Steelers coach Mike Tomlin opted to vent regarding subpar officiating, after Sunday’s victory over the Falcons. It could end up costing him.
Unless it doesn’t.
NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent already has been in touch with Tomlin regarding his comments, and the situation is being reviewed for a fine, according to NFL employee Ian Rapoport.
Here’s the caveat from Rapoport: “[O]ften post-game comments are given more latitude because of the emotion involved.”
First of all, I’ve never heard of that latitude in the past, when fines have been imposed on coaches who have criticized officials in post-game comments. Second of all, the Steelers easily won by 24 points; what did Tomlin have to be emotional about?
It feels like the league may be setting things up to give Tomlin a mulligan, given his position on the Competition Committee, the general influence the Steelers organization has at 345 Park Avenue, and/or the fact that Tomlin’s criticisms were accurate and perhaps necessary.
Regardless, Tomlin crossed a line that others have crossed, and others have paid for. It sounds like the league is trying to float a balloon here that Tomlin may be getting a pass.