Steelers president Art Rooney and coach Mike Tomlin met with Commissioner Roger Goodell and other NFL executives at the NFL offices in New York City so that there would be a better understanding of what are and are not illegal hits.
The Thursday meeting, according to a league spokesman, was the idea of Rooney and Goodell. Although not stated, it likely was prompted by Tomlin's public support of Ryan Clark, who was hit with a $40,000 fine for what the league determined was an illegal hit on Baltimore tight end Ed Dickson Nov. 6 at Heinz Field.
"Mr. Rooney and Commissioner Goodell thought it would be a good idea to meet with our football staff and Coach Tomlin to review on-field issues that have been the focus of discussion recently," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an email.
Clark told the news media about the fine Nov. 9, and said that Tomlin had used a video of his tackle on Dickson to show his players the essence of a clean, tough tackle.
Tomlin, in a statement that day, called Clark's fine "excessive" and that "Ryan has my full support" in any appeal.
Also attending Thursday's meeting in New York were Ray Anderson, NFL executive vice president of football operations; several others from his office; and former Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher, a consultant to the NFL's competition committee which recommended many of the newer rules on illegal hits.