Steelers coach Mike Tomlin openly criticized NFL officiating after Sunday’s 41-17 win. Typically, that kind of behavior results in a fine from the league office.
Tomlin doesn’t believe that will happen.
Via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Tomlin told reporters on Tuesday that he doesn’t expect to be fined by the NFL.
“I said what I said after the game,” Tomlin said. “I meant it.” (Well, there goes the potential defense based on the comments being fueled by the emotion of the game.)
Tomlin told reporters after the victory over Atlanta that some of the calls being made are “a joke.”
“We’ve got to get better as a National Football League,” Tomlin said on Sunday. “Man, these penalties are costing people games and jobs. We’ve got to get them correct. And so I’m pissed about it, to be quite honest with you. But that’s all I’m going to say on it.”
NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent already has spoken to Tomlin about the comments. He’s a member of the Competition Committee, which possibly gives him some sort of a dispensation for the critical remarks. Or maybe the league’s position will be that it was generalized criticism and not an attack on a specific call.
Regardless, letting Tomlin go without a fine will become a potential invitation to others to do the same. Unless the league will be selectively applying the rules. Which never happens. Ever.