“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.”
AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org
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.
NFL fines handed out to coaches
Fines handed out to coaches by the NFL since 2007:
$500,000 – New England’s Bill Belichick on Sept. 13, 2007 for spying on an opponent’s defensive signals.
$100,000 – Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin on Dec. 4, 2013 for interfering with a kickoff return by an opponent.
$75,000 – New York Jets’ Rex Ryan on Nov. 21, 2011 for cursing at a fan during halftime against New England.
$50,000 -Denver’s Josh McDaniels on Nov. 27, 2010 for videotaping an opponent’s practice in London and not properly reporting the rules violation.
$50,000 – Belichick on Sept. 26, 2012 for making physical contact with an official.
$40,000 – Tennessee assistant Chuck Cecil on Oct. 4, 2010 for an obscene gesture at game officials.
$35,000 – Minnesota coach Brad Childress on Oct. 26, 2010 for criticizing officiating.
$30,000 – Denver’s John Fox and on Sept. 24, 2012 for sideline behavior toward game officials.
$25,000 – Denver assistant coach Jack Del Rio on Sept. 24, 2012, for sideline behavior toward game officials.
$25,000 – New York Jets assistant coach Sal Alosi on Dec. 13, 2010 for tripping Dolphins CB Nolan Carroll on the sideline.
$25,000 – Washington assistant coach Kyle Shanahan on Sept. 25, 2012 for chasing game officials into the tunnel following Redskins loss to Bengals.
$25,000 – Denver’s Mike Shanahan on Dec. 8, 2007 for public comments about NFL’s suspension of Broncos running back Travis Henry.
$25,000 – New York Jets coach Eric Mangini on Sept. 16, 2009 for failure to report injuries accurately involving quarterback Brett Favre.
$20,000 – San Francisco assistant coach Mike Martz on Nov. 19, 2008 for criticizing game officials.
$15,000 – Baltimore coach John Harbaugh on Sept. 21, 2010 for making contact with a game official.
$15,000 – Atlanta coach Mike Smith on Nov. 12, 2009 for being involved in an altercation involving players.
$15,000 – New Orleans coach Sean Payton on Sept. 27, 2008, for criticizing officials.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org