It's been two days since Richard Seymour got all slappy with Big Ben. Has the firestorm calmed down yet? Not exactly.
Seymour's fine was calculated by the NFL at $25,000 per their progressive discipline policy due to this being a third offense. He was punished twice by the league last season, drawing a $7,500 fine for pulling the hair of Denver offensive lineman Ryan Clady and being docked $10,000 for hitting an opponent after the play in a game at Cleveland. The problem is, Seymour was not suspended by the NFL, as CBS' Gregg Doyel and a host of other writers thought would happen.
In Pittsburgh, fans are questioning why the system lets Seymour walk away with a $25K fine after a post-whistle hit, while James Harrison had to cough up 75 large for a play that happened during game action against Cleveland a few weeks ago. I know this should be black and white territory per the CBA and the discipline policy, but there seems to be a bit of gray area creeping in.
In the meantime, the league is being faced with questions of targeting the Steelers, given the abundance of penalties thrown their way and the lack of serious discipline taken towards Seymour as compared to Harrison. Adding fuel to the fire is national writers such as Fox's Alex Marvez, who writes, "The Steelers have every reason to feel paranoid after Sunday’s officiating debacle."
While I don't think the refs are targeting the Steelers as a whole, I've finally come around to the argument that Harrison has a target on his back from the league and at least some of its officials. I judge based on what I see, and until my eyes tell me otherwise, count me among those believing that Silverback is getting a raw deal. The tricky part is how he and the team will work around that perceived bias the rest of the season.
I would say this should be an interesting Tomlin press conference today, but I know he knows better than to get himself fined as well and jump into the fray. The coach will tell you all about Buffalo's two-game winning streak and how dangerous Ryan Fitzpatrick is, but what Steeler fans really want to hear isn't going to come out of his mouth this afternoon.