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Thread: Owners to see video of clean hits, respond to Steeler complaints

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    Default Owners to see video of clean hits, respond to Steeler complaints

    Owners to see video of clean hits
    By BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer

    NEW YORK (AP)—When NFL owners meet in Dallas next week, they will see a video of clean hits in games played since the league’s crackdown on flagrant fouls.

    NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the video “clearly shows players making adjustments” and that some former rule-breakers when it came to hitting defenseless players “have gotten the message.”

    “Frankly some players who previously have been fined or disciplined have made the adjustments we are looking for to play within the rules,” Anderson said. “It is hard to declare any trends this soon; it’s premature to do that. But certainly what we are seeing, not just us in this office but officials and coaches have reported they see players making appropriate adjustments. And particularly where in prior instances there may have been a little more hitting, perhaps some gratuitous shots being meted out, players now refrain.

    “We are encouraged players are making the adjustment.”

    The league announced seven weeks ago it would fine players heavily and perhaps suspend them for illegal hits after a rash of such tackles on Oct. 17. While the amount of fines has increased—several players have been docked $40,000 or more—no one has been suspended.

    That doesn’t mean suspensions won’t come for flagrant fouls, Anderson warned.

    “There should be no confusion if a suspension is necessary because money is not deterring (illegal) actions,” Anderson said. “That is an option that is available for continued violations.

    “Everyone doesn’t get a free pass no matter how egregious a hit might be the first time. We don’t want anyone thinking that this is my one time to make such a hit and I can stay on the field. They should not be operating under that false assumption.”

    The tape compiled by Anderson and his staff eventually will be distributed throughout the league, including to the players. At the end of the season and in the offseason, the NFL routinely sends out videos demonstrating plays that are within the rules.

    Commissioner Roger Goodell expected adaptation to the crackdown on illegal hits would not be immediate.

    “Any time you have changes, there’s a period of adapting to those changes. and it’s happened over the last several decades of football,” he said Wednesday. “Any time we’ve made rule changes or had emphasis on certain areas, there’s a period of adjustment from a player standpoint, a coaching standpoint, officiating standpoint. And that’s something that we always go through.

    “But I think we’re getting to the point where people understand what we’re looking for and we’ll hopefully get to a point where it’s being enforced on a consistent basis and the players understand what we’re looking for.”

    Two moments in last Sunday’s Steelers-Ravens game drew attention because they were not penalized: Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata breaking QB Ben Roethlisberger’s nose, and the hit Jameel McClain delivered on Heath Miller that gave the Steelers tight end a concussion. McClain was fined $40,000 on Monday, and Ngata was docked $15,000.

    There were loud cries of favoritism during and after Pittsburgh’s victory— the Steelers have been vocal about feeling picked on by the league, a notion that Anderson vehemently dismissed.

    “We don’t put any credence into that and would dispute that unequivocally,” he said. “I have been hearing that since the first time I understood what competitive football was, and any of us who follows football has been hearing that for decades.

    “The integrity of the game is first and foremost. Under this commissioner and leadership of this office, that is not something we would tolerate or condone. If we ever believed any of that was going on, we would come down with a vengeance.”

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    Default Re: Owners to see video of clean hits, respond to Steeler complaints

    Is the NFL really targeting the Steelers?

    Published: December 8, 2010

    The NFL isn't "targeting" the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    That much should be obvious.

    The Steelers sell a ton of merchandise. The Steelers have a ton of fans that don't just fill Heinz Field, but help fill stadiums on the road. The Steelers have a tradition that might - might - be matched by two or three franchises in the entire league.

    In other words, the Steelers bring the NFL money, attention and a credibility that would seem to preclude them from commissioner Roger Goodell's doghouse. Marketing rule No. 1, after all, is that you don't sabotage your top profit sources. The NFL is so conscious of the almighty dollar, it's hard to come up with a good reason why the league would want to see the Steelers fail on the football field.

    All that said, it's getting more and more difficult to listen to the Steelers complain about the calls made against them by NFL officials - and just as importantly, the ones not called - every week and wonder if they don't have a bulls-eye on their backs.

    Problems with institutions as big, as powerful, as wealthy as the NFL almost always wind up being problems of perception. And with the Steelers and the new unnecessary roughness rules that have players and officials alike confused, there is a huge perception problem brewing.

    By now, we all know the particulars: Steelers linebacker James Harrison has been fined four times for a total of $125,000 this season by the NFL for dangerous hits. He was penalized for most of them, as well as some others that were so borderline, the league didn't even bother to fine him.

    The fines hurt Harrison, and honestly, he deserved a few of them. If the NFL insists players don't lead with their helmets or make contact with an opponent in the head, it would seem to be a fairly simple request to follow the rule. And it's a good rule.

    The penalties, however, hurt the Steelers. Between fines and penalties in this case, there is a difference.

    During the Steelers' 13-10 win over Baltimore on Sunday night, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was struck across the face by the hand of Ravens defensive end Haloti Ngata. Roethlisberger broke his nose.

    In the second half, Steelers tight end Heath Miller took a brutal helmet-to-helmet hit from Ravens linebacker Jameel McLain. Miller's neck snapped back. He crumbled to the turf. He eventually got up and walked off the field, which his teammates later thought was pretty amazing, considering how bad the hit looked.

    Both calls, by rule, should have drawn a flag. Neither did.

    Ngata's hit was almost certainly accidental. But that doesn't matter. You hit a quarterback in the head, you should get a penalty. The hit on Miller was one of the worst of the season.

    So, how did the officials miss those calls?

    That's easy. The game is fast. Maybe too fast to make those calls in a split second. It's difficult to process something like that being a penalty if you don't exactly process it happening in the moment.

    It's understandable.

    Which makes the fact that Harrison draws so many flags for, on the whole, much less brutal hits a bit suspect.

    Steelers linebacker James Farrior and receiver Hines Ward, two respected veterans, have called the NFL out on this, calling it evidence that the league has its eyes on Harrison.

    NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson called this "misguided" and "quite frankly, untrue."

    Maybe it is. But it doesn't always appear to be either.

    The league essentially changed its rules in the middle of the season, so there are going to be some issues. But what Goodell and Anderson have to understand is that they will make more of an impact on the league by calling the games tighter, not by paying undivided attention to a few players labeled frequent offenders.

    If Peyton Manning was hit across the nose, would a flag have been thrown for a blow to the head?

    If James Harrison put the same hit on a tight end that Miller took, would the Steelers have been flagged?

    There's no way of knowing. But here's guessing the vast majority of fans who really think about it will answer yes to all three. That's perception. And for the NFL, it's a big problem.

    Read more:

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    Default Re: Owners to see video of clean hits, respond to Steeler complaints

    guess if the NFL tried to show the owners of hits not so clean.......they would be spending Xmas in FLA.

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