Mike Tomlin faces possible fine for his comments about officiating


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.

60 responses to “Mike Tomlin faces possible fine for his comments about officiating

  1. He stated the truth.. and the truth hurts.. like I’ve been told before.. if it doesn’t apply let it fly…

    This team is the #1 most penalized team in the league… of course Mike is gonna be upset!

  2. I’m sure he will be alright financially. Why these tiny fines shut these guys up never made any sense to me.

  3. Calling BS on the Steelers getting latitude as a franchise. The first fine Goodell ever levied was on Dan Rooney and the Steelers strongly supported RG’s candidacy. Tomlin can afford the fine and he voiced his opinion after a blowout win instead of a loss that would have sounded like sour grapes. The calls on Watt and Bostic were ridiculous. Jack Lambert thought the QBs should wear dresses; maybe they should join the MeToo movement.

  4. Mike Tomlin is right to vent. This is ridiculous what is happening now in games. Why should the QB’s be treated like they are so precious? The defensive guys can barely touch them, its ridiculous. Guess the NFL are only interested in Fantasy Stats now, to hell with everything else.

  5. Mike Tomlin your comments are hollow. This is more CYA for you than anything. You are in the Competition Committee, you are apart of the group who created and approved these rules. You are one of the people to blame. And not just for this rule, you have been apart of the committee for a long time and lot of these rules came about with your approval. Please stop acting like your in favor of the players.

  6. I’m usually a ‘don’t blame officiating’ guy. Officiated HS Football in WA State for yrs. But he’s 100% right, it’s getting ridiculous. I really think there’s too many officials on the field and they can’t wait to throw a flag and effect the game. Go to a 5 man crew now that instant replay is so much more advanced. It’s been said before, there are 3 teams that take the field, one being the officiating crew, but that team should be invisible. That and remove the Officiating experts from the booth, that just leads to a lot more confusion with the amount of subjective rules the NFL has.

  7. The NFL is really shown a terrible trend;

    2014 – is that the year we (and the NFL) couldn’t figure out what a catch was?
    2015 – deflate gate and that charade by the NFL
    2016 – changes in catch rule does……, nothing but confuse us further. Throw in football PSI being treated like the secret Coke recipe.
    2017 – catch rule gets even worse. And in more shenanigans from Park Plaza it is clear the new catch rules are not enforced in the playoffs.
    2018 – more dumb rules that even the competition committee did not want. And officiating gets even worse, maybe by a magnitude.

    What did I miss?

  8. yeah sure, keep dreaming – this fine will be assessed right after they get to the bottom of that investigation into the slippery Steelers and Le”Veon Bell not being reported on the injury list leading up to 2016 AFCCG when he played about 3 snaps and was obviously injured going into the game and they didnt want the Pats to know about it… Remember how the league was going to look into that matter (and Florio you were supposed to stay on that one BTW!!!!!!!!!!!) – BUT, it actually got the Seahawks and their similar slipperiness with Richard Sherman injury reporting at that same time out of their mess with the league on same infraction… As we all have seen time and time again, the Steelers and Giants franchises are ALWAYS held to a different (and favored) standard by league office when it comes to these matters…

  9. curious to hear people say he shouldn’t be fined for ‘speaking the truth’ about his employer and its product
    when those same folks decry other employees’ protesting at their place of work.

    Either it’s ok or it’s not.

    ….or is it about when you agree with someone, it’s ok?

  10. Why is the NFL afraid of being accountable for anything? That is all the fines are doing, preventing the general population of NFL employees from questioning authority and holding them accountable. It is dictatorship, plain and simple.

  11. When a member of the Competition Committee thinks things are out-of-hand what does that say? This is Exhibit A of how absolutely NOBODY knows what exactly is going on with the officiating. They’ll flag something and the official after the game will explain it by describing an incident totally unlike what happened. It’s like they’re watching a totally different game.

  12. 50-year-old amateur referees close to qualifying for AARP running around trying to officiate 20-something pro-athletes.

    It’s embarrassing to watch.

  13. The NFL only fines coaches, and since Tomlin is a cheerleader, he gets a pass.

    Sometimes stupid can be cute…..this is both.

    Tomlin is correct, but the refs are enforcing the rules as written so who’s fault is that? Tomlin needs to instill much more discipline for that team and stop the teachable penalties.

  14. This is oddly familiar to when the Steelers were accused of using under-inflated balls and there was no follow up, fine, investigation, or punishment of any kind.

  15. He couldn’t be more right. It’s going to take some NFL coaches, players and executives to speak for things to change. They may have to brave some fines or hand slaps to save the game from this crap.

  16. Tomlin is such a hypocrite. I mean you are on the competition committee which signed off on these changes are you not? Sorry but st the very least you are sending a very mixed message and Contradicting yourself.

  17. This from a guy who literally ran on to the field and blatantly cheated and then blatantly lied about it and got away with it. And he is actually on the competition committee. The mind reels at the hypocrisy of it.

  18. “This team is the #1 most penalized team in the league… of course Mike is gonna be upset!”

    Then maybe Tomlin and his staff should spend a day of practice focusing on fundamentals and coaching to avoid penalties. Better coached teams tend to have fewer penalties.

  19. I’m not a fan of anybody in the steelers organization but Tomlin is right to complain about this, as are all coaches and players. The officiating is OUT OF CONTROL! Really I’d like to see the players and coaches get together and formally protest the terrible officiating we’ve seen at ALL games this year so far. Especially the roughing the passer and targeting calls. Even when the plays are reviewed, the guys in NY still get it wrong sometimes, or is replay being used to influence the outcome of games for the purpose of promoting certain teams? It seems as if the league is attempting to exercise total control over players and coaches. How about a league wide forfeit of all games for one week…!!!

  20. “derp363 says:
    October 8, 2018 at 11:08 am
    stop complaining and learn the rules. the rules aren’t going to change just because you don’t like them.”

    It wasn’t a complaint about the number of calls, or the rules, it was a complaint about the ridiculous RTP calls being made. The Steelers have been penalized 3-4 times on highly questionable calls for RTP. This week it was a weak call on TJ Watt when he barely hit Matt Ryan low after going out of his way to avoid hitting him low. There were also some highly questionable calls yesterday that weren’t RTP. It wasn’t Tomlin yelling at the refs but he’s made multiple comments thus far in regards to the calls on the field ruining he play of he game. Something that pretty much any fan will agree with .

  21. Nofoolnodrool says:
    October 8, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Tomlin is correct, but the refs are enforcing the rules as written so who’s fault is that?


    The owners are at fault. They’re the ones pushing these absurd rules and they’re the ones approving them. They have final say.

  22. you couldnt beat the browns. the BROWNS trips. please do us steeler fans a favor and resign already. you suck.

  23. The officiating may stink at times,but if you win the game,don’t say anything. Tomlin has about as much discipline as his players,which isn’t much.

  24. I don’t normally give Tomlin credit for much, but in this case, he’s right. They are so inconsistent in the way they call personal fouls, and rough penalties. They have on multiple occasions, and I’m not just talking about Steelers’ games, allowed drives to be kept alive when under normal circumstances, the defense would be off the field. Just as an example, in the NE/Indy game Luck was sacked with full body weight twice (no call), Brady a helmet tap (PF call) . You could insert any two teams in that scenario, the point is, the rules are not being applied in a consistent manner.

  25. Where was tomlins rage at the zebras when they were heavily aided in two of their victories by phantom roughing the passer calls?

  26. Nofoolnodrool says:
    October 8, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Tomlin is correct, but the refs are enforcing the rules as written so who’s fault is that?


    No, the refs aren’t enforcing the rules as written, not in every case at least.

    Look at the ridiculous roughing penalties that are executed as the described “good hit” on the QB (putting out hands, so you’re not falling with entire weight on the QB, etc.). I can’t even remember all the guys I’ve seen this bogus call affect (but Clay Matthews was certainly one of them).

  27. he should be fined for the cheap shots and late hits his team was involved with. not that he has any control over “his” team anyway.

  28. Getting a win doesn’t excuse refs for horrible calls, that actually sounds worse, as if you’re justifying them doing a bad job. It’s unfortunate that in a very good season so far, there’s at least two stories a week dominating headlines about poor officiating.

  29. In March 2018… he pittsburgh steelers team doctor richard rydze
    was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for the
    illegal distribution of anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, and narcotic painkillers.

    NO FINE.

    So… who gets what?!?

  30. The NFL has an officiating problem…too many times this year questionable call had major impacts on the outcome of games. If fans think the officials are choosing how to make calls, the league is done.

  31. its not the officials its the NFL making these terrible rules year after year destroying our game, for instance eagles game onside kick, great kick, but the eagles guy was a split second too late, i wonder why..oh that running start they can’t have anymore, oh yea forgot about the onside kick didn’t ya NFL…might as well delete it now, that seems to be your solution anyways.

    same with the roughing calls NFL is making these ridiculous rules and officials are calling them blame the rules it makes it impossible not to call with the current set.

  32. He is right, the officiating stinks. Didn’t hear him complain though on that horrid roughing call where the guy literally grazed roethlisbergers helmet and he flopped like a fish..

  33. with all the bogus calls, penalties, and/or reviews, the games have become unwatchable…watch the red zone but don’t know if I’m going to renew next year…hate to say it but there’s more hitting in hockey than the NFL…

  34. bondlake says:
    October 8, 2018 at 12:42 pm
    There should NOT be fines for telling the truth.


    That’s right. And there shouldn’t be fines for Coach Tomlin tripping Ravens players.

  35. “Regardless, Tomlin crossed a line that others have crossed…”

    The jokes write themselves.

  36. The NFL has no leg to stand on when they try to talk about “integrity of the game” until they extinguish their officiating problems.

  37. When are the officials going to get fined for the wrong calls on the field?
    Sorry, I forgot its a Goodell league.

  38. How about the game a couple weeks ago where a hand touched Roethlisbrgers helmet and he flopped soccer style and got the roughing the passer penalty.

  39. Just stop complaining about the officiating! It’s not going to change anything and is just a waste of time and energy.

  40. Tomlin is correct, the officiating is so bad it is causing teams to win or lose. This QB thing is awful and they have forgotten the great helmet rule

  41. No one should ever be fined for criticising rules, officials, offiating, the league, or specific members of the league office. Or anyone or thing else I can think of for that matter.

  42. Tomlin doesn’t get enough credit for being a really solid coach in this league. His record speaks for itself. He’s one of the best. Now let’s see the thumbs on this one.

  43. I’m convinced the Steelers would just as many games with only an O coordinator and D coordinator, no HC. Tomlin stinks.

  44. so much to unpack here.
    1. @grumpysal: so i can only assume you call ALL coaches who show emotion on the sidelines “cheerleaders”? or is that a thinly veiled dog-whistle you’re blowing?

    2. pretty sure that rule changes voted on by the competition committee are decided by some formula of majority rule, and not required to be unanimous. even if he did approve them, wouldnt logical thought say he’s voicing displeasure over officiating to the “letter” of the rule, not the spirit of it?

    3. he WAS fined for the tripping incident. $100,000 if memory serves

    4. we’re favored by the league and the refs huh? but we’re the most penalized team, and Ben was the first of many suspended for “being involved” but not charged or convicted for unbecoming behavior…sounds more like paranoia and deflection.

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