NFL gives Steelers coach Mike Tomlin a $25,000 fine for criticizing officials

Yahoo Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin had to know, as he ripped the officials after Sunday’s game, that it was going to cost him.

Tomlin’s rant wasn’t cheap. The NFL fined Tomlin $25,000 for criticizing officials, Jarrett Bell of USA Today reported.

Tomlin’s comments came after a blowout win over the Atlanta Falcons. Imagine how pointed those comments would have been had the Steelers lost. His frustration with the officials isn’t unique, but he’s the one who spoke out about it, and paid the price.

Tomlin is a member of the NFL’s competition committee, and the stiff fine is probably due to the league not wanting someone on the competition committee criticizing the officiating.

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was fined $25,000 for critical comments about officials. (AP)
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was fined $25,000 for critical comments about officials. (AP)

Mike Tomlin was ‘pissed’ at the officials

Tomlin didn’t single out any calls after the game, but that didn’t save him a fine. Here’s what he said after the game:

“We’ve gotta get better as a National Football League,” Tomlin said. “Man, these penalties are costing people games and jobs. We’ve gotta get ’em correct. And so I’m pissed about it, to be quite honest with you. But that’s all I’m gonna say on it.”

Imagine the mount of the fine if Tomlin’s comments had been more than five sentences.

Tomlin didn’t expect to be fined, according to TribLive.com, but that was probably wishful thinking. The NFL doesn’t take kindly to coaches calling out its officials.

“I said what I said after the game,” Tomlin said Tuesday, according to TribLive. “I meant it, but I have no further comment. I’m choosing to move on and focus on this week’s challenge.”

Tomlin isn’t the only one who has been upset with calls this season

Tomlin was probably speaking for many coaches. It’s likely Tomlin was upset about a roughing-the-passer penalty on Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt. He barely touched Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan’s legs and Ryan didn’t go down, but Watt was given a penalty anyway.

Many NFL players, coaches and fans are frustrated at the increased protection for quarterbacks this season. But most players and coaches know what will happen if they speak out too much about officiating. Tomlin knew the consequences too, and he’ll pay for it.

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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