Even In Victory Mike Tomlin's Steelers Pile Up The Penalties

The Coach Feels For Fans Having To Watch Penalty-Filled Games

Eric Hagman
September 25, 2018 - 5:14 pm
Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin

Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh (93.7 The Fan) - 13 penalties for 155 yards.  In a win. The Steelers lived dangerously in Tampa Monday night, and Mike Tomlin knows his team isn't going to win many games with those penalty numbers.

"I understand  it was an emotional game, a big game," Tomlin said Tuesday afternoon.  "But, boy we have to be cleaner than we played last night.  We played hard, but we have to play cleaner.  We have to play smarter."

Some of the penalties were questionable--especially those called under the new roughing the passer rules.

"Penalties were called in a similar fashion on both sides," Tomlin said.  "I don't worry a lot about how the game is being officiated provided it's being officiated in a similar way, and I thought it was from that perspective."

Tomlin then took a fan's viewpoint.

"As somebody that appreciates the game and understands that we are in the sport entertainment business, it is worrisome from the fan perspective," he said.  "I do worry about what it's like to watch that game at home with penalties being administered at the rate they were."

Steelers fans have grown accustomed to penalty-filled games.  Through three games, the Steelers have committed 37 penalties, by far the most in the NFL.

"It's much too early in the season for me to paint with a broad brush and look at global things," Tomlin said when asked about the Steelers' penchant for penalties in comparison with other teams. 

Tomlin is a member of the NFL's competition committee, which is scheduled to hold a conference call next week to discuss the huge increase in roughing the passer penalties.  Some members of the committee believe the officials are going too far with the calls.  Tomlin said he wouldn't speculate on the nature of the conference call.

Other items addressed by Tomlin during his news conference:

  • Matt Feiler "did an awesome job" subbing for injured right tackle Marcus Gilbert.
  • Gilbert, David DeCastro and Morgan Burnett could return to face the Ravens Sunday night at Heinz Field
  • He replied "keep watching" when asked if punter Jordan Berry redeemed himself.
  • About the reports that Le'Veon Bell is available in a trade,  Tomlin said, "I'm not talking Le'Veon.  I'm just not.  There's nothing new to add."