Troy Polamalu says Roger Goodell has too much power
A day after his Pittsburgh Steelers teammate, James Harrison, was in New York to confer with Commissioner Roger Goodell about the NFL's crackdown on hits by defenders, Troy Polamalu was sounding off in Pittsburgh.
"It's football, you know. If people want to watch soccer then they can watch soccer," Polamalu told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "But, honestly, overseas when people are attracted to this game, they're going to see the big hits, they're not going to care about touchdowns and different things. So you're also taking apart what attracts people to this game."
Harrison was in New York to take Goodell up on his offer to discuss the league's recent reinforcement of guidelines about what constitutes legal hits. Harrison was fined $75,000 for two hits in a game Oct. 17 and initially said he was considering retirement over the issue.
"Sometimes I think it just falls on deaf ears," Polamalu said. "I think a lot of players have said a lot of things and I guarantee you he heard everything everybody said.
"But, you know, he's got all the power; that may be part of the problem, that there needs to be some type of separation of power like our government. There should be some type of players involved in decisions over how much people should be fined or what they should be fined for, as well as coaches, as well as front office people.
"I don't think it should be just totally based on what two or three people may say who are totally away from the game. I think it should be some of the players who are currently playing."
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tweeted: "Regarding James Harrison meeting, it was consistent with what we have done on occasion with other players. James was given the opportunity to meet with Commissioner Goodell, Ray Anderson, and Carl Johnson yesterday...Purpose of the meeting was to discuss the rules that relate to illegal use of the helmet and hits to the head and neck...Jared Allen and Vince Wilfork are examples of players who in past years have had similar meetings in our office...Such meetings are part of overall initiative to ensure a full understanding of our rules and policies that protect player health & safety."
Purpose of the meeting was to discuss the rules that relate to illegal use of the helmet and hits to the head and neck... about 1 hour ago via web
Polamalu was asked if he thought game officials were "paranoid" and overcompensating.
"I don't know about the referees' decisions to maybe need to throw a flag but there is definitely a paranoia that is unneeded. Just because we had that weekend a few weekends ago which there were, I think somebody said, five hits out of 1,000. Yeah, I think there is too much paranoia."
| November 3, 2010; 2:51 PM ET
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