Flurry of fines irks Polamalu
TribLIVE Sports Videos
One of the most soft-spoken and quiet players in the Steelers' locker room had plenty to say Wednesday about the NFL's emphasis on player safety.
Strong safety Troy Polamalu said football "just loses so much of its essence when it becomes like a pansy game." He added that the NFL is trying to protect players from injuries because it is in the league's best interests to do so.
"It has more to do with money and not really with our safety," Polamalu said.
Polamalu's pointed comments came a few days after wide receiver Hines Ward learned he had received a second fine from the NFL for unnecessary roughness.
Neither play for which he was fined drew a penalty, and Steelers chairman Dan Rooney said he voiced his concerns about Ward's punishment to Roger Goodell in a letter he sent to the NFL commissioner.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he plans to call the NFL to find out why Ward was fined but not penalized for separate plays in the Steelers' past two games.
Ward is one of the most physical wide receivers in the NFL and has long been one of the game's best downfield blockers.
Polamalu said Ward's style is how the game is supposed to be played. He wondered if there would be a place in today's NFL for some of the icons who helped make the league as popular as it is.
"When you see guys like Dick Butkus, the Ronnie Lotts, the Jack Tatums, these guys really went after people," Polamalu said. "Now, they couldn't survive in this type of game. They wouldn't have enough money. They'd be paying fines all the time and they'd be suspended for a year after they do it two games in a row. It's kind of ridiculous."
Rooney said the league is justified in trying to eliminate senseless violence.
During NFL owners meetings, which concluded yesterday, the league showed a tape it had put together of cheap shots that were delivered during the course of games.
Rooney said that kind of play has no place in the NFL.
"They showed some hits -- the Steelers were not involved -- that were really gruesome hits," Rooney said. "Guys going out of their way to hit a quarterback on an interception, hitting the kicker coming down the field. I think those guys should be bounced right out of a game."
Rooney, however, conceded that he was as puzzled as Ward over the fines for unnecessary roughness the latter received from the Steelers' games against the Ravens and Jaguars.
Said Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson when asked about Ward's situation, "That doesn't make any sense at all. Hines has always been one of the better blockers in the NFL. I don't understand where you get unnecessary roughness from. That's not even a rule."
Ward said yesterday he does not expect the NFL to rescind or reduce the fines that total $15,000. He said he will be satisfied if his appeal of the fines simply yields answers for why the NFL docked him $5,000, and then $10,000.
"I'm going to continue giving all I got and play hard," Ward said, "and once I find out the justification of the fines, then I have to adjust my game accordingly."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers won’t change scheme after Pouncey injury
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin leaving `light on’ for injured players
- Steelers rookie receiver Coates learning on the fly
- Starkey: Steelers stopping themselves with suspensions
- Veteran quarterback Vick is vowing to make Steelers proud
- Steelers notebook: Mitchell injures left ankle in practice
- Steelers ink QB Vick, new teammates OK with signing
- Steelers rookie Coates’ learning on the fly
- Crowd sparse to protest Vick at Steelers’ facility
- Dog-loving fans irate about Vick signing with Steelers
- Steelers notebook: Legursky returns to provide offensive line depth