Ryan Clark doesn’t agree with Ed Reed suspension

Getty Images

Typically, Steelers players complain publicly about discipline imposed on themselves or other Steelers players for illegal hits.  Now, one of the Steelers’ starting safeties is speaking out regarding the one-game suspension imposed on Ravens safety Ed Reed for delivering an illegal hit to Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

Via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com, Clark posted on Twitter a reaction to the news that Reed will be suspended for Sunday’s game against the Chargers — subject to his appeal.

“Tough on Ed getting suspended,” Clark said.  “I can’t say that I agree [with] that.  It was a penalty but I can’t say he was intentionally trying to harm [Sanders].”

But intent doesn’t matter in these situations.  It never does.  And Clark and every defensive players should already know that.

The decision to suspend Reed indicates that the league will take significant action against players who have three penalties in a three-season period for illegal hits on defenseless players.  Though NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told PFT on Monday that each situation will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, the fact that Reed received a one-game suspension for his third violation of the rules regarding hits against defenseless players suggests that any other player will be subject to a similar sanction — regardless of whether there was intent to injure or intent to apply an illegal hit.

That’s the clear message to Clark and any other player.  When it comes to hitting a defenseless player with the helmet or in the helmet/neck area, the third strike very likely will entail spending a Sunday at home, without pay.

34 responses to “Ryan Clark doesn’t agree with Ed Reed suspension

  1. Who cares what Ryan Clark thinks? This isn’t some snooty vineyard. There’s no cheese to go with that whine.

  2. It would be interesting for PFT to track who is in danger of being suspended by another flag/fine for an illegal hit. I know that Kenny Phillips has also been fined twice in the past 2 season, and is therefore likely one fine away from a 1 game suspension as well.

  3. when was this 3 penalties in 3 seasons rule created? it seems awfully unfair to the players who are playing without even knowing the rules, as Goodell makes it up as he goes.

  4. U can’t hit a reciever if he’s in the air u can’t hit him until he has 2 feet on the ground u can’t hit him until he says ok I’m ready to be tackled. What a joke. Not a fan of either team. But defenders are in a no win situation.

  5. The days of the “No Fly Zone” for wide recievers are long gone. These days a offensive player has the ability to lower their head(Emmanual Sanders against Ed Reed) or injure a defensive ( see Matt Slauson against Brian Cushing) knowing their fine and or suspension will never be anywhere around the level of a defensive player.

  6. Considering the NFL fined Browns WR Josh Gordon $20,000 a last week for a clean block on , ironically, Ed Reed (a block like good old Hines Ward made a career out of routinely delivering, and getting praised for) because, according to Gordon, “he didn’t see me coming”…
    I would say a suspension for repeated blows to the head of defenseless opponents seems just about right on the Goodell sliding scale of “Random acts of Punishment”.

  7. A vast majority of the leagues players have adapted and have not been fined/flagged for these penalties. It’s not difficult, as proven by most of the players in the league. Some people just can’t adapt to change…

  8. Well, we know Mr. Clark has no regard for player safety, namely his own, after suffering 2 concusions in a 3 week period and continuing to play.

    Reed lowered his shoulder but couldn’t get his hips around in time to lead with it. It’s still a penalty and a fine, but I think a suspension is going too far.

    The suspension was said to be for repeated violations, but when was his last fine? Didn’t he miss most of last season?

  9. If Ed Reed had known he was on double-secret probation maybe he would have avoided the helmet to helmet. The biggest problem with the fines and penalties is that they are arbitrary and inconsistent. If you don’t know that the next time results in a suspension then it is not much of a deterrent.

  10. The Reed suspension by the league is troubling.

    At some point, the NFL is going to have to either accept that helmet-to-helmet hits are going to occur in space, and can occur even when the defender is trying to avoid it, or the league is going to have to outlaw tackling and switch to flag football.

    The league is going to have to either start the difficult process of discerning a player’s intent on helmet-to-helmet hits, or severely limit the defender’s ability to hit. But the hit by Reed was not intentional, and a one game suspension for that is absurd.

  11. Reed led with his head, and made a helmet to helmet impact with Sanders. It should have been a penalty, and it should also include a suspension, since this is his third time for this kind of dangerous play.

  12. One can only wonder whether any player who is now critical of the league’s perceived overreaction to player safety will be among those future plaintiffs alleging that the league didn’t do enough to ensure their safety on the field. The league has no practical alternative here but to tighten up enforcement of these longstanding player safety rules as a hedge against future plaintiffs, some of whom may have difficulty distinguishing between the NFL and an ATM.

  13. A unwarranted penalty and suspension. At this rate, within 10 years the NFL will be as phony and artificial as pro wrestling

  14. As a Steelers fan, I do not agree with Ed Reed’s suspension. I am hearing some of the same issues brought up when James Harrison was suspended last year. The difference is that Ed Reed is held in a higher regard than Harrison with respect to their reputations. Unfortunately for Reed, he getting it this year.

    If the NFL were really serious about safety, they would make cut blocks illegal too.

  15. this is where the league has been heading so unfortunately they will have to deal with it or get out.

  16. reed had already started his tackle when sanders lowered his head. if you dont think receivers are learning to do the same thing to draw a penalty than you are foolish. when will this league start penalizing the player that actually caused the helmet to helmet hit….never! they want offense! they wont be happy until they have every defender trying to arm tackle. these guys are too big and strong any more to arm tackle, so they will shed the tackler and keep going which is more offense!

  17. Reed better be careful appealing that suspension, even though I agree it is BS.

    Better he sit out against a weaker opponent like San Diego than lose his appeal and risk missing the Pittsburgh game.

    In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s why the NFL chose this case to make an example of. They know Reed is between a rock and a hard place.

  18. No one agrees with the suspension. Yet Ryan Clark, for some reason, deserves an entire blog post. Everyone that plays for the Steelers immediately becomes over-publicized and overrated (Remember when Chris Hope got talked about all the time? How often did you hear about him as a Titan? Exactly. Ryan Clark wasn’t good enough for the REDSKINS. Now that he’s on the Steelers we can’t stop hearing about him).

  19. That really was not even a penalty, had wr not turned and ran with his head down, reed wudda hit him largely with his shoulder from the angle he was from and lower. Turning with the ball, the wr displayed he was no longer defenseless!

  20. Everyone crying youtube the hot heard around the world. Cleans a dudes clock and changes a game with a momentum swing. Aim at the belly and look at what your hitting, Reed never tried to wrap up, why these guys refuse to wrap up but rather try to cause harm astounds me.
    If they think its that big of a deal they should fight the retired players for their lawsuit

  21. Ed Reed is a first ballot HOFer and is so for his magnificent play and ability, not for needless cheap shots. The NFL is awesome and plenty violent even when played within the rules. If there are as many folks who want to see players get hurt and almost no penalties or fines as the comments always seem to indicate I don’t know why the XFL never got off the ground and passed the NFL in popularity.

  22. A lot of people had a good time laughing about the Saints and the unjust punishments issued by Goodell. You all should be have been worried about who was next and when another ridiculous decision by him was going to affect your team.

  23. he wasn’t trying to wrap up because it was already a 15 plus yard play. He was trying dislodge the man from the ball, you know like a football player would.

  24. Go for the thighs and knees DBs. Clearly that’s where this is heading. Most players try to avoid doing that because of how easily you can injure someone doing that but the league is not leaving them much of a choice. On Mike and Mike a league rep basically said even if the offensive player causes the head to head contact by ducking into it the dDB still would get fined or suspended.

  25. Valid1
    That’s stupid reasoning for not wrapping up, you always wrap up, that’s part of tackling right, this hit for show needs to end, injuries aside. So many big plays happen solely because these guys won’t wrap because they , as you say, try to dislodge the ball,..,? … Right. And let him run for 15 more yards.
    Goodell is coming down because former players are sueing the NFL, more players need to speak out like Roddy White. Grow a pair, tackle right. And speak out to save our game.

  26. As PFT pointed out in a previous post, Goodell didn’t issue this punishment. Merton Hanks did. And everyone sayin that Sanders purposely lowered his head into Reed needs to go back and watch the replay. I suggest the slow motion version for some of you. There was no effort by sanders to lower his helmet. He got drilled just as he made the catch and turned his body to continue running. I don’t agree with the suspension but a hit to the head is a hit to the head, period. It happened, he got penalized like anyone else would have. Suspension is too much though

  27. Steeler fan here and I agree with Clarke. No way Reed should be suspended for that hit nor penalized. There was nothing he could have done to avoid the hit outside of slowing down time. Sanders turned into the hit which caused the helmet-to-helmet contact.

    The NFL is a fraud. At this point they are basically asking Defensive Backs to let the receivers catch the ball on them. Passing yards = ratings. If they really cared about player safety, why do they continue to ignore the offensive and defensive linemen who repeatedly slam their heads together on every play? I guarantee that is where most of the concussions stem from.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!