Blog Entry

Tomlin: NFL shouldn't fine Polamalu for cell use

Posted on: October 18, 2011 9:01 pm
 
Will Polamalu face punishment for using cell phone? (AP)
Posted by Ryan Wilson

Other than beating the Jaguars Sunday, the big news for the Steelers was that Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu had to leave the game with concussion-like symptoms following a Maurice Jones-Drew tackle. The good news is that Polamalu is fine and should play against the Cardinals this week.

“[Troy] appears to be good to go,” Mike Tomlin said Tuesday at his news conference. “He did a concussion test, and he passed it. He met with our neurosurgeon [Dr. Joseph Maroon], and he’s very comfortable where he is.”

The bad news is that Polamalu may face a fine from the league for … using a cell phone from the Steelers' bench. The NFL prohibits players and coaches from using cell phones on the sidelines during games, presumably because Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez would order takeout (and, obviously, Rex Ryan would have the requisite snack requests -- naughty language alert).

But Polamalu wasn't on the horn for anything untoward -- he was calling his wife, Theodora, to let her know he was okay. Tomlin was asked if he thought the league might fine the Steelers safety anyway.

"He's had a history of concussion-like symptoms and so forth in the past. She was concerned. In this era of player safety, you would think that common sense would prevail in regards to some of those things," Tomlin said. "It wasn't a personal call. He wasn't checking on his bank account. He was talking to his wife to let her know that he was fine, and that was it."

As PFT.com points out, the NFL has a history of meting out heavy fines to players and coaches who break this particular rule. During the 2005 season, then-Falcons head coach Jim Mora was fined $25,000 for using a cell phone during the team's overtime loss to the Bucs.

Then there's the guy probably most responsible for the current no-phone sideline situation: former Saints wideout Joe Horn. Back in 2003, he got the bright idea to hide a cell phone in the goal post padding, which led to this spectacle.

As for Polamalu, we'd like to think that Tomlin's right -- common sense will prevail. But if the league's haphazard policy for punishing players is any guide, Polamalu can expect anything from no fine to a four-game suspension.

Because if NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is anything, he's unpredictable.

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Comments

Since: Oct 9, 2009
Posted on: October 19, 2011 12:55 pm
 

Tomlin: NFL shouldn't fine Polamalu for cell use

Do these professional teams not have a PR person, liason, or intern (like the one who got spiked in the face in the Giants game) that can find out who a player would like to contact in case of injury? That way the league can maintain the no-cell policy and family can stay informed about injuries, etc. I guess Troy could have picked up the land line that is near the bench and asked an assistant coach in the booth to make that call also and save him some money. It's an easy fix. Don't fine him for this, but make it clear to everyone what the policy is and don't let it happen again.



Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:08 am
 

Tomlin: NFL shouldn't fine Polamalu for cell use

If the rule was such a big deal, why was there a cell phone available for him to use? Who gave it to him?
Well nobody frisks these guys when they come out to the field -- likely his phone he brought out with him for whatever reason.  Fact is these are grown men who know the rules and are expected to follow them so the NFL does not search their bags/pockets/whatever as they come out of the locker room.  So it does not matter whose phone it was or how he got it....the rule is no cell phone use during the game, he broke the rule so he gets a fine.  No big deal.



Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:04 am
 

Tomlin: NFL shouldn't fine Polamalu for cell use

The man loves his wife so much that he dodn't want her to worry. What a horrible human being!
Nobody is saying he's a horrible human being---persecution complex?  As another poster pointed out, injuries, including concussion like symptons, are common in the NFL and every player who gets hurt has someone at home that is worried about him (wife, girlfriend, mom, dad, etc) but they abide by the rules and do not use a cell phone on the bench to call them when they come out of the game, whether they are going back in or not.  Others who have used a phone in violation of the rule, for whatever reason, have been fined and Polamalu should be too -- not a huge fine, but a fine nonetheless as the league has to be consistent in enforcing this rule like all others.



Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: October 19, 2011 10:28 am
 

Tomlin: NFL shouldn't fine Polamalu for cell use

"steelgrlstuckin" - nobody on the post said that Polamalu should be compared to Michael Vick or anyone else you are alluding to. It's a minor infraction, but, yes, he broke an NFL rule and the NFL is very protective of their rules, and they fine often. Lots and lots of NFL players get hurt. All of them have someone at home that is worried about them. But none of them choose to use a cell phone on the sidelines to get word home. Why should an exception be made in this instance for an occurence that is all too common? There is no reason.



Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: October 19, 2011 10:02 am
 

Tomlin: NFL shouldn't fine Polamalu for cell use

The man loves his wife so much that he dodn't want her to worry. What a horrible human being! I mean that is so much worse than getting in bar fights, shooting people, having 6 pounds of drugs in your home, driving drunk at over 100 miles per hour..... He should be banished from the NFL for life. This is s stupid rule in this instance..... he was not coming back  in the game.... why couldn't he call his wife. A coach or active player during a game.... OK they shouldn't be making calls.... a guy calling his family after he has been taken from the game due to injury SHOULD be allowed to make a call to their family.... even guys in jail get one call!



Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: October 19, 2011 10:01 am
 

Tomlin: NFL shouldn't fine Polamalu for cell use

Agree this is a very poorly written story. If the NFL has a rule then it should be upheld and Polamalu should be fined. I'm sure if he wore his socks the wrong way the NFL uniform police would have fined him, so why not this? And don't tell me that calling your wife isn't a personal call - unless his wife is the GM of the team.



Since: May 12, 2010
Posted on: October 19, 2011 9:46 am
 

Tomlin: NFL shouldn't fine Polamalu for cell use

If the rule was such a big deal, why was there a cell phone available for him to use? Who gave it to him? I doubt he had it hidden in his hair or tucked in his sock. If cell phone usage on the sideline is strictly prohibited (you know like rebroadcast or other use of the sights, sounds, depictions etc ) then no one should have one there, and whoever gave him the phone should also be fined. I'm a lifelong Steeler fan but rules are rules and no one should be above them.



Since: Nov 28, 2006
Posted on: October 19, 2011 8:57 am
 

Tomlin: NFL shouldn't fine Polamalu for cell use

He is my favorite player, but, fine him.  He broke the rules and should have to pay a fine.  He could have gone to the locker room, or the tunnel and made the phone call, so he would not be seen.  The NFL definitely needs to get their fines and suspensions in order but this is a simple no brainer.  He used a cell phone, broke a rule. 

Why has the NFL not formed a fine/suspension panel to review all of these cases?  It should be made of former coaches, players, owners,
referees and possibly media.  It should not be solely up to Goodell to punish players.



Since: Nov 23, 2006
Posted on: October 19, 2011 8:32 am
 

Tomlin: NFL shouldn't fine Polamalu for cell use

What a silly article. If the rule is stupid, write an article about why the rule is stupid and propose that it be changed/scrapped. If the rule isn't stupid, don't write an article about why a player shouldn't be fined for breaking a rule he obviously was aware of. In a perfect world, the commish could pick and choose which violations would incur fines and which wouldn't, but if he isn't consistent the players union would have a field day claiming that he's picking favorites or that the rules are being applied unfairly/inconsistently. This is what you happens when you employ a large number of grown men that don't act like adults, pay them millions, and give them a union.



Since: Feb 9, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 8:30 am
 

Tomlin: NFL shouldn't fine Polamalu for cell use

Rules are rules so yes fine him. But as we all see there is not consistency in the NFL and Goodell can do what ever he wants. Whether it is fining one player 10k for a helmet to helmet hit or 50k for another.

Like Cedric Benson (a multiple offender and convicted) and he misses 1 game due to a bar fight. Ben Roethlisberger was never charged with anything and he was suspended for 5 or 6. “Kenny Britt had so many issues this off season, I can't even count them on one hand.  Where is his suspension and fine?  Talib and his mother actually opened fire on someone, let me restate that - Talib fired gunshots at another human being.  Had he better aim, he would have killed a man.  Where's his suspension and fine from the league?”

And don’t say anything about it being during the lock out. Terrell Pryor and Jim Tressell although idiots were suspended 5 games each for something that did not even occur within the NFL.

Whether it be BigJack70 is a cry baby idiot with no sense of the real world or other sensible sports fans all we really want is to stop the double standard and for Goodell to stop acting like King of the NFL.

I would bet there is no fine. ... this time... on this player...



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