Pittsburgh Steelers safeties Troy Polamalu and Mike Mitchell were both flagged for hits just two plays apart from one another last Thursday night in the loss to the Baltimore Ravens, but it appears as though neither will be fined.
It looks as tho neither #Steelers Mike Mitchell, Troy Polamalu were fined for their flagged hits vs Ravens. Means NFL judges hits legal .
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) September 18, 2014
Both players were flagged for unnecessary roughness with the first hit coming from Polamalu on Ravens tight end Owen Daniels with 5:37 left in the third quarter. On that particular play, Polamalu clearly attempted to lead with his shoulder as to not target the head and neck area of Daniels.
Mitchell’s hit on wide receiver Steve Smith just two plays later looked even less egregious and the subsequent penalty flag visibly upset the Steelers free safety.
“I wasn’t trying to hit Steve in the head,” Mitchell said earlier in the week in his conference call with the Carolina Panthers media. “As a competitor, we had texted during the week, just chopped it up for a little bit. … I thought it was a clean hit. Obviously, the referees didn’t see it that way.”
If both players remain fine-free, that means the hits were legal in the eyes of the league. If nothing else, perhaps the Steelers will get some sort of an apology from the league. In addition, it appears as though Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and the rest of the coaching staff are doing a good job of teaching proper form and technique when it comes to hitting wide receivers up high after they make a catch.
“I’m very proud of our approach to coaching that play and the level of respect that we have for the player safety initiative and the defenseless receiver,” said Tomlin during a Tuesday afternoon interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “We do everything in our power, use all opportunities to reinforce that, and I didn’t have a problem with what Troy did on that play.”