Clark blames Meriweather suspension on Troy Vincent

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Washington safety Ryan Clark has a habit of speaking out on various topics.  He tends to speak out the loudest regarding the NFL’s rules regarding illegal hits against offensive players.

With teammate Brandon Meriweather receiving a two-game suspension for his sixth violation of the rules regarding unnecessary roughness, Clark has opted to blame not Meriweather or the rules generally, but the man who imposed the ban.

“Roger [Goodell] kept full control of certain things and he passed this [the decision on safety rules fines and suspensions] on to Troy [Vincent], a guy who was up for the [executive] director’s job of the NFLPA,” Clark said Tuesday, via Rich Tandler of  “He didn’t get it.  Quickly switched sides and now this is his first opportunity to have power.  This is the only power he has in the office and this is what he comes up and does.  I think it just shows where he’s at.”

Clark’s arguments often contain a flaw in logic; this one is no different.  Vincent’s decision to impose a two-game suspension — the next step of progressive discipline in light of Meriweather’s one-game suspension in 2013 — represents not an effort by Vincent to stir the pot with kettle corn muscles but an attempt to ensure that players play the game as safely as they can.  Meriweather has been one of the worst offenders in recent years, which makes him a target for enhanced discipline.

When referring to Goodell’s “full control” that was partially “passed” to Vincent, Clark also ignores the fact that Meriweather’s suspension will be reviewed by Ted Cottrell or Derrick Brooks, who have been jointly hired and who are jointly compensated by the NFL and the NFLPA.  So while Goodell still has judge/jury/executioner power in several key areas of discipline, neither he nor anyone else has it as to on-field misconduct.

Which means that, if Vincent was indeed caught up in his newly-acquired title or authority, the NFL and the NFLPA have put in place a system that protects the players against mistakes or agendas.

54 responses to “Clark blames Meriweather suspension on Troy Vincent

  1. I think Ryan Clark’s constant commentary, often worded to make a great headline, shows us where he is at – trying to develop his future career in the media.

  2. In my day they’d smack heads with nothing more than a thin piece of plastic for a helmet and they’d lay on the ground tryin’ to figure out where they was. It was called gettin’ your bell rung and they liked it! Now I say again, what kinda name is Brandon Meriweather for a football player?

  3. Shut up Ryan. Meriweather is as dirty player as any in the NFL. I loved when we got knocked out cold trying to take a Packer’s receiver’s head off last year. Let’s hope Meriweather tears his ACL soon.

  4. Merriweather is a chronic offender.

    Meriweather always goes high, makes no effort to use his arms and wrap up, and NEVER has his head/face up. ALWAYS leads with the crown of his helmet in the open field.

    Like it or not, in the modern game, that’s dirty. It’s not acceptable knowing what we know about head injuries.

    I mean the NFL’s youth football certification program is called “Heads Up” for a reason.

    But here is a pro, losing hundreds of thousand of dollars, who can’t seem to get the idea of how to play through his thick skull. Insubordinate, and churlish ROFL

  5. To be fair to Clark, you are (1) creating a strawman argument against him, and (2) you are acting as if you actually know Troy Vincent’s intent here.

    Clark isn’t really talking about the separation of powers or checks and balances, he just said that Goodell passed this particular power to Vincent, and that Vincent seems to be abusing that power.

    For the record, I’m an Eagles fan who has always liked Vincent–so unbiased opinion.

  6. Agreed…I don’t see that much in the way of an agenda. I’m not a Redskins hater. ..but last year every time I tuned into a Redskins game…inevitably you would see this guy launching himself head first into opposing players…even injuring himself on occasion….expect more suspensions from this guy….complete disregard for himself and the opposition.

  7. He’s right, it’s a complete joke.

    Roger Goodell is ruining the game of football that I grew up loving and playing, and ended up coaching after I graduated.

    It is a violent sport for guy’s who have toughness, it is not soccer or basketball.

    It was perfectly fine and the best game in the world for a very, very long time…and now they are making a mockery of it because players can deal with retirement and the issues they suffer due to playing a game that they knew what they were getting into, from the day they started playing the game, even as a young child.

    Now they have more flags in one game, than they would in an entire week. It’s slowing down the game and undoubtedly turning off fans…especially new ones.

    People want to watch football players play football, not referees getting air time…they too are starting to ruin the game of football.

    A 3-hour game was long enough, now we will be approaching 4 hours due to Goodell, Vincent and the refs “enforcing” penalties.

    The more this goes on and the further down the rabbit hole we go…the more people will turn their backs on this game.

    It really is a joke…worst commissioner ever.

  8. Give Clark 2 games also! In October Meriweather will be in the news again for another illegal hit since he plays under his own rules! If so the NFL needs to end his season!

  9. If these guys don’t like the fules or the people who enforce them, then teet should quit and either go to Canada and play or use that college degree they have and do something else – as if that would ever happen

  10. Meriweather has been a headhunter his entire career. He’s a hitter who can’t actually tackle, and hurts his team with this kind of crap all the time. He’s also a liability in coverage. None of this is news to anyone who’s been a fan of the Bears or Pats who watched his garbage before. It should tell you a lot that both teams needed help in the secondary and still cut him. The guy’s a dirty player, and tries to intimidate with hits like this to cover up for the lack of technique and skill.

  11. Some people just don’t know when to shut their mouths.

    Is this how athletes today conduct themselves? (Rhetorical question)


    Place the blame somewhere else and then file a lawsuit.

  12. I have been formulating a theory on this for a while and Meriweather is at the center of it: guys who play that way do it because they aren’t skilled enough to keep a job while playing within the rules. Bernard Pollard fits in there too: too small to be a linebacker but too big to be a corner, they play safety despite lacking ball skills and just knock the snot out of people. That’s all they can and if they can’t do that, they don’t have a job.

  13. Mr. Florio,

    Folks don’t care about facts anymore.

    IF they think it or say it, it’s true…

    And we’re crazy to even contemplate that what they said is wrong… let alone even have the nerve to tell them they are wrong.

  14. Ryan Clark works for ESPN, which wants to take down the NFL. Clark’s opinions will always mirror Espn’s opinions. That means he’ll be against anything the NFL says or does.

  15. Maybe Ryan Clark ignored what the league did not – Meriweather lowered his head going in for the knockout. No need to do that especially in a preseason game that means nothing to a starter.

  16. mufasa1822 says: Aug 26, 2014 5:33 PM

    Maybe Ryan Clark ignored what the league did not – Meriweather lowered his head going in for the knockout. No need to do that especially in a preseason game that means nothing to a starter.
    You obviously did not see the game. Merriweather went in, leading with his shoulder. His head was to the side, just like it is taught. Oh, and for the person saying that his head should be “up” like they teach in USA Football, I suggest you take the time to get your certification. I did. And Merriweather did a good job up until Smith lowered his head and balled up to avoid the collision. Smith’s head actually glanced off of Merriweather’s shoulder pads and to his facemask. This penalty shows that the league has no inclination to actually protect players. All they are interested in is collecting fine money. I mean, someone has to offset the costs of the concussion settlement.

  17. Ryan is starting to show signs of repeated head injuries when he speaks.
    20 yrs from now i wonder if Ryan will be one of those guys we hear about now that arent exactly living full healthy lives.
    Meriweather has no desire to play the game the way it is played now. He is not very talented which is probably why he has always been a head hunter.
    As a Redskins fan I shudder to think how slow and old we are in pass coverage in the middle of the field….

  18. Shut up Ryan. Meriweather is as dirty player as any in the NFL. I loved when we got knocked out cold trying to take a Packer’s receiver’s head off last year. Let’s hope Meriweather tears his ACL soon.


    He did take out Lacy that game, and it wasnt a receiver, it was Starks :D. I would never wish an ACL tear on anyone however… even though I am far from a Meriweather fan.

  19. As the current lawsuits brought by ex-players with legitimate permanent injuries have cost the NFL much money, the owners must make a strong effort to minimize these injuries. Hence a 6 time offender receives harsh punishment. Imagine the long line lawyers praying to take the case of Meriwether’s 7th victim? Follow the money!

  20. i can’t say about the hit but i think dude is right about troy vincent being a craver of power.

    he was a great player for my eagles, but to me he also always seemed on the make for a position of authority.

    i saw how hard he angled for the union gig, and how hard the union fought back against him (digging every bit of dirt they could prior to the election). whether he stabbed upshaw in the back as the union alleged i have no idea.

    i think the union feared he would eventually sell out; and his going to work for the league so soon after losing the union vote suggests they were probably prudent to consider it.

  21. I’m surprised any team still employs Meriweather. He’s not that good to begin with, and he racks up penalties/suspensions annually. Oh wait, it’s the Redskins…

  22. 2 games doesn’t seem that bad given meriweather’s history.

    skins players should keep their mouths shut. if they irritate league and/or officials, things could get bad.

    that locker room seems out of control. desean jackson should fit in just fine. god bless jay gruden. he seems to need it.

  23. Stupid americans an they useless arguments. Same goes to everyone here commenting on this topic. I tought it was a mens sport hahaha

  24. I wonder what Meriweather would be doing if he weren’t playing football.
    What kind of occupation do you think he would choose?

  25. Does every player and coach on this pathetic team whine and cry like children and blame everyone else for their failures? I would want a team like that “honoring” me either.

  26. I guess you guys want brandon to start taking players knees out and injuring acl……. That’s next and you can thank the nfl for that, what happen to the Ronnie Lotts and sean taylor type of guys, sounds like you guys are going soft and would want to watch flag football? ?? Enjoy the flag fest this season and you people are backing the nfl with your stupid comments. As dhall said keep hitting I will pay the fines

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