Redskins free safety Ryan Clark expressed some frustration towards Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent. It was Vincent's job to review the hit on Raven's WR Torrey Smith that Brandon Meriweather was called for a hitting a defenseless receiver penalty. Vincent decided to suspend Meriweather for the 1st two games of the regular season. You can see that hit below in case you forgot what it looked like:
Meriweather also had a hit earlier in the game on Ravens RB Bernard Pierce that was not flagged, and resulted in a concussion for Pierce. Some people view the Smith penalty as a make-up call for the 1st quarter hit on Pierce.
The suspsension is the longest suspension of regular season games for an action that happened during a preseason game in NFL history. Ryan Clark is not impressed with Vincent's ruling and apparently Vincent's playing style when he was playing in the NFL.
"We're talking about a preseason game which has gotten a starter for our team suspended for the first two games of the season," Clark said. "It almost makes you say 'why play preseason games?'
Clark also feels that Vincent was quick to take a job with the league after his bid for the director of the NFLPA was unsuccessful.
"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."
"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."
Clark says that Vincent wasn't the most...aggressive player in his day.
#Skins S RClark on Meriweather suspension: "It’s a very fast decision. It’s a harsh decision. It’s rash. And I also think it’s incorrect."— Liz Clarke (@lizclarketweet) August 26, 2014
Ryan Clark had strong takes on Meriweather suspension.. said Troy Vincent played "soft".. doesn't understand how to rule on hit.. #Redskins— Rob Carlin (@RobCarlinCSN) August 26, 2014
Clark stated the obvious that Meriweather plans to appeal the suspension, and Clark will assisting in any way that he can.
"They were collecting the film to begin readying the appeal," Clark said. "Brandon's definitely going to appeal it. I'm on the executive board, so I've already been reaching out to people, doing what I can to make sure that we fight this thing to the fullest of our ability."
And finally the man who took the hit that caused the suspension chimed in on twitter:
Troy Vincent singled out 21 players before preseason started that were in danger of punishment if they continued their playing style. Meriweather and DeAngelo Hall are the two Redskins players who made his list, and Meriweather actually spoke to Vincent before preseason started.
"We have a long-term relationship, we've known each other a long time, so we had a really good discussion," Vincent said. "He got it, he understood. Some of the others were not as cordial, and that's OK, too."
Hall's teammate Meriweather had a shorter meeting with Vincent, and when asked about being on the list in June, responded: "I can't say I shouldn't be on the list. At the same time, I do understand why they'd do it."
Meriweather reiterated what he's said in the past, that it's difficult to adjust a player's style at NFL speed, but said he's made a concerted effort to fix his issues, using new teammate and fellow safetyRyan Clark as a sounding board. Clark was under the league's microscope for his playing style as a Steeler, but has not incurred a fine in three seasons.
Meriweather is one of eight defensive backs on Vincent's list of 21 players, joining five linebackers, seven defensive linemen and one offensive tackle.