Last season the NFL relaxed the rules on post-touchdown celebrations and a few Pittsburgh Steelers players, most notably then-rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, took full advantage of it and provided fans of the team and the game some very memorable moments. While several Steelers players probably like the relaxed celebration rules, head coach Mike Tomlin let it be known on Tuesday at the annual AFC coaches breakfast that he isn’t one of them.
“I don’t like it, personally, but we’ve relaxed the rules in that area,” Tomlin said Tuesday morning when asked how he feels about teams doing team celebrations after touchdowns. “It’s for the entertainment of the fans, so I respect it on that level. But personally, I don’t like it.”
Tomlin was then asked to explain why he doesn’t like the post-touchdown celebrations.
“Because I just think it takes away from the game,” Tomlin said. “It’s not a good look for young people. Young people aren’t allowed to celebrate in that way, so why should we?”
Tomlin’s viewpoint is an understandable one and I’m sure he might have cringed a few times last season while watching Smith-Schuster carry out a few of his seemingly orchestrated celebrations in real time even though the head coach lets on that he paid them no mind.
“Nothing,” Tomlin said Tuesday when asked what goes through his mind when you see one of those team celebrations. “The next possession. I’m preparing. I’m moving on to be honest with you. I don’t even see them. I see them on television. In-game, you’re moving on.”
By the sound of things, the NFL has no immediate plans of limiting player celebrations moving forward and as long as they don’t involve the taunting of players on the opposing team, I see no reason as to why they should. While I’m not a huge fan of orchestrated post-touchdown celebrations, I even found myself entertained by a few of the ones that Smith-Schuster performed last season.
Prior to relaxing the celebration rules I think the NFL went way too far several times when it came to penalizing and fining players for their actions. Has the league gone too far in the other direction now? Obviously Tomlin thinks that might be the case but I bet several of his own players think differently.
For now, Tomlin will need to find another cloud to yell and shake his fist at.