As a member of the NFL's Competition Committee Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin is well aware of some of the proposals that will be put up for discussion at the NFL Owners' Meeting this week including the one regarding on-field sportsmanship. John Wooten, head of the Fritz Pollard Alliance that monitors diversity in the NFL, suggested assessing a player a 15-yard penalty for using a racial slur on the field, with possible ejection after multiple infractions.
"Personally, I think there is an initial response to it but then it will quickly subside, much like pads in the pants, if you will," said Tomlin. "I think once you set a standard or reinforce that standard, guys quickly adjust and move on with life. That's just my personal opinion.
"It didn't require any new rules, the language and stuff is already in place. The rule is very clear. There should not be any abusive or insulting language used on the football field. So more than anything, it's about a clarification or point of emphasis in that area. I believe that our guys and all guys will quickly adjust and move on with life. And I think it's appropriate. We are all in, of course, very visible positions and a lot of people look up to these men and how they play the game. We want to provide a positive image of that for the young people."
There will also be several proposals regarding officiating which will generate discussion among the owners, including allowing the referee to consult with members of the NFL Officiating Department in New York on replay reviews, something Tomlin is in favor of.
"I think what we are looking for is consistency regardless of what stadium you are in, and in an effort to move to that perfection, we need to consider utilizing experts in technology," said Tomlin. "I think more than anything, it's a continued discussion in how to utilize technology in our game.
"Technology is changing and changing in a hurry, particularly as it relates to sports and our sport particularly. I think that these discussions are going to be ongoing for years to come, how to infuse technology and how to utilize technology in terms of bettering our game."