Mike Tomlin was in the news a couple of weeks back when he strongly pushed back on coaching rumors. Now, the Pittsburgh Steelers head coach is back in the headlines for the way he’s answered a different question.

Monday night’s game between the Steelers and Chicago Bears was marred by some extremely curious penalties and referee decisions, none more egregious than Cassius Marsh’s dubious taunting penalty, which included referee Tony Corrente literally leaning into him, seemingly to justify the call. Afterward, Marsh confirmed as much and said “I wasn’t taunting” when he was called.

On Tuesday, Tomlin spoke with reporters about the play, the penalty, and the way referees are calling taunting more often. But the Steelers coach definitely still appeared to feel as though the emphasis on taunting penalties is a good thing for the league.

“We’re just trying to clean our game up,” Tomlin said. “We understand that people playing it at a lower level watch us and often mimic us and how we conduct ourselves.”

Tomlin’s comments sidestep the issues that a lot of NFL folks are complaining about, especially since the coach is part of the NFL’s competition committee that pushed for more stringent rules on taunting. It’s also unclear what, exactly, Tomlin feels that NFL players need to “clean up.”

The point appears to be that, whether you like the emphasis on taunting penalties or not, they appear to be here to stay.

[Adti Kinkhabwala]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.