Titans Safety Michael Griffin Heeds DC Jerry Gray's Words, Fined $21,000
By: Kim O'Hara | Posted: October 10, 2012
Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray should be pleased. He didn't want his players worrying about getting fined, and looks like safety Michael Griffin took his words to heart.
Griffin was fined $21,000 for unnecessary roughness on Vikings receiver Michael Jenkins during Sunday's loss. The play also drew a flag on the field. When questioned about the fine itself, Griffin had an interesting response:
“It is easy for everybody to say ‘take the shot.’ But how easy is it to come out of my pocket? It is one of those deals where I am a dumb **** if I don’t make the hit, and I am a dumb **** if I do and get penalized and fined. If I don’t take the hit, fans and everybody else is pissed off. If I do, it comes out of my wallet. So it’s a no-win situation.”
Griffin's reaction is fairly uncommon; after receiving fines, players often affect an air of bravado, insisting that the fine won't change how hard or how fast they play the game. It sounds like Griffin is truly puzzled in terms of hard hits versus illegal hits. He also expresses concern about becoming a repeat offender, incurring further fines or possible suspensions, which must be the last thing Jerry Gray wants to hear.
Though his phrasing may have been less than ideal, Gray's message was mostly accurate: his underwhelming secondary needs to defend better. But now, more than ever, his players may be more concerned with financial hits than physical ones.
Kim O'Hara is the Associate Editor of TheFootballGirl.com. She is an avid fan of sports in general, but the NFL in particular. She has also been a contributor to ESPN the Magazine. Follow her on Twitter: @arahomik
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