View Full Version : Tomlin takes high road on Seymour hit, penalties

11-24-2010, 07:15 AM
Tomlin takes high road on Seymour hit, penalties

By Scott Brown
Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Trying to set an example for his players, Mike Tomlin refused to get drawn into any talk Tuesday regarding the NFL's emphasis on player safety and how it has impacted the Steelers.

What may be construed as a reluctance by Tomlin to publicly stand up for his players is something entirely different to the fourth-year coach.

As Tomlin sees it, talk about penalties and fines and the NFL's scales of justice can only distract the Steelers, who are 7-3 after a get-well win over the Raiders. His team visits the Bills this Sunday.

"We're not going to get overly concerned about the penalties or the nature and the state of the NFL in terms of how things are being officiated," Tomlin said at his weekly news conference. "All we're going to do is play the game extremely hard, play as fairly as we can, play within the rules and play to win. Those are the things that are at the forefront of my mentality, those are the things I want at the forefront of the team's mentality. Those are the things that we can control."

What the Steelers haven't been able to control is how the NFL has meted out punishment since it started cracking down on what it deems dangerous hits.

Outside linebackers James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley could find out as early as today if they get fined for the third and second time, respectively, since the league renewed its emphasis on player safety.

Harrison and Woodley were each penalized for roughing the passer in the Steelers' 35-3 win over the Raiders. Those were among the 14 penalties assessed against the Steelers for a team-record 163 yards.

A game that lurched rather than flowed because of all the penalties may represent growing pains that are inevitable.

Commissioner Roger Goodell is overseeing what he has called a "culture change" in the NFL, and officials have been told by the league to err on the side of player safety when throwing penalty flags.

That directive may have resulted in three questionable calls against the Steelers on Sunday, including the personal foul penalties on Harrison and Woodley.

What has since enraged Steelers fans and burned up sports-talk radio lines is the $25,000 fine the NFL gave Raiders defensive end Richard Seymour for slugging quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the face.

Seymour got ejected from the game, and afterward, Harrison said the league should consider suspending Seymour. Seymour's fine, as it turned out, is only a third of what the NFL docked Harrison for a helmet to helmet hit that helped lead to the stricter enforcement of a rule that prohibits hitting a defenseless player above the neck.

When asked about Seymour's punishment after he extolled the virtues of the 2-8 Bills during the prologue to yesterday's Q&A session, Tomlin said, "I don't have a reaction. I tend to focus on the things that are relevant to our team moving forward and the things that we can control, and that doesn't fall into either category, really."

Tomlin did allow that he was pleased with how Roethlisberger's teammates came to his defense after Seymour lost his poise.

"I'm excited about the way that they responded. That's part of being good teammates. They're going to protect one another, particularly when they think someone's been wronged, that's just human nature," Tomlin said. "These guys work extremely hard together, they're close personally and professionally, so why should we be surprised about the type of response that occurred Sunday. It's very natural."

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

11-24-2010, 09:30 AM
I wish Tomlin for a change would tell it like it is,get the team in a rage!

Third Rail
11-24-2010, 10:21 AM
You can't really blame him for not saying anything here. The league has already proven that it won't do jack even in times when it is blatantly in the wrong. On the other hand, they WILL fine coaches for criticizing the officials now (which is a heftier fine than slugging someone, as we found out this week because officials' egos are so fragile) so Mike is just protecting his wallet.

I usually criticize Tomlin for not being vocal enough, but in this case, I totally can see why he wouldn't bother saying anything. Plus, keeping the players focused should be top priorty anyway. If I were him, I'd be saying to the team, "Let the bad calls go. We know they're just going to hit us with them again next week and every week, so there's nothing we can do but kick ass in spite of it and still beat the shit out of these teams anyway."

11-24-2010, 01:25 PM
then they should adjust rules so you can throw a red flag out at any time you disagree with a penalty. example....last week when Ryan Clark was called for that "hemet-to-helmet" hit that never happened.....they should have been able to review that and say "BAD CALL". Penalty withdrawn.

11-24-2010, 06:30 PM
I really think he's doing the right thing here. 1 it shows that the Steelers don't need to stoop to their level and be complainers and 2 even if he did complain, I'd expect him to be fined or simply bombarded with even more targeting.

11-24-2010, 08:47 PM
Hes is just being a good company man and not rocking the boat. No big deal just toss your QB under the bus and move on.

11-24-2010, 09:19 PM
That just isn't Mike's style to do that. Or he would be hit with a fine you know. NFL also stands for No Fun League! Meaning fines could be implimented!

11-24-2010, 09:36 PM
I'll take the fine.

On behalf of the Pittsburgh Steelers, I'd like to say...

F^%K Roger Goodell.

11-24-2010, 11:01 PM
Yah, I cant wait til playoffs. Especially if its in the AFC title game in NE and Silverback hits brady .0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 0000000001 sec after he throws the ball and hits him in the chest on a 3rd and 15, then see that yellow handkerchief fly in the air for a 15 yard penalty.

Taking high roads, not saying anything is 90% of the problem right now. No one is (bleep) talking. If you keep quiet, that (bleep) is gonna continue to destroy the game and you wont have a job in 10 years when the NFL has turned into an infirmary report because of 18 games and its flag football. (bleep) Roger Goodell, I hope he chokes on a (bleep) pretzel, the (bleep) is destroying the greatest sport in the world.

The only players that will not have injuries are Qb's. That's it. NFL is turning into the Arena League, that is not football, that is a video game monkey show.

11-25-2010, 12:07 AM
Exactly...I cant wait till harrison hits brady so hard that will give them a reason to suspend him and brady takes his ******y ass out of the game permanently...these qb's, the brady's and manning's are such pussies its pathetic!!!!

Third Rail
11-25-2010, 12:26 AM
Yeah, I love how douchebags across the internet are calling Ben a ***** for going down after a 300 lb. fatass slugs him, yet they don't say jackshit when I've seen Manning hit the ground like he's just heard a gunshot just so a linebacker can't touch him.

Meanwhile I've seen Ben shake off four guys and STILL complete a TD pass.

11-25-2010, 02:28 PM
Yeah, I love how douchebags across the internet are calling Ben a ***** for going down after a 300 lb. fatass slugs him, yet they don't say jackshit when I've seen Manning hit the ground like he's just heard a gunshot just so a linebacker can't touch him.

Meanwhile I've seen Ben shake off four guys and STILL complete a TD pass.

how true. We all remember the Raven's/Pats game a couple years ago when Brady acted like the world's biggest baby....and Ray Lewis called him out publicly after the game. I've ever since had great respect for Ray Lewis.

11-25-2010, 02:57 PM
I don't understand how anyone could say Ben faked it, Seymour came out of nowhere and nailed Ben upside the head after the play was over. Seymour should have gotten at least a 2 game suspension and he would have gotten more if he had of hit Brady like that, and we can all imagine the Hissy Fit that Brady would have put on.

11-25-2010, 08:27 PM
Tomlin has tried the "vocal approach" to dealing with the NFL's front office already-- that was one of his first lessons as head coach. I am surprised to hear folks saying he is "reluctant to back his players". Bullhockey.

Anybody remember his first two seasons, when he tried battling Goodell about all the non-calls for holding during games(for guys blocking Woodley and Sivlerback)? He even went to Goodell's office armed with 20+ hours of video footage showing blatant holding in games that didn't get called. Did Goodell change anything? Do we honestly expect the Commissar to listen to anybody but his teams of lawyers and bureaucrats?

As far as the NFL is concerned, head coaches have no power and no clout at all. Tomlin is doing right by staying out of the "illegal hits" controversey and spotlight.

11-27-2010, 12:14 AM
Kudos to Mike Tomlin for handling it like this. I applaud him for taking this route. IMHO if anyone should be speaking out against Roger Goodell it should come directly from the top. And yes I am talking to you Dan Rooney and Art Rooney II.