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 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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Since: Nov 7, 2010
Posted on: October 19, 2011 7:36 am

Tomlin: NFL shouldn't fine Polamalu for cell use

Fine the Squeller!  Rules are Rules... Does he think he is above the rules like Ben??

Since: Oct 1, 2010
Posted on: October 19, 2011 5:18 am

Polamalu Should be Fined

The reason it's a rule is to prevent cheating. It doesn't matter that he claimed he was calling his wife. If he broke the rule, and if there's a precedent for fines in this situation, he should be fined.

Since: Oct 26, 2010
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:05 am


did he text or make a phone call?  those minutes can add up.

Since: Oct 19, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 12:58 am

Tomlin: NFL shouldn't fine Polamalu for cell use

Rules are rules.  He should be fined.  He wasn't taken out on a stretcher or limping badly or even bleeding from somewhere.  He could have asked an assistant or someone from the stadium crew to make a courtesy call to his wife for him.  So I dont understand the breaking of the rule in this particular situation.  

Since: Dec 22, 2009
Posted on: October 19, 2011 12:37 am

Tomlin: NFL shouldn't fine Polamalu for cell use

Hey the rules are the rules. He should not have brought the phone out there to begin with. And let's not think that he doesn't have the money to cover a $5,000 fine or something like that. If you don't fine him then it opens the door for every player to make calls all game long and say they were just calling their wives, girlfriends, parents, let them know they are okay after every play. That being said, it sure sounds like a stupid rule to me.

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: October 19, 2011 12:20 am

Tomlin: NFL shouldn't fine Polamalu for cell use

Fine him but make sure the money goes towards a fund for testing on concussions and their symptoms.

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: October 19, 2011 12:02 am

Tomlin: NFL shouldn't fine Polamalu for cell use

Unfortunately, even as a Steeler fan, I guess the rules are the rules.  I understand that he was not making a call to his wife to tell her he scored a TD or something stupid like that, but if he is to get away without a fine-- it would have to come from the goodness (and common sense) of Mr. Goodell's heart....

I have always hated rules that do not seem to serve any higher purpose and seem to have been made simply for the sake of making a rule (like this one), but I also recognize that if you do not enforce those at all-- it undermines your ability to enforce all the others that actually ARE necessary.

Since: Apr 4, 2011
Posted on: October 18, 2011 11:39 pm

Tomlin: NFL shouldn't fine Polamalu for cell use

I don’t particularly like the jets or rex ryan but to make a irrelevant comment on the coach for making a so called “call for snack food” is just pathetic. Please correct me if I'm wrong if I’m making a unintelligent comment.

Since: Jun 1, 2009
Posted on: October 18, 2011 11:05 pm

Tomlin: NFL shouldn't fine Polamalu for cell use

fine.  sure.  fine him.  hit him with a $100 tag and call it done. 

Since: Oct 17, 2011
Posted on: October 18, 2011 10:44 pm
This comment has been removed.

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