Ryan Clark rips Roger Goodell after latest fine
One week after being fined $15,000, the Steelers’ Ryan Clark was slapped Wednesday with a $40,000 ticket for his hit on Ed Dickson during Baltimore’s Week 9 win over Pittsburgh.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw a deep pass to Dickson down the middle of the field. Clark arrived just as the ball hit Dickson’s hands and delivered a punishing hit to jar the ball loose, but he was flagged for going helmet-to-helmet on Dickson.
At first glance, it was a great play, but given the NFL’s crackdown on hits like that one, the flag wasn’t surprising.
Still, Clark was unhappy at the time — and even more unhappy when he learned of his $40K fine, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
“This time it’s wrong,” Clark said and then criticized commissioner Roger Goodell, “not that I respected Roger before this.”
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.
Ray Lewis also received a fine ($20,000) for his hit on Hines Ward — another helmet-to-helmet blow that caused an incompletion and forced Ward from the game with what the Steelers dubbed a “stinger.”
Lewis, however, was not flagged on the play, which came on a Pittsburgh third down.
For whatever it’s worth, Dickson did stay in the game after taking that huge shot from Clark. The penalty came on a 2nd-and-15 late in the first half. Thanks, in part, to the 15-yard flag against Clark, Baltimore was able to get into field-goal range for Billy Cundiff, who drilled a 51-yarder to put the Ravens ahead, 9-6 at halftime. Given that Baltimore then went on to win by three, the penalty loomed large.
James Harrison also was expected to be fined for a hit he delivered to Ray Rice in the third quarter. Harrison dove and landed a high blow on Rice after he’d been tackled on a third-quarter play. No flag flew in that instance.