Steelers’ Mike Tomlin concerned about viewers in flag-happy NFL |

Steelers’ Mike Tomlin concerned about viewers in flag-happy NFL

Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin speaks to the media during his weekly news conference Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018 at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

Mike Tomlin has no qualms with how Monday night’s game was officiated from a competitive or fairness standpoint. The Pittsburgh Steelers coach is concerned, though, about how the abundance of flags might be affecting the product the NFL is selling to the public.

“As somebody who loves football,” Tomlin said during his weekly news conference, “that probably wasn’t a fun game to watch.”

The Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers combined for 28 penalties (24 of which were accepted) that resulted in 235 yards of field-position change in what ended up a 30-27 Steelers victory. The Steelers were responsible for 13 of those accepted penalties for 155 yards – the third consecutive game to begin the season in which they were penalized at least 12 times.

Tomlin acknowledges that the Steelers need to play “cleaner” if they are going to be successful. But what perhaps is bothering him just as much, to borrow one of his phrases, is the global perspective of how all the flags are harming the league and the sport.

“I don’t worry a lot about the way the game is being officiated provided it’s being officiated in a similar way (for both teams),” Tomlin said.

“But as somebody as appreciates the game and understands we’re in the sports and entertainment business, it is worrisome from the fan perspective. I do worry about what it’s like to watch that game at home, with penalties being administered at the rate that they were.”

That Tomlin opened up his news conference speaking about the abundance of penalties suggests a legitimate concern.

As a member of the NFL’s competition committee, Tomlin has some power in changing rules, although he said Tuesday that he was speaking more from a fan and steward-of-the-game perspective than as someone with an official role on the committee.

The Steelers are the NFL’s most-penalized team this season – by far – at 12.3 per game, a rate that is almost double what they were flagged last season (6.2 per game).

According to, teams are averaging 7.3 penalties per game this season, up from 6.6 last season.

Hey, Steelers Nation, get the latest news about the Pittsburgh Steelers here .

Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at [email protected] or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.