Mike Tomlin's criticism of officiating will officially cost him.
The NFL has fined Tomlin $25,000 for his harsh words related to those wearing the stripes in Pittsburgh's 41-17 win over Atlanta, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported. The Steelers have no comment on the fine, Pelissero added.
Tomlin voiced his frustration and concern about the state of officiating after the game -- a contest in which 14 penalty flags were thrown and accepted -- calling the questionable calls "a joke" and asking the NFL to "get better."
While we've spent hours and hours examining and attempting to devise solutions to further refine the roughing the passer penalty, Watt was flagged for a rule that has been in place for some time. Known to some as the "Tom Brady Rule" (thanks to its institution after Brady tore his ACL by way of a defender diving into his knees in Week 1 of the 2008 season), Watt was flagged for diving near the legs of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. As an example of how the game has changed with the rules, Ryan signaled to an official for a flag as his knee hit the turf.
It appeared to be more of a stumble than an intentional dive, but it all counted the same in the eyes of an official -- and came two plays after Bud Dupree drew an illegal use of hands penalty, further intensifying the emotional response to perceived slights.
When it rains, it pours.
"Man, these penalties are costing people games and jobs," said Tomlin, one of the two head coaches on the league's competition committee. "We got to get them correct, and so I'm pissed about it, to be quite honest with you, but that's all I'm going to say on it."
Though that was all he had to say, it was enough to make his wallet lighter.