I have written far more negative things about Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark in recent years than positive. A great deal of those negative comments had more to do with his off-field decisions and actions than on.
In this particular case, Ryan Clark recently stated what I and many other football fans have been saying for some time now about the direction of the game.
In an interview with Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Clark said the game is well on its’ way to becoming flag football. Clark’s comments were based on the question of whether the NFL and Roger Goodell would start eliminating low tackles by defenders.
Clark is one of many players who have said they feel they have no other choice with the League’s attention to eliminating shots to anything above the shoulders.
I don’t like that defenders have to resort to going low either, but what choice do they have left?
Many are already assuming the NFL will eventually make defenders have to tackle in a ‘hitting zone’ that would be between the shoulders and the thighs. Clark made an excellent point contrary to this when he asked how a 200-pound defensive back will tackle a 230-pound ball carrier who has a running start?
Clark also went on to say that he believes that the league will soon start fining for the low hits and I completely agree with him.
Does the game need to be made safer? Yes, as does any collision sport, but doing so in the knee-jerk form the NFL did it in was and is wrong. It was rushed in immediately in reaction to the former players’ lawsuit.
Clark went on to discuss how slanted the rules are. Everything is done to protect the offense and in turn, create more scoring opportunities. That of course, creates more interest in the multi-billion dollar industry that is fantasy football.
If the idea were to truly make the game safer then this would have been rolled out much differently and more diplomatically, but it is what it is and Ryan Clark and I finally have agreed on something. That isn’t a low-blow either.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 4pm ET talking Steelers.