Steelers notebook: Mike Tomlin not expecting fine for comments on officiating
Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin does not expect to be fined by the NFL for his criticism of the officiating in games this season.
Tomlin, a member of the NFL’s competition committee, which proposes rules changes to ownership, said some of the flags thrown Sunday in the Steelers’ 41-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons were a “joke.”
“I said what I said after the game,” Tomlin said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. “I meant it, but I have no further comment. I’m choosing to move on and focus on this week’s challenge.”
The subject arose when Tomlin was asked about two hands-to-the-face penalties called against outside linebacker Bud Dupree.
Tomlin said he took no issue with those penalties, then added, “Some of the other stuff is a joke. We got to get better as a National Football League. Man, these penalties are costing people games and jobs. We got to get them correct, and so I’m (ticked) about it, to be quite honest with you, but that’s all I’m going to say on it.”
Tomlin detailed two new injuries coming out of the win against Atlanta.
Linebacker L.J. Fort, one of the defensive stars against the Falcons as a replacement for Vince Williams, has an ankle injury that could keep him out of practice when the team takes the field Wednesday. Safety Terrell Edmonds has an ankle injury that also could limit him.
Williams (hamstring), wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (ankle) and safety Morgan Burnett (groin) could return to practice this week.
Thinking of Ryan
The trip to Paul Brown Stadium will come 10 months after linebacker Ryan Shazier suffered a spinal cord injury that has kept him from playing this season.
Emotions are sure to surface when the Steelers go into the visiting locker room and step onto the field Sunday afternoon.
“We’ll kind of know that when we get there,” Tomlin said. “I’m sure there will be in some form or fashion. I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about it until this point.”
Sticking by Boswell
Tomlin gave another vote of confidence to kicker Chris Boswell, who missed his third extra point of the season Sunday.
“This is something he has to work through, and he will,” Tomlin said. “This guy didn’t forget how to kick. This guy has delivered for us a lot in last few years. I do not have amnesia in that regards. He’s gotten us out of that stadium in Cincinnati a few times. So I look forward to taking him to Cincinnati.”
Boswell has played a large part in the team’s past three wins at Paul Brown Stadium. He kicked four field goals, including the winner, in the Steelers’ 18-16 playoff victory in 2015. Boswell made six field goals there in 2016 and booted three more, including another winner, in December.
Tomlin wore a Duquesne University hat and T-shirt at his news conference as a show of support for the school’s football program over the death of player Marquis Brown.
“We also thought it was appropriate as members of the community that we make some statement in support of them as I’m sure others have, and we’ll continue to do as they work through what is a difficult time,” Tomlin said.
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.