Penalties a growing issue for Steelers
By Alan Robinson
Published: Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, 8:08 p.m.
Coach Mike Tomlin coined the phrase “Don't hit the head, don't use the head” that is emphasized in a campaign by UPMC Sports Medicine and the Steelers to help reduce concussions in youth football.
Questions about hits to the head aren't one of Tomlin's favorite topics. At least they weren't Monday.
Tomlin grew testy when asked about his team's 106 yards in penalties Sunday against the Eagles.
“We're not going to dispute calls,” said Tomlin, who is aware that NFL coaches can be fined for any remarks deemed critical of game officials. “Those guys are doing the best they can, particularly in light of some of the instances that we have in today's NFL regarding player safety. We're trying our best to play within the rules, and it's disappointing for us when we don't.”
Tomlin added, “When you're picking up 30 yards in penalties on one drive, that's going to give people an opportunity to score. Obviously, we're trying to rectify those things.”
Asked if he had reviewed the penalty for Ryan Mundy's helmet-to-helmet hit on receiver Jeremy Maclin, Tomlin said, “Guys, I'm not disputing these penalties in here with you. I'll do it in the proper manner with the people at the league office if I have a beef. I'm not going to do it in here. That's unprofessional as far as I'm concerned.”
The Steelers' numerous penalties are becoming a concern. They have more than double the penalty yardage of their opponents, 346-172, and their penalty yardage exceeds their rushing yardage (331).
Their league-leading average of 86.5 yards per game in penalties is far above their average of 53.4 a year ago.
The Packers are tops with 390 penalty yards, but they have played one more game and their per-game average (78 yards) is lower than Pittsburgh's. But the Steelers have drawn at least eight penalties in every game and have 29 (for 294 yards) in their last three games.
Willie Colon, still adjusting from the switch from tackle to guard, was flagged four times for holding Sunday, although one was declined.
“That has been an issue with Willie at times, in terms of over-aggression,” Tomlin said. “But I'd rather say ‘Whoa' than ‘Sic 'em.' ”
Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.