NFL fines Steelers coach Mike Tomlin $100,000

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 4, 2013 at 6:00 pm •  Published: December 4, 2013
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"It's not supposed to be fair," Clark said. "It's Roger Goodell, so when has he been fair?"

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger doesn't believe Tomlin's near-trip will serve as a distraction for Pittsburgh (5-7), which remains in the playoff hunt as December begins despite an 0-4 start.

"If anything, guys joke about it more," Roethlisberger said. "They're the ones pulling up the pictures online and joking with coach about something. If anything maybe it's a light-hearted fun thing."

The league will not determine whether to take a pick away from Pittsburgh until after the draft order has been set. It would be an unprecedented move for a coach getting involved during a live play.

The NFL fined the New York Jets $100,000 in 2010 when cameras caught strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi tripping a Miami player on the sideline. Alosi was suspended by the Jets and eventually resigned after the season.

Tomlin is hardly in danger of losing his job, and said Tuesday he had not spoken to team owners Dan and Art Rooney II about the situation.

"I would imagine if the Rooneys thought that I was capable of that or they thought my intentions were that, I wouldn't be sitting at this table talking to you guys," he said.

Tomlin makes $5.25 million a season and the fine constitutes less than 2 percent of his annual salary. He can absorb the relatively small financial hit. He's far more concerned about the uncomfortable position he put the league and the Steelers in after failing to get out of the way with any sense of urgency.

"I will take this as an opportunity to strenuously defend the game of football and the NFL. I won't defend myself," Tomlin said. "The people that know me, I don't need to do that. The people that don't know me, they are going to make their judgments any way."

Tomlin's predecessor, Bill Cowher, raised eyebrows but not the ire of the commissioner's office in 1997 when he feigned tackling Jacksonville's Chris Hudson as Hudson ran back a Pittsburgh field goal attempt for a touchdown on the final play of a 30-21 Jaguars victory.

While Tomlin has no plans to change the way he goes about his business, he plans to do a better job of policing himself. The 41-year-old understands this will stick with him once the furor dies down. His goal is to make sure it doesn't stain the team as well.

"The only thing we can control is our preparation and ultimately our play this week," he said. "That's the now and what's immediately ahead of us. I try to relay that sentiment and attitude to our team, and I think it's something they embrace."

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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AP Sports Writers Rachel Cohen in New York, Steven Wine in Miami, Tom Canavan in East Rutherford, N.J. and Dave Ginsburg in Baltimore contributed to this report.



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