Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin sent the NFL a strong statement about of officials are calling games this year. The Steelers were penalized eight times for 76 yards in their Week 7 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.
The Steelers aren’t the only NFL team complaining about refereeing this week. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay called for a change in how officiating replay should work in the final minutes of a game. Irsay’s comments came following the NFL’s admission that they blew calls at the end of the Colts’ loss to the Cleveland Browns in Week 7.
Pittsburgh Steelers will adjust to the NFL officials
Tomlin is choosing to be proactive about officiating as a head coach. According to Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Tomlin said he’s responsible for making adjustments before and during the game based on what officiating crew is on the field:
“Often times it’s our job to feel the tenor of a crew and adjust our behavior accordingly,” Tomlin said. “We got into that game and the officials had a certain tenor, and we didn’t adjust to it.”
Tomlin noted that after an early-game play in which running back Najee Harris was jawing with Rams players after a whistle, officials had alerted the Steelers that they were on alert for any additional like antics.
The Steelers twice were flagged for taunting in the fourth quarter. While Tomlin believes his team could have avoided such issues Sunday, not every officiating crew will be so liberal with the flags for taunting.
“So, am I worried about those issues moving forward? No, I am not,” Tomlin said. “But it’s a great opportunity to talk about learning the tenor of a crew.”
Tomlin’s comments are not too far off from how many coaches operate. Coaches sometimes tell players to hold on to the other team’s jersey until the officials call it. If they call it, then it’s time to back off.
However, Tomlin’s comments appear to mean the NFL doesn’t have a uniform policy when it comes to enforcing specific rules, like taunting. That’s a problem. The NFL must standardize their rulebook and enforce it equally.
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