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Victor Cruz Hit Called Dirty, Could Bring Fine For Ryan Clark

Victor Cruz Hit Called Dirty, Could Bring Fine For Ryan Clark

A Victor Cruz hit might be costing Ryan Clark a bit of money this week.

The Pittsburgh Steelers defender delivered a viscous hit to Cruz with a little more than seven minutes remaining in the second quarter of his team’s game on Sunday, sending the wide receiver down hard to the turf. Many football followers believe the Victor Cruz hit could lead to discipline — and possibly a fine — from the NFL for Clark.

The Victor Cruz hit took place on a broken play in the second quarter, the Yahoo! Sports blog Shutdown Corner notes. With the New York Giants inside the Steelers’ 10-yard line and threatening to score, quarterback Eli Manning looked for Cruz in the endzone. The pass didn’t connect, and, as the ball fell to the turf, Clark slammed into Cruz, earning a penalty for unnecessary roughness.

Whether Clark is fined for the Victor Cruz hit will likely come down to the NFL’s view of the defender’s intention. The league has cracked down on hits to the head, but it did not appear that Clark was targeting Cruz’s head, and, in fact, he didn’t make contact with it.

But Clark did hit Victor Cruz when the wide receiver was defenseless, Shutdown Corner noted:

“But it’s also very clear that Clark was looking to inflict pain on a receiver that wasn’t in position to defend himself. He honed in on Cruz in the end zone, saw an opportunity to strike when Cruz wasn’t looking, and hammered him. It’s hard to watch Clark through the play and not come to the conclusion that his only intention was to hit a vulnerable receiver who realistically had no chance to catch the ball after Ike Taylor batted it away and had no idea Clark was coming. The hit was, at very least, unnecessary.”

There doesn’t appear to be consensus on whether the Victor Cruz hit deserves a fine or whether it was even dirty. As NESN notes, the hit was clean according to NFL rules.

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40 Responses to “Victor Cruz Hit Called Dirty, Could Bring Fine For Ryan Clark”

  1. Al Comstock

    The ball was zipping right towards Cruz and Ryan was reacting to the ball and hit Cruz just as he expected the ball to get to him. I doubt he realized another Steeler was making a failed attempt to intercept the ball and Ryan's hit was as legal as they come!

  2. David Gamboa

    It doesn't matter whether he would've caught the ball, the hit would've been just as hard and just as vicious with or without the hit.

  3. Mike Bliss

    the iidiot that wrote this must be a giants fan…hit was clean and fair hit.. the call was blow to the head… head was only hit by the ground…. the injury report from sideline said brused ribs.. from a blow to the head?

  4. David Gerald

    football as we know it is coming to an end. As the ALS and brain injuries increase its going to change. The kick off was just step one….in 20 years it will be professional flag football.

  5. Scot Borgerding

    The hit was completely clean just like the interference call that got them that close was a ghost call. Even the announcers said that they were both questionable calls.
    So, why should the league fine someone for a hit that shouldn't have even been flagged?

  6. Joel Shapiro

    The Steelers are coached to bend the rules, but not break them. They're a dirty team and I wish them nothing but failure. Football is dangerous enough. The Steelers are a classless team and I wouldn't want to have to root for them.

  7. Bill Klamer

    he hit him in the chest for god sake and stopped him from catching a ball. is this not what we teach children to in pop warner football? a textbook hit. what is the problem? put a skirt in cruz.

  8. Suzanne Kersey

    Classless team eh ??? Seems to me they are the only team with any class .. Rather than use rooms that hurricane victims needed they opted to fly in on game day, not take a room and after the game fly back out .. So now WHO'S GOT NO CLASS???? The hit was clean, poor little cruz fall down go boom, bump his head, gets up ~ it hurts mommy .. Seems to me the Steelers have a player with a much more serious injury .. where is the new report on that hit ?????? The Steelers are coached to play football with adults on a professional field .. not flag football with 8 year olds .. GROW UP AND PLAY BALL !!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Thomas Tootz Kulik

    Joel-we don't need your help in rooting for the Steelers! 6 Super Bowl rings without you! Maybe you should be a Giants fan. The refs were surely on their side yesterday so with your help, maybe they might catch the rule benders.

  10. Anonymous

    after reading this article (after watching the game)….the only conclusion I can come up with, shutdown corner is to football what cnn is to news……………………they report what they are told(or paid) to report. shut down corner should follow the advice of their name…………………………..and shut down and shut up!

  11. Brett's Go Pens

    Horrible article. The referee also said, "After the play" when the ball was in mid-air. Go write for tennis. Ike Taylor touched the ball first, "Lamont, you big dummy."

  12. David Michael Lucas

    the hit on cruz was clean…..the block in the back against miller missed…..had to use a challenge to spot the ball…the refs tried to give the giants a sympathy win, but it became to obvious so they aborted the idea.

  13. David Michael Lucas

    and how could I forget……the ghost call for 41 yards that set-up the shot to the ribs penalty…….very poor effort by the refs.if players can be fined, what about fining the refs for clearly blowing a call…..they just got caught up in the hurricane sandy fiasco…….i feel sorry for the people effected by the storm but you cant let that effect your job as a ref in the nfl.

  14. Gene Egeberg

    The Giants as a team have been such p–sies this week, crying about how the Steelers hold, how their corners hold, how they cheat. And they got their a–es beat yesterday and all we hear about is Cruz, Cruz Cruz. Cruz was attempting to catch a TD in the endzone and Clark nailed him, not in the head, but a clean smack down. Tell Cruz to put on about 30 lbs and his tiny ass won't have to worry about getting hit again.

  15. Gene Egeberg

    They seem to change the rule weekly. First, you couldn't hit in the head, then you couldn't hit below the knees, now you can't hit in the chest either.

  16. Randall Woyicki

    Phil Simms (not exactly an unbiased source) called it a clean hit. This was shoulder to shoulder on a WR the exact second he would have caught the ball had Ike Taylor not been there. So if you want to blame someone you blame Manning for throwing it to a defenseless WR.

  17. Anonymous

    This guy is on crack. That was a good hit. The announcers even said it was the wrong call. BAD call. That was the worst half of officiating I have ever seen. It was like they felt sorry for NY due to the storm and were trying to give the game to the giants.

  18. Thomas Britton

    I am not a Steeler or Giant fan but I watched the game and saw the hit. It is called FOOTBALL. I saw no problem, looked like a legal hit to me.

  19. Tony Santay

    Spoken like a true Rams fan. Oh, I forgot, LA doesn't have a team. They were smart enough to move out of CA. So, you don't even have someone to root for. Jealousy will get you nowhere.

  20. Anonymous

    Suzanne Kersey –PULEASE! Steelers did not stay in NY because they are pussys! They were afraid of post-storm NYC just like the whining Miami Heat who did not want to come. There excuse makes them look even worse since they are trying to get a pat on the back for their girly move!

  21. Denny Blalock

    I have Victor Cruz on my fantasy team, but the hit was fair. He was hitting him hard to make him drop the ball if he caught it to DROP it. The idiots that put posts against the hit have never played football you cant see great out of a helmet. Ryan porbably didn't even see if the pass was knocked down.

  22. Mike Samhain

    You are an idiot. The Steelers are one of the best teams in the NFL from the top to the bottom. Classless my a$$. Some people should really get more info on things before opening there mouths. Go Steelers!!!!!

  23. Joanne Hunnell-Dryburgh

    waaaaa cry me a river…….it's football, Clark is an excellent player!

  24. Bob Wilson

    Joel, If you don't have anything meaningful to add, just don't speak. Wait, it says you are going to law school, never mind, I understand.

  25. Winston Stevens

    clean hit. it wasnt too late after the play, His head was NOT targeted. Sometimes things like that happen in a fast-paced violent game like football. The way the game was being called at that point I though for sure the refs were in the giants back pocket. Made me turn against the Giants in a big way as I detest the Steelers.

  26. Winston Stevens

    the pass interference cvall right before that was garbage too. it was good defense, the Giant player just did his typical 9.0 dive to try to draw the call. But, alas, justice was served and Pits won.

  27. Winston Stevens

    One more thing, the call for the "blindside" block was complete crap, too. It's called football people, not soccer, for chrissakes, let the players play a little bit. If you take all the hitting out of the game I might as well go watch baseball.

  28. Anonymous

    did you people watch the game because this article is wrong! he wasn't flagged for a hit to the head. he was penalized for unnecessary roughness. do you really think he was simply trying to tackle him? that dude was trying to hurt Cruz. do you teach your pee wee players to blind side an unsuspecting player? if that was so legal, then why aren't receivers getting popped like that all over the place? c'mon now!

  29. Rodney Melton

    Cruz is always taunting the visiting crowd and team with his salsa dance. I think he's arogunt and the hit was clean. DANCE NOW VICTOR!

  30. Thomas Tootz Kulik

    The Shutdown Corner comment is totally ridiculous. Clark's intention was to dislodge the ball from a receiver that was possibly going to catch a TD pass. When the ball doesn't make it to him, he can just stop and say "hold up." A lot of people don't take into consideration that these men play a game where split decision are made on each play. If Shutdown's writer really thinks that as Clark was playing defense he was thinking, "who can I hit and really hurt bad" and not "gotta stop them from catching the pass for a touchdown" then he needs to switch the channel and watch the Home Shopping Network!

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