Lack of clarity on pass interference ‘frustrating’ to Mike Tomlin, Steelers
Coach Mike Tomlin is still trying to get a grasp on the new NFL rule that subjects pass plays to replay review when determining whether interference was committed.
He sounded as frustrated as ever Tuesday at his weekly news conference when asked about the latest ruling that went against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Upon replay review, an offensive pass interference call against wide receiver Johnny Holton was upheld in the first quarter of the Steelers’ 27-3 victory against the Cincinnati Bengals. Holton appeared only to make slight contact with the defensive back as they went for the ball.
Tomlin challenged the call — only to lose it and a timeout. It was the 11th consecutive challenge Tomlin lost dating to the 2017 postseason. Even the addition of Teryl Austin to assist with challenges didn’t work in Tomlin’s favor.
Tomlin’s frustration was evident Tuesday when he was asked whether the ruling would affect if throws the challenge flag in the future.
“I have no idea what it’s going to look like moving forward. If anybody does, I’d appreciate it,” Tomlin said. “I don’t think any of us has a feel for what that looks like, and I’m just being honest. I don’t have any idea moving forward. It appears to be a moving target.”
Two weeks earlier, the Steelers thought they had forced a third-down incompletion on a deep pass by Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll challenged the call, and interference was called against safety Terrell Edmunds upon replay review. The drive continued and the Seahawks scored a touchdown to increase their lead to nine points in a 28-26 win.
Tomlin is a member of the NFL Competition Committee that was tasked with drawing up the rule proposal. He was not a proponent of additional replay review, and his stance hasn’t changed.
“It’s just frustrating as a football coach,” he said. “There’s a lot of things that are frustrating. We’re trying to get it right. It’s just difficult to nail down at this juncture.”
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .