Football coaches have plenty of different ways to coach football players. Laying hands on football players should no longer be one of those ways, regardless of whether it was ever acceptable (and, for decades, it was).
That’s the message the NFL sent on Wednesday, loudly and clearly, by imposing punishment on Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians for slapping the helmet of defensive back Andrew Adams, and then following through with an elbow.
The league has announced, through its in-house media conglomerate, that Arians has been fined $50,000 for the incident. PFT previously has explained that, despite the absence of much discussion nationally or locally on the matter, the situation was “being handled” by the league.
Arians expressed defiance when asked about the situation on Monday, saying “I’ve seen enough dumb” and explaining that Adams was about to be penalized for pulling an Eagles player away from a pile resulting from a muffed punt.
As previously explained here and during our weekday real estate on Peacock, it was critical for the league to send an unmistakable message to coaches at every level of every sport. There is a boundary that cannot be crossed when it comes to interacting with players.
Plenty will disagree. If you do, you’re wrong. Too many yay-hoos and bullies who coach youth football used to think it was OK to verbally and/or physically abuse players. By fining Arians, the NFL has reminded all football coaches and those responsible for hiring and firing them that there is a bright line that cannot be crossed, even in the name of tough love or “hard coaching.”