Dolphins special-teams coach fined for being on field

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So much for the $100,000 fine imposed on Steelers coach Mike Tomlin keeping coaches out of the white stripe and/or off the field.

According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, Dolphins special-teams coach Darren Rizzi was on the field and collided with an official as Steelers safety Troy Polamalu returned a missed field goal with a couple of laterals just before halftime of the Week 14 game at Heinz Field.

No flag was thrown.

Per Glazer, who had video of the incident, Rizzi quietly was fined $10,000 this week.  The difference in punishments between Rizzi and Tomlin surely arises from the difference in title and responsibility.  The Dolphins apparently weren’t fined separately for the infraction.

The officials’ failure to throw the flag, which would have given the Steelers an untimed down from the Miami 26 in a game ultimately decided by six points, strengthens the case for adding this specific violation to the list of plays that can be reversed via replay.

We’ve previously reported that the league isn’t inclined to give teams a way to play “gotcha” when a coach strays into the white stripe behind a play.  Still, teams currently can secure via replay review five extra yards if a 350-pound lineman fails to get off the field when lumbering to the sideline away from the action.  Why not expand that to include coaches who are on the field or in the white stripe?

If fines after the fact don’t clear out the white stripe, a real-time award of field position will.

23 responses to “Dolphins special-teams coach fined for being on field

  1. The Minnesota Vikings impending dynasty will hit the NFL by storm, but don’t say you didn’t hear it here first.

    Talent wise, we have the best team in the NFL and arguably one of the best teams of all time (other than QB).

    Once we draft our franchise QB (and we will) multiple superbowls will be coming to Minneapolis. They are setting themselves up to dominate the NFC for the decade.

    Every team will start trying to emulate the Vikings in every way.
    Every fan will be jealous of Vikings nation.
    Every owner will be jealous they don’t own a historic future dynasty team like the Vikings.
    Every coach will fear traveling to Minneapolis to face the best team to ever play.
    Every other teams players wish they’d have been drafted by the superior Vikings roster.
    Every GM will wish they had the drafting smarts that Rick Spielman has.

  2. Of course no video. Probably because if you watch it it doesn’t fit the narrative the stealers got jobbed. Rizzi wasn’t the only one on the field on that play just the only one run into by a ref.

  3. ACTUALLY, if Polamalu was down at the 26, with the 15 yards for the penalty, the Steelers would have had the untimed down from the 41. That is 59 yards from the end zone. WELL WITHIN the range for a hail Mary from Big Ben.

  4. Running into official may impact a call on play, but interfering with a player, especially one with the ball, absolutely impacts a play. Running into the official or getting in his way has been happening forever and frequently at all levels of football…Tomlin rates just lower than Tommy Lewis in the 1954 Cotton bowl, a TD was awarded and he was a player (college ball)…The only other Coach I can recall entering the field of play and materially impacting a play was Woody Hayes punching the Clemson player during an active play after an Art Schester pick and Mafia Sal the special teams coach for the Jets v Doplins (Alosi wasn’t in the mafia but Art will give you 25:1 he was. Hint, don’t take his check).

  5. Dang, I thought Tomlin was the only coach on the field or least the raven cry babies led me to believe that. Because it wasn’t the steelers it was kept quiet……hmmm.

  6. And because it wasn’t a Steeler coach, Roger will not take away your draft pick either.

    Complete joke the way the NFL (National Fine League) handled the whole Tomlin thing. JOKE!!!

  7. This is unacceptable. Miami should have to give up their first-round draft pick for the next five years, be fined $10,000,000, and Rizzi should have to forfeit his first-born child. Anything less would clearly be an injustice.

  8. @stealthscorpio:

    Charlie Bauman was tackled on the sideline and was out of bounds when Woody Hayes grabbed him and punched him. The play was over. It wasn’t an “active play”.

  9. The tomlin incident was blown way out of proportion by the media. Jacoby jones wasn’t going to score, but having said that the league wanted to make an example of tomlin and ensure other teams didn’t do the same. So after two weeks of media attention, and talk about 100K fines, loss of draft pick, you still have a coach commit the same infraction, and yet it’s only 10K. Shouldn’t the fine be equal or greater since the league just placed so much emphasis on the tomlin incident? And to top it off, it happened only 2 weeks later. Typical unbalanced punishment by the league.

  10. would really like to know how the NFL comes up with these fine amounts, it’s not consistant and honestly seems like it depends on what team or player commits the infraction. You never see the Patriots get fined unless Roger can’t hide the infraction (aka spygate) while other teams and players just seem to get reamed at every opportunity.

    Really miss the days when the NFL was fun to watch unlike now with all the “safety” oriented changes Roger has put in, you’d never see the Icky Shuffle or Prime time’s Celebrations in today’s NFL.

  11. 2 things:

    to peytonwantsaflag: There was video of the play presented by Jay Glazer on the Fox Sports pregame show today, around 12:25, EST. Coach was clearly on the field, official ran into him, practicall knocked him down, no flag. In fact, there were several Dolphins players and coaches in the 6 foot sideline area, as there are on every play in every game. You can see video of the play at

    to nickster31: The play ended at the MIAMI 41, so a 15 yard penalty would have moved the ball to the MIAMI 26 for one untimed play. Impossible to say if this would have changed the outcome of the game, but if there was one game last week where a penalty like this should have been called, it would be in a game involving Pitttsburgh

  12. Tomlin deliberately prevented the Ravens from scoring a touchdown. Steelers’ fans who want to equate that to a pointless, frantic field goal return are…well…typical deluded Steelers’ fans. No surprise there.

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