Browns. Were you Brownspit then?

  35. I would be interested in seeing what technique the league recommends on some of these plays. I believe that the defender will be put in a position of potential harm if the league has its way. Headhunting should not be allowed but there will inevitably be helmet to helmet contact between receivers and defensive backs. If the defender goes in with his head lowered to avoid contact with the offensive player’s helmet, the defender is placing himself in harms way.

  36. tedmurph says:
    Nov 18, 2011 2:26 PM
    They should have asked Hines Ward to sit in, while they were at it. He should always be consulted on clean, legal hits.

    A Pats fan has no standing to talk about “clean, legal hits”, given the fact that your team had both Rodney Harrison and Vince Wilfork, two of the dirtest players to every play the game.

  37. eelerfan77 says:Nov 18, 2011 4:50

    All we are asking for is a level playing field, what is wrong for one team on any given week is wrong for all other teams on every other week.
    Ward comment was just an attempt at a joke, I knew I’d get abused by ultra-sensitive steeler fans. Fine. This ‘conspiracy theory’ stuff about the league hating the steelers just makes you’ll sound like whiney raider fans. Why would the league conspire against the steelers? Just dumb.

    Now, the new rules suck. I agree. The hit should have been a good football play. But, it’s against the rule. No grey area. The DB hit the TE with the crown (which doesn’t just mean the front) of his helmet right in the facemask. Didn’t graze it. It’s on Youtube. Doesn’t matter if the receiver dipped his head. Ryan wouldn’t have seen it anyway, because he has a rep for leading with his head, which he did there. That’s why he got one of the biggest fines of the year, he keeps repeating his pattern of behavior. For Tomlin to condone this is unconscionable. I suspect this meeting was less of a discussion than a ‘come to Jesus’ meeting.

  38. Lots of comments here, some even worth reading. If you really want to discuss a stupid new “so called rule”, get to the completed pass mess that started with C. Johnson of the Lions last year. There is nothing in the history of the NFL that supports what they are talking about. A second example is the mentioned Hines Ward penalty catch in Baltimore. No pass has ever been more complete than that one, yet the alleged officials used an alleged rule to say otherwise.

  39. @raidersinpa. That is playing the game correctly. He hit like he was taught to hit. Nothing illegal about that hit. Unfortunately, its the league that can’t get it right. So what are you to do next? I guess thats why Ryan was making his point. Not that I agree, but if your gonna fine him, he sees it as getting his moneys worth.

  40. Ultimately, the confusion of what’s legal & what’s not just plays in to the goal of the League “helping” determine the outcome of games. The NFL becomes more like All Star Wrestling every week. Makes me wonder what the odds makers “donate” to the Roger “The Commish” Goodell off shore accounts from week-to-week???

  41. Well respected? Maybe in Pittsburgh.

    This is the family that gave players steroids – check how many ex Steelers have died at early ages vs any other club.

    This is the family that protects a rapist while proclaiming how moral they are.

    This is the family that has ex-players saying pedophiles should be allowed to roam free as long as they were good coaches.

    This is a family that has fostered an organization that actually teaches cheap shots as a tool to win.

    This is a family that has fostered an organization is the exact opposite of respectful.

    Disgusting is more like it and I hope the league fines them into oblivion.

    rmc1995 says:
    Nov 18, 2011 2:39 PM
    If a well respected owner is being called to the carpet by the league office the owners may need to check the power of the league office.

  42. I think they should start fining the Ref’s for bad calls. Everything is so inconsistent this year that no one knows what is going on, what constituents a completed catch or now. Seems to me that if a helmet to helmet hit is going to be fined, then it should be clear that the person getting hit does not duck his head to help create the hit.

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