"Mike Tomlin is the most coddled coach, perhaps in the history of professional sports. He's untouchable and it's inappropriate," Fox Sports' Jason Whitlock said today on The Herd. "I think the guy is talented, I think he's done a good job, but he's not above reproach."
Whitlock's statement comes in the aftermath of the Bengals vs Steelers Wild Card playoff matchup that saw two Steelers assistant coaches acting in a manner that should see them receiving hefty fines from the NFL and potentially should have caused at least one of them to be thrown out of Saturday's game.
Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak got into an altercation with Bengals safety Reggie Nelson on the sidelines and ended up pulling Nelson's hair. The hair pull caused a 15-yard penalty against the Steelers.
The Steelers do not like Nelson and Tomlin himself confronted Nelson last season after a hit from the Bengals safety resulted in Le'Veon Bell getting a concussion. Afterward, Tomlin claimed his confrontation with Nelson had nothing to do with the tackle on Bell.
Marvin Lewis had to separate the two:
The other Steelers assistant coach who should be receiving a fine this week is outside linebackers coach Joey Porter. Porter was on the field after Vontaze Burfict's hit on Antonio Brown. The NFL has acknowledged that it's against the rules for Porter to have been on the field. And, not only was he on the field, but he was antagonizing Bengals players, including Adam Jones who was unable to control his emotions and ended up getting a flag for his reactions in response to Porter.
Whitlock also mentions that if Bill Belichick or Sean Payton did the things Tomlin does, like allowing his coaches to act this way and like tripping Jacoby Jones (then of the Ravens) by stepping onto the field during a kickoff return, "we would be shredding him."
"So why aren't we shredding Tomlin," Cowherd asks?
According to Whitlock, "Because he's black and people are afraid to be criticized... Mike Tomlin is doing stupid things. He needs to be reigned in and criticized and treated like every other coach in the National Football League, he is not above reproach and his team and assistant coaches, out of control on Saturday, and then comes out after the game and says I thought we represented what AFC North football is all about. That's a joke. He's clueless and that's why his assistant coaches and players are clueless."