The NFL will review the altercation between Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive line coach Mike Munchak and Cincinnati Bengals’ safety Reggie Nelson, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
After running Jordan Todman out of bounds, Nelson collided with Munchak along the sideline. Munchak pushed Nelson aside and Nelson retaliated by shoving him. Munchak was flagged on the play for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Though you can argue that Nelson started it or Munchak just acted instinctively, there’s no debating that coaches are held to a higher standard. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him be fined for his actions to reaffirm that standard. Some believe Munchak could even get suspended, but given the league’s high threshold for suspension, that seems unlikely.
“If a player would have done that … I’m quite sure he would have been kicked out the game,” Adam Jones said during his appearance on The Dan Patrick Show, according to the Fowler article.
Even in a worst case scenario where he’s suspended, the Steelers shouldn’t miss a beat. Offensive assistant Shaun Sarrett works just as closely with that group, essentially acting as Munchak’s personal assistant. Sarrett is well respected from the people I’ve talked to and would fill in relatively seamlessly for Sunday’s divisional game against the Denver Broncos.
The last coaches to be suspended by the NFL were Gregg Williams, Sean Payton, and Joe Vitt for their involvement in the infamous New Orleans Saints’ Bountgate scandal. The last coach to be suspended for direct on-field actions was the New York Jets’ special teams’ coordinator Sal Alosi in 2010 after he tripped a gunner during a game.
If you missed it or want another look, a GIF of the Munchak/Nelson shove.