Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has declared discussion about the Steelers Wild Card win over the Bengals verboten, although in doing so he hit the entire Bengals organization in square in the face with a 2×4:
Cincinnati is afforded the opportunity to sit around days after the game and rehash what happened. We’re not afforded that opportunity. We have a challenge, a formidable one, waiting on us in Denver.
Tomlin’s attitude is right. Cincinnati has all winter, spring and summer to fret over what went wrong. The Steelers, in contrast, only have 3-4 days to prepare for their AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Denver Broncos.
What Steelers Can’t Discuss, Steelers Nation Can
Tomlin’s view has been seconded by Steelers management, as the Pittsburgh Steelers have banned the media from talking with outside linebackers coach Joey Porter. It was of course during an altercation with Adam “Pacman” Jones that drew a second unsportsman like conduct flag on the Bengals after an illegal hit by Vontaze Burfict on Antonio Brown who’d just been overthrown by Ben Roethlisberger.
In the immediate aftermath of the game, speculation swirled as to what Porter was doing on the field, and whether his intent was to goad the Bengals into committing a penalty.
Behind the Steel Curtain’s Tony Defeo first suggested it Porter may have stirred the pot, Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review went a step further and getting Jeff Hartings, Ike Taylor and James Farrior on the record about Porter’s role. MMQB’s Peter King also implied that he thought Porter had an ulterior motive.
- Speculation has mounted regarding whether the NFL will fine Joey Porter or not.
Assistant coaches generally are not allowed on the field, although they can take to the field to help attend to an injured player. Given Joey Porter’s reputation for proactive behavior – James Harrison got his first start because Porter got thrown out of a game before the kickoff – the assumption that Porter went out on the field with an agenda is an easy one to make.
Fortunately for Porter, the video evidence suggests something else.
As you can see, Joey Porter really was out on the field minding his own business, and it wasn’t until the Bengals attempted to interfere the trainers attending to Antonio Brown that Porter got involved with one of the Bengals. Moreover, Porter is clearly not acting as an aggressor nor is it even clear that he says anything.
- Justice in Roger Goodell’s NFL is arbitrary and whimsical.
The NFL could very well fine Joey Porter for entering the field of play. However, the evidence is clear, the NFL should not fine Joey Porter for his actions at the end of the Steelers-Bengals playoff game.