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‘A Lot of Emotions’: Mike Tomlin Defends Roughing the Passer Officiating



Steelers HC Mike Tomlin

PHOENIX — Mike Tomlin will not be among those that will crucify referees for some of the roughing the passer calls that were called in the 2022 season. While many complained about the enforcement of the rule during the season in crucial moments, Tomlin brushed much of that off to in-the-moment emotion.

One idea on the rule would be to allow roughing the passer to become reviewable. In many senses of that, it has offered comparisons to when the NFL allowed pass interference to be reviewable. However, Mike Tomlin might not be one of those in favor of the rule, instead, he seems to be toeing the line on keeping it where it is at this stage.

We looked at a lot of it and have discussed many parts of it because it is a hot-button topic,” Tomlin said. “There are a lot of emotions when those flags fall on the ground because it’s a significant play that occurs in significant moments. Based on the analysis that we saw man, I respect the level of officiating the play is given. Sometimes our reactions are just that, emotional.”

There are other rules, such as the implementation of XFL-style rules that he does not love. Other coaches, however, came out strongly against the officiating of roughing the passer. One of those is new Broncos head coach Sean Payton, who believes the league has to look at the rule closely.

“Roughing the passer, I’m not going to say it’s a crisis, but whatever is next,” Payton said. “Let’s say the crisis is level five, I’d say this is level three. It’s something that we got to be better at. So how do we handle that? So one of the items is being able to possibly challenge roughing the passer. I think that’s the one thing to me that stands out that is really up and down.”

The resolution needs 24 teams out of the 32 to vote in favor of it for it to pass. It seems many coaches share the same sentiments as Payton, so the resolutions will be interesting to see if they pass in the coming days.

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