Penalty-heavy Steelers invite officials to practice


The Pittsburgh Steelers have been one of the most penalized teams in the NFL this season. To help fix that problem, Mike Tomlin has invited officials to practice this week in an effort to cut down on the incessant infractions.

Teams often have officials at practices during training camp, but the practice is much less common in the regular season. The Steelers have piled up 387 yards in penalties through four weeks.

"The ones that really get me going are the pre-snap penalties because that's concentration, that's detail, that's cohesion, that's game readiness -- and we had too many of those," Tomlin said Tuesday, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

One of the most penalized Steelers has been wide receiver Antonio Brown, who was flagged 15 yards for his (rather brilliant) imitation of a spinning football. Somewhat surprisingly, the Steelers have taken Brown's post-score exuberance quite seriously.

"The bottom line is scoring has got to become routine for him," Tomlin said. "He's got to hand the ball over to the official and come over to the sideline and get ready to do it again."

"I'll tell him, 'Listen, you're one of the best wide receivers in the league. You're not a fifth- or sixth-rounder trying to prove yourself anymore,' " Roethlisberger said on KDKA-FM in Pittsburgh. "He's one of the best. He's going to have to start being one of our leaders, and not let those things happen."

The mood doesn't seem too light in Pittsburgh right now. This can happen when you're coming off a grisly home loss to "one of the worst NFL teams."

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