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Tomlin Keeps Punishment for Penalties ‘In House’, Says Team Has Good Discipline



Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin as the Steelers played against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. (Mitchell Northam / Steelers Now)

PITTSBURGH — If two Pittsburgh Steelers players were disciplined for taking unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the team’s narrow win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, head coach Mike Tomlin isn’t letting on.

Special teamer Marcus Allen and wide receiver Diontae Johnson both took 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on Sunday, the first two by a Steelers player this year. Allen’s cost the Steelers a possession and led to three Carolina points. Johnson’s did not end up hurting the team.

Tomlin acknowledged the negative plays, but said he’ll keep how he handles those things between himself and the team.

“I’ll leave that in house,” he said. “I’m not going to give you the pound of flesh that you’re looking for.”

TV cameras caught Tomlin giving Johnson and earful on the Pittsburgh sideline after his offense. Former Steelers players speculated online that both players were likely to hear about their penalties from Tomlin.

As far as any tangible punishment, both remained in the game and Johnson caught a season-high 10 passes. Allen continued to perform his typical special teams role.

Overall, discipline has not been a significant issue for the Steelers this season. They’re 16th in the NFL in penalties against. Four teams have been called for more than two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties this season. The Steelers are one of six teams to get flagged twice.

“If you’re talking about a couple of plays that transpired last Sunday, not good, but largely, I do feel good about the overall discipline of us,” Tomlin said.

Both Allen and Johnson were conciliatory after the game in regards to their actions. Allen, who was flagged for taunting the Carolina huddle during a TV timeout, said he let his emotions get the best of him, and needs to be better. Johnson, who flexed in front of a Carolina defender after a first down, said it was inadvertent and  he didn’t see him there.

RELATED: Saunders: Marcus Allen isn’t good enough to be stupid.