Ryan Clark, who has a part-time job at ESPN, usually has a lot to say about everything and the suspension of Brandon Meriweather for violating the NFL’s safety rules was no exception.
In talking about the two-game ban of the Redskins starting strong safety after he put a high hit on Ravens receiver Torrey Smith, Clark fired a few shots at Troy Vincent the man who made the decision.
Vincent is the Executive Vice President for Football Operations for the NFL. But he hasn’t always worked for the league.
“Roger [Goodell] kept full control of certain things and he passed this [the decision on safety rules fines and suspensions] on to Troy, a guy who was up for the directors job of the NFLPA. He didn’t get it,” said Clark. “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 said that he used to be under scrutiny by the NFL for his style of play when he was with the Steelers.
“So, you know, I understand this process,” said Clark. “I’ve been to New York to talk about this process, I’ve been to competition committee meetings to try to get a better grasp on what they’re looking for and, I can be honest with you, after talking to them I am no more clear than they are. You know, the watch the film, they talk to each other, they say, hey, that looks like a bad hit and then they levy out fines. The process definitely needs to be tweaked a little.”
The players have been unhappy with the system that gives so much control over discipline in these and other matters to Goodell and his surrogates for quite some time. But it’s a system that they agreed to when the CBA was ratified and the players are stuck with the decisions made by the commissioner and others like Vincent.