Mike Tomlin says officials used video board, NFL says that’s not allowed

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Steelers cornerback William Gay was flagged for a hit to the head of Browns receiver Ricardo Louis on Sunday, and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin described himself as “irate” about it.

Tomlin said he didn’t necessarily have a problem with the penalty itself, but he was furious that the officials appeared to call the penalty only after they saw a replay of the hit on the stadium’s video board.

“I’m a big player safety guy. I’m on the competition committee,” Tomlin said. “Very rarely are you going to hear arguments from me regarding calls relative to that, provided they are done in real time. I thought they called it off the JumboTron, and I won’t accept that.”

On a conference call today, an NFL spokesman confirmed that officials are not permitted to use the video board in the stadium.

“Officials are all instructed that they are not to use the stadium video boards to aid in officiating in any way,” spokesman Michael Signora said.

It’s unclear whether the officials in the Steelers-Browns game actually did use the video board. If they did, they screwed up — even as Tomlin acknowledges he has no problem with the call they made, only the way they went about it.

47 responses to “Mike Tomlin says officials used video board, NFL says that’s not allowed

  1. The real problem here is that the rule should change. Why would we not want to utilize everything possible (without slowing the game down) to get calls correctly?

  2. Which is the bigger “screw up”? Missing the call or using the JumboTron to get the call right? It appears as though PFT and Mike Tomlin would say using the Jumbotron? Personally, I would prefer getting the call right.

  3. This was done in the Eagles-Redskins game as well. The Redskins jumped offsides, the play continued. After the play, the ref indicated an offsides penalty, after replay showed the Eagles jumped first, it was switched to a false start penalty, even though the play should have been blown dead, if that was the case.

  4. WAS-PHL refs used the video board to call false start instead of offsides. It was the right call, but they didn’t blow the play dead and delayed the call until played on video board making it pretty obvious that they blew the flag in the first instance.

  5. @stellarperformance I agree except that then you are putting a member of the home team’s staff, the guy that runs the Jumbotron, in a position to effect the game by the timeliness of the replay, the angle shown, etc. if you can get around that, go for it.

  6. the issue with using the video boards is that the home team has an obvious advantage. If the in-house film crews are given directive to focus on showing areas/angles where potentially advantageous calls could occur, this would present a definitive competitive imbalance.

  7. Honestly, they should have an official on each crew who is basically a replay official to review every call asap. If he spots a bad call, he buzzes the head referee, who blows the whistle and the correction is announced. There are a fair number of bad calls that could have been fixed that way. Like the ejection in the GB game, the roughing the passer call in the MN-NO game, the list goes on and on.

  8. The replay rules are idiotic. Why can’t the crew chief simply have the discretion to say, “None of us got a good view of the play. Let’s pull out the tablet and take another look at it.”

  9. It would be one thing if it was a good call, but it wasn’t. Nor were the other 3 Flag football, bubble-wrap the wimpy Browns, flags the refs called against the Steelers…while ignoring countless blatant fouls by the Browns. The Browns require ‘Affirmative Action’ refereeing to stay in any game.

  10. jluckow says:

    September 13, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    The real problem here is that the rule should change. Why would we not want to utilize everything possible (without slowing the game down) to get calls correctly?

    Because the home team controls what gets shown on the board. So any bad calls for the home team get up there and none for the visiting team. That is exactly why. If a ref doesn’t see it on the field and it’s not a teviewable play, it doesn’t get called. If you want to allow penalties to be reviewed, get ready for 6 hour games.

  11. jluckow says:
    September 13, 2017 at 4:49 pm
    The real problem here is that the rule should change. Why would we not want to utilize everything possible (without slowing the game down) to get calls correctly?
    ————————

    Because officials are not in charge of the board the local team is. Why wouldn’t they show plays and angles favorable only to the home team?

  12. stellarperformance says:
    September 13, 2017 at 4:45 pm
    Why not? If truth is truth, who cares where it comes from?

    33 15 Rate This

    ———-

    Well, this is Roger Goodell we’re talking about here. So, the truth is only how he wants to spin it, based on the result he wants.

  13. What are the Browns fans crying about? The refs kept their team in the game right up till the end. They should all consider that a huge success, given how bad thety will be again this season.

  14. Tomlin is right for complains about following a rule that needs revision. Getting it right as well as maintaining player safety should be the goal however it is achieved.

    This trip Tomlin stuff is just reflective of the little minds that cough it up at the sight of Tomlins name. He was fined admitted his mistake for being on the field……but he tripped no one. Sorry ladies…..

  15. jluckow says:
    September 13, 2017 at 4:49 pm
    The real problem here is that the rule should change. Why would we not want to utilize everything possible (without slowing the game down) to get calls correctly?

    ——————————————————————————————–

    #1 — Because it slows the game down too much, and #2 — the officials still get it wrong even after they watch the replays.
    I wish they would scrap all replays and just let the officials call the game on the field. The NFL did it that way for the first 70 years or so and everyone accepted it. Were there bad calls? Absolutely. But — and this is the most important issue — are there still bad calls today, even with the replay / challenge system? Absolutely!
    I don’t care what you do. You can wire every player and wire the whole field, and there will still be calls which people disagree with. It’s football and that’s just the way it is.

  16. finnymcphin says:
    September 13, 2017 at 5:24 pm
    Tomlin isn’t happy unless he’s got something to whine about

    ———–

    There’s some truth to that. He certainly likes to blame bad performance on anything but himself.

  17. With Park Avenue making all the decisions on challenges, the point of the referee having a Microsoft Surface and headset is what, exactly? Merely to relay a decision without explanation? Like the Gronkowski TD reversal?

  18. It would be obvious if the ref did that. So you’re telling me there was a questionable hit to the head… a bang bang play… and no call was made. Then the ref did not throw a flag, then waited for the replay on the jumbotron… that had to take at least 5 seconds if not longer… and then threw the flag?

  19. harry hands says:

    September 13, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    It would be obvious if the ref did that. So you’re telling me there was a questionable hit to the head… a bang bang play… and no call was made. Then the ref did not throw a flag, then waited for the replay on the jumbotron… that had to take at least 5 seconds if not longer… and then threw the flag?
    ————
    Pretty close but if you watch it, the flag came 20 seconds after the play was whistled dead and right after it was put up on the jumbotron and the crowd went wild.

  20. So are we really going to ignore all the other dirty hits in that game? Such as Shazier spearing the Browns QB? Or Ben diving at a guy’s knees? Why is no one talking about this? Yet pitchforks are out for Burfict over a legal preseason hit?

  21. I agree with Tomlin on his premise of a scoreboard should not influence a call. What is funny though is not 1, not 2 but 3 Helmet to the head hits by Steeler players happened in that game (and one was with the qb already sacked).

    One Helmet to head hit can be blamed on the player and emotion. Two, you start to wonder if that is a mindset. Three ABSOLUTELY point to coaching philosophy. Dirty coach = dirty play. This is the same coach who tried to trip a player running in for a touchdown in a very important game.

    People talk about Greg Williams but the only difference I see from Bounty Gate and Tomlin is one coach got caught and the other………

  22. Karma… sucks doesn’t it?

    Now call the rest of the stealer penalties, and USE the Jumbotron or whatever else you can use. Enough of the preferential treatment that the “model franchise ” gets.

  23. finnymcphin says:
    September 13, 2017 at 5:24 pm
    Tomlin isn’t happy unless he’s got something to whine about.

    _________________________

    You may or may not be aware he was responding to a direct question about the refs looking at the board. Would you rather he not respond? I’m sure if he refused to comment, there would be many (yourself undoubtedly included) who would whine about him not being open and being uncooperative with the press.

  24. When the flag gets thrown after the whistle and after the trainers are on the field attending to the injured players, its a pretty good sign that the officials didn’t call the play “as it happened”.

  25. You’re all a bunch of idiots, except for the guy who pointed out that the videoboard can be manipulated by the home team. That’s a good reason why it’s not allowed, but since all y’all trolls need every little cheating advantage your stupid teams can get I see why you’re sniveling about it. Furthermore, I’m pretty sure penalties aren’t reviewable even with regular replay, so watching the scoreboard to review them makes it double wrong.

    If you want to say everything should be reviewable by the rules, that’s fine, but don’t cry pixel tears because Tomlin wants the rules to be fair for his team. You bunch of blithering stooges. Trolling makes ignorant people look stupid.

    Go Steelers!

  26. Why don’t we put 50 refs all around the field and call everything. Nothing gets missed. Sunday games would end on Wednesday. The game is so fast and violent now and players stronger and quicker every year that no single striped shirt will ever see everything. In the end calls usually get made by the seeing the reactive player and not the offender. The TV seems to get the calls right every time or we would not be debating issues like this. Maybe it’s time to end the drama and let technology into the game from the ref side like it is on the team sides.

  27. How is Tomlin a whiner for pointing out what
    the Refs did was wrong and against the rules?
    And the NFL agrees it’s an illegal practice?

    We should all applaud these geniuses who agree
    with Refs officiating the game based on what
    they see on the Video Board. Yea, that would
    really make the game much better

    Some of you haters need to need a new hobby.

    Just do your job. And the Refs need to do it better
    than they have been.

  28. As Tomlin would tell you, the only appropriate use of the video board is to make sure you are in position to trip the oncoming kick returner.

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