Chargers coach Brandon Staley on NFL’s taunting emphasis: It’s tough on these players

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Chargers head coach Brandon Staley saw the costly taunting penalty against the Eagles on Thursday Night Football and was reminded of how tough it is to ask players to restrain themselves during emotional moments in big games.

Staley said he understands why the league has cracked down on taunting, but he knows it isn’t always easy for players to comply.

“I know that Philly had one late that was really tough,” Staley said. “I understand the emphasis of the NFL. I also think that it’s really tough to legislate emotion in a game that’s full of it. I don’t have a perfect answer. I just know that it’s tough on these players. It’s tough on them. They have a really, really difficult job. It’s a game that’s based on the energy and emotion of competition, 22 guys going at it, a stadium full of 80,000 people. I think it’s very challenging, I really do. My side is with the players, always. But, what we have to do, the best we can, is to show our players the examples of when it isn’t the right thing. Normally, it’s when you just want to be with your teammates. When you get into that one-on-one situation, or you’re going at somebody else, that’s normally when it happens. Just have to try to do your best. It’s not easy. If it was easy, then you wouldn’t see as many penalties as there are. We’ll just see. We’ll continue to try to make that a point of emphasis.”

The reaction from players and fans to the NFL’s decision to crack down on taunting has been largely negative, but coaches understand that whether they like the rules or not, they need to make sure their players follow the rules.

17 responses to “Chargers coach Brandon Staley on NFL’s taunting emphasis: It’s tough on these players

  1. Brady elbows opponent twice bush league style, right in front of ref, and nothing. Player is ejected for innocuous contact later. That was ridiculous. Another player beside Brady would have been ejected or retrospectively punished.

  2. If the League wants to keep this rule, they should do a better job defining “taunting.” There is too much at stake for “well, I know it when I see it.” There has to be a clear, objective standard, such as “within a yard of an opposing player,” or something.

  3. It’s simple to figure out. Act like you made a tackle before or caught a pass before and don’t get in someone’s face. Players at the lower levels don’t do it or they get flagged. Grown men should be able to follow rules.

  4. If you don’t like being taunted, then stop the guy from making the play. It’s really that simple. Taunting is a great part of the game. Love it

  5. No fun league. The refs should know better when flagging the players if its taunting or just having a litttle fun and showing emotion.

  6. Taunting is just one more knob to turn to adjust the game in a certain direction by the NFL.

  7. Tough on these players…..give me a break. The players weren’t aloud to taunt in high school or college or even pee wee for that matter but NOW it’s hard on them because they are in the pros….really? Nothing wrong with celebrating after making a big play but why do they find it necessary to get in someone’s face and act like a 10 year old. You are an adult act like one.

  8. Judgment calls about behavior rather than the actual play that then impact game outcomes are bad for the game.

  9. The thing about the Avery taunt that made it frustrating for Eagles fans is the very same thing that Staley’s pointing out: it was great to see the kid make that play at a key moment when the Eagles had the momentum. He was exuberant and couldn’t hold back on those emotions. He directed them right at Fournette, who, for his part, got up and head butted him in response (but received no flag).

    Without the rule, the whole thing would’ve seemed like not a very big deal at all, but with the rule, it seemed like it had to be called. It changed the momentum of the entire game back to TB. That seems wrong.

  10. There is a show on EPIX, NFL Icons, Ep 2 is about Emmit Smith breaking Walter Payton’s rushing record. The game, Dallas vs Seattle, Emmitt wired for sound, FOX/the league with at least 3 cameras trained on him at all times. Early in the game, Emmitt took a hard hit and as he was on the carpet of Texas stadium, on all fours, the things some Seahawks players were screaming at Emmitt is exactly what the league is looking out for. I’ll repeat that for the cheap seats. Emmitt Smith, at the game the league knew he would break Sweetness’ record, was on the ground, on his knees and players approaching him, screaming profanity at him. Go ahead, you watch this show and tell me you don’t understand why the league is attempting to crack down on taunting(just don’t have any young children in the room.

  11. People who are upset over inconsistency in taunting calls or the perception some relatively innocuous looking action gets flagged are forgetting that taunting isn’t always based solely – or even in large part – on the player’s actions. What a player SAYS can IN AND OF ITSELF constitute taunting worthy of a penalty. Take for example a player standing over another player who has received a big hit. If the standing player is asking the player on the ground if he is ok, it changes what looks like taunting into innocent behavior. On the other hand, a player can be taunting an opponent with his words without doing anything that LOOKS offensive.

  12. Taunting penalties aren’t acting like a fool is. They guys are highly paid entertainers and need to act accordingly….like they werent raised by wolves.

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