NFL Referees’ Association glad NFL fined Mike Tomlin

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Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was fined $25,000 for criticizing the officiating, and the NFL Referees’ Association is happy about that.

NFLRA executive director Scott Green told NFL Media that his organization supports the action, even if they acknowledge there are mistakes that coaches will mention.

“Are we glad to see the league take a response like that? Yeah. But we’re not saying, ‘Hey, we never make a mistake.’ We make mistakes. [If] you want to point out our mistakes, that’s understandable,” Green said.

Tomlin called the quality of officiating a “joke” after Sunday’s win over the Falcons.

“We’ve got to get better as a National Football League,” Tomlin said . “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.”

It’s hard to fine much to disagree with in Tomlin’s statements. A lot of other coaches are probably glad he said it.

62 responses to “NFL Referees’ Association glad NFL fined Mike Tomlin

  1. the refs are probably pissed because they’ve been giving the Steelers all the calls all these years and now Tomlin cries about it like a baby when one doesn’t go his way

  2. They Refs are horrible he said what he said and meant what he said. If they dont wanna hear quit trying to control games with horrible calls because you want TV time.

  3. The refs are horrible, some of the calls and missed calls are completely ridiculous.
    Hope the refs get fined when they “mess up”.
    Everything Mike Tomlin said was correct, he should resign from the Committee he is on, because obviously he doesn’t agree with their new rules. The QB can barely be touched, its ridiculous.

  4. They do get penalized in some kind of way for being wrong, of course they do.

    Do they care that they are affecting games outcome? That’s the real question. The NFL does, that’s why NY is in on all reviews now.

    If a call comes that keeps jerrah out if the superviwl, you can bet something will change.

    Too bad the catch – no catch wasn’t in the NFC title game or maybe this ship would have already sailed.

  5. As a Ravens fan I don’t care for Tomlin, but in this case he is absolutely correct. He said what every coach. player and fan sees every week. The refs need to be constantly reminded that they are doing a lousy job and they need to get better – or they’ll get fired – just like everybody else out there who can’t do the job they were hired to do

  6. Yeah well Tomlin is an overrated coach who laughed about trying trip a player on the field during a game. Not really concerned about him being pissed off about anything.
    Refs will not get fined, but maybe they should be reprimanded and/or miss a game if they continue to make bad calls.
    Maybe if a ref said in an interview that Mike Tomlin sucked as a coach, he could get fined.
    And BTW, that would be pretty awesome.

  7. Who knew there was a NFL Referees Association?

    Tomlin was right to say it. The officials need to be better at their job or lose their job. Players and coaches lose their NFL careers if they perform badly over a extended period of time.

    Why are the zebras exempt from consequence?

  8. Not a Steelers or Tomlin fan, but Tomlin’s right! Every time there is a Kick-off, Punt, or pass thrown it seems there’s always flags all over the field, especially the “block in the back.” I’ve seen so many flags thrown for that and many times there was not a “whole lot going on.”

  9. and the rest of us will be glad when you guys get better.

    also, the competition does not change rules, and more specifically didnt change this one. Only the owners can actually change the rules by a majority vote.

    so…stop crying about how he shouldnt be on it and the rules changes are his/their fault. you sound uninformed.

  10. You guys have it wrong. The officials are fine, it is the league itself that is the problem. The officials are told how the games are to be called. In the regular season they call almost everything, but you will notice when the playoffs start the penalties are greatly reduced. That is not because the teams are playing better, it is because the league has set the tempo.

  11. annes22 says:
    October 12, 2018 at 9:38 am
    The refs are horrible, some of the calls and missed calls are completely ridiculous.
    Hope the refs get fined when they “mess up”.
    Everything Mike Tomlin said was correct, he should resign from the Committee he is on, because obviously he doesn’t agree with their new rules. The QB can barely be touched, its ridiculous.

    The refs themselves are not horrible. The ambiguous definition of the rules are the problem here. From what constitutes a catch, to the new roughing the passer rules and the lowering the head rule. Rules need to be far more discrete and objective.

  12. Would love to see a ref interviewed after a game…”Damn, that Tomlin sucks- what kind of a game plan was that. The quality of coaching was a joke. We need to get better coaching as a football league. These coaches are costing people games and jobs. The Steelers have to get these corrected”

  13. Humans make mistakes. Yes the game is fast and some calls might be missed. It’s the phantom calls, bias towards a single team, and overreaction to roughing the passer that’s are ruining the game. It’s the bogus explanations each week defending the refs that are mocking the intelligence of fans. If it’s wrong then it’s wrong. Tell us what the refs are doing to get better at it, not make excuses to cover it up.

  14. First off, the Green from the NFLRA didn’t say anything wrong and even he understands Tomlin’s comments. Yes, the NFLRA is glad that the NFL has their back, this is all this is. Also, what Tomlin said wasn’t wrong either, and should be perfectly acceptable. A Ref can only call what they see and as to how they interpret the rules, they will make mistakes, and yes I agree that they are too inconsistent in their calls which is on them as a whole. But most of the blame should be placed on whoever writes the rules and the NFL itself, including Tomlin. They might as well have written a rule that says don’t be mean to QBs, that is wildly subject to interpretation. There is no way to write this clearly so they need to do away with it. If they don’t want the QB to get hurt then bring back the In the Grass rule to give the defense a simple way to sack the QB without hurting them.

  15. Officials should be required to talk to the media after each game just like the players and coaches do instead of hiding for a week and working in a different city the following Sunday without any consequences. If they want air time, that is their chance.

  16. I wish other coaches would speak up for Tomlin you know they agree with him, but then again the NFL can probably fine you for agreeing with someone.

  17. The refs are terrible! The refs are terrible! etc. etc. etc.

    Fine let’s call those guys from 2012.
    Seattle might even have a chance to get into the playoffs.

    It’s far more the league offices and Competition Committee than it is the refs.

  18. Tomlin is right…he shouldn’t have been fined.

    Several games this season have directly been decided by questionable or inconsistent penalty calls. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging the truth.

    Heaven forbid he actually says it though…

    I know coaches are allowed to submit plays after the game that the coaches think were called incorrectly, but what exactly is that doing? Getting a sorry isn’t the same as getting a win instead of a loss…

  19. Just goes to show the problem the NFL has when they protect refs from being held accountable for bad calls.

  20. Unbelievable at all the snowflakes whining about referees and penalty calls.

    Facts, through Week 5:
    – 10,259 total tackles, 391 sacks
    – 5,781 Pass attempts

    – 70 Defensive Pass Interference penalties (1.21% of all pass attempts)
    – 50 Roughing The Passer penalties (0.86% of all passing plays)

    The vast majority of penalties called have been obvious ones.

  21. bondlake says:
    October 12, 2018 at 9:23 am

    Do the fine proceeds fund their retirement?

    I thought all fines go towards Goodell’s bonus check.

  22. akira1971 says: “The vast majority of penalties called have been obvious ones.”

    Forgot to include:

    – there are 7 field officials watching 22 players on every play, each of which can commit multiple fouls on the same play
    – as of Week 5, there has been 9,781 run/pass plays

    The fact is, the NFL is only averaging 13-14 penalties a game (which is NOT different from previous years) is incredible, especially considering a lot of them are no-brainers or pre-snap calls.

    For fans to whine about 2-3 bad calls a week is completely stupid.

  23. I’m a freedom of speech advocate. Do players and coaches sign a contract forbidding them from criticizing the refs? What harm is done with criticizing the refs? It’s not like they’re screaming “fire!” in a crowded theater. The league is run like a cult in some respects.

  24. He is right !…the referees are determining games and losing careers for many persons.You cannot watch a game without wondering if a flag will be thrown after every play.QB’s are pampered primadonnas and defense is a thing of the past.No wonder high scores and QB statistics are off the charts.It is a travesty for any of us who liked old school football.I watch a fraction of the NFL football that I used to and was a rabid NFL fan in the past.Not anymore!

  25. I agree with Tomlin,but the ref’s have the four aces. They should abandon instant replay and get rid of all the former ref’s in the television booth interpreting the rules.Let the players play and let the ref’s rule.

  26. They hate when anyone speaks the Truth.

    I use to watch several games a week. But the rules and refs have gotten so bad that I am only half-heartedly interested in watching my favorite team and absolutely won’t watch any others. The NFL has ‘taken it’s eyes off the ball’ (the fans).

  27. The solution is that every play should be replay eligible… not just a select few… penalties included. Coaches have their limited number of challenges per game. If they think a penalty was so incorrectly called that it justifies review, let them use their challenge. What’s horrible about the situation now is that a ref calls a penalty, the TV announcers review it with their in-house rules expert, and they all agree it’s a bad call. The whole world knows it’s a bad call after review, but the refs can’t change it, even if they wanted to, because it’s not subject to review. Much better to correct it on the spot than to change the outcome of the game. I guess the fact the league issues an apology on Monday makes it all better…

  28. When will the NFL look into the officiating of games having officials more accountable for the calls. Flag happy and inconsistency has hurt the NFL more and more.

  29. would anyone want to be a ref today? I watched a game years ago between the 2 harbaugh’s a flag was thrown and both of them melted down and started to argue even before they knew what the call was.

  30. “We make mistakes. [If] you want to point out our mistakes, that’s understandable,”

    …But it should cost you $25,000?

  31. akira1971 says:
    October 12, 2018 at 11:07 am
    Unbelievable at all the snowflakes whining about referees and penalty calls.

    Facts, through Week 5:
    – 10,259 total tackles, 391 sacks
    – 5,781 Pass attempts

    – 70 Defensive Pass Interference penalties (1.21% of all pass attempts)
    – 50 Roughing The Passer penalties (0.86% of all passing plays)

    The vast majority of penalties called have been obvious ones.


    I don’t have the time or the desire to check these stats or research others, so I’ll just comment: More relevant would be the percentage of sacks or near-sacks that resulted in roughing the passer calls – and how many of those were incorrect? Calls such as these are significant. A sack results in a loss of yards and a loss of down. If the call is incorrect, it not only negates these losses but gives the opponent 15 yards and an automatic first down. Especially in cases where the bad call happens on third down and/or takes a team out of field goal range if not for the penalty, this is significant and can be a game-changer. They may be a small percentage of plays, but their impact is huge.

  32. Refs have been bad for years. Changing the outcome of games. They seem to only be getting worse. People always say it’s bad taste to blame the refs for a loss but I have seen many occasions where a bad call or a no call changes the outcome. Why can’t we blame the refs if they can dictate who wins?

  33. And as is typical in any big organisation, they don’t want to fix the problem, just want the people involved not to talk about it.

  34. Every time I watch a touchdown,long kick return, completed pass or any long gain I hold my breath and wait for it to come back. Happens way too often.

  35. Interesting, so the Refs unanimously believe the NFL made the right call when they fined Tomlin for criticizing the officiating??? Not surprisingly, they got it wrong – again!

  36. Not siding with the refs but, when they’re being told to err on the side of throwing a flag, what do you expect them to do? Especially the rules protecting QBs and receivers.

  37. There probably isn’t poorer officiating than in the past, but with half a dozen HD cameras covering everything on the field, there is nowhere to hide the bad calls. If they are going to use the technology to show the level of officiating, they should use it to FIX the problem. Give a booth team the power to overturn lousy calls without a challenge being used.

  38. Back in the 60’s refs were inconsistent. Every game had a different version of a catch/incomplete, holding/not holding etc. It’s ALWAYS been this way. You people who think everything was great in those days are either too young to have seen it or too old to remember correctly.

    The ONLY consistent thing in ANY sport is that officiating is and always has been somewhat random.

  39. ll hypocrisy aside, as long as Tripper Tomlin thinks it is ok for a ref to publically chastise him if he makes a poor coaching decision….all good

    Sorry. Didn’t realize a coach going for it on 4th and 1 had any effect on the refs and their jobs.. your comparison is totally off base and shows your are clueless..
    In the other hand, refs do okay a role in the outcome of games and jobs….

  40. I don’t necessarily blame the officials; they’re only human and they’re not blowing calls intentionally.

    What bothers me is that the league knows its a flawed system…yet they’re unwilling to make anything other than cosmetic feel good changes

  41. The Referee’s Association is glad that Tomlin got fined because they want what they have always had — total freedom to screw up without anyone pointing it out or holding them accountable for it.
    If I had my way, the head official of every crew would have to face the media after every game just as the head coach and players do. Let them face the music and have to answer for all the mistakes they make, just like the head coaches and players have to do.
    The officials have gotten totally out of control in my view and they need the rug to be pulled out from under them some so they understand that they are not why fans watch the NFL.

  42. This Cowboys fan fully supports Mike Tomlin, and I tip my hat to every single person whose outspoken RE their criticism of the NFL’s piss-poor rules, and even more so, the refs utter failure to officiate within the NFL’s new knitting-circle league…

    I just wish we could get the game back to the way it was played in the 90’s. That was the perfect balance between real football and some player protection…

    It’s unfortunate our beloved game has to be desecrated, dishonored, and destroyed by a few wealthy owners trying to evade litigation costs…

    NFL Football used to be the greatest sport in the world, but now it’s merely a shameless mockery of itself, which continues on only to exploit money from fans, while its leaders pretend to care about anything but money…

    For the record, the NFL couldn’t care less about breast cancer, player safety, the fans, the kids, or anything at all, which doesn’t involve making money…

  43. Someone has to do their job. Most NFL teams this year resemble sorry excuses of fat guys who hate America and will be bankrupt the day they leave the sport.

  44. @itsalwaysabout:
    so we shouldnt expect for things to have improved DRAMATICALLY nearly 60 years later?!

    why isnt there a full-time professional refereeing body yet? it should employ full-time officials who are each competent and well versed in AT LEAST two sports. all four major sports should pay into it. it wouldnt take much creativity to even employ more officials this way. there could/would be PLENTY for them to do nearly year round to support a robust salary. It would give much more flexibility for crew assignments.

    btw, does hockey have these officiating controversies?

  45. Wait, the officials have an association? They must be a terrible association since they can’t their employees full time work.

    I’m glad Tomlin said what he did. Someone has to. This league has always had garbage officiating.

  46. Tomlin wouldn’t have a single winning season if not for all the questionable calls that went the Steelers’ way. Even today, the refs refuse to call holding on the Steelers’ o line and not a peep when Antonio Clown pulled an illegal pick on that “winning” play.

  47. @takeyourpunishmentandquitwhininglikeababy:

    I hope I’m not the only one who sees the irony between your name and your post. do us a favor, learn the rules, have an adult explain what they mean, AND THEN complain about the rules…otherwise, keep calm and whine on

  48. Fire Goodell and all those lawyers that write those confusing rules.
    You are allowing lawyers to help ruin the game, political correctness and all that social justice crap is likewise ruining the sport. Were it not for fantasy, the NFL would really be a joke.

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