Tomlin called NFL penalties "a joke" during the Steelers' postgame press conference last week.

By Alaa Abdeldaiem
October 10, 2018

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has been fined $25,000 by the NFL for criticizing officials on Sunday, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported on Wednesday.

The punishment comes after Tomlin ripped the frequency of penalties during the Steelers' 41-17 Week 5 win over the Atlanta Falcons at his postgame press conference. Tomlin, a member of the NFL's competition committee, said some calls were understandable. He believed others needed some explaining.

"Some of the other stuff, man, is a joke," Tomlin said. "We gotta get better as a National Football League. Man, these penalties are costing people games and jobs. We gotta get 'em correct. And so I'm pissed about it, to be quite honest with you. But that's all I'm gonna say on it."

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One of the calls in question was a roughing-the-passer penalty against linebacker T.J. Watt, who was trying to make a play on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.

The Steelers have been flagged more than any team in the NFL and were penalized seven times for 58 yards during the game on Sunday.

Tomlin spoke with the NFL's executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent on Monday and maintained on Tuesday that he did not expect to be fined. The NFL, however, ruled on Wednesday that Tomlin had crossed the line by venting his frustrations publicly.

Tomlin still said on Tuesday that he stood by his criticisms.

"I said what I said after the game," Tomlin said. "I meant it, but I have no further comment."

The Steelers (2–2–1) will travel to Cincinnati (4–1) for an NFC North matchup against the Bengals on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

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