Mike Tomlin: JuJu's taunting more disturbing than hit

Doug Mendoza
December 6, 2017

Smith-Schuster targeted Cincinnati linebacker Vontaze Burfict with a vicious helmet-to-helmet block that left the Bengals star on the ground and later in the hospital. During the 2015 season, tackles made by Burfict caused injuries to running back Le'Veon Bell (knee) and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder) in regular-season matchups, and a concussion to Brown in a postseason meeting between the two teams.

Smith-Schuster will appeal the suspension, according to ESPN. "I can assess a judgment on the fact that he stood over him and that's not how we play and that's not reflective of the sportsman he is".

In his letter to Smith-Schuster, NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan wrote Smith-Schuster violated rules that prohibit contact with a defenseless player and unsportsmanlike conduct. All three plays were similar in nature - crushing hits to the head or neck area that could have (or did) result in serious injury - but different in circumstance, intent and execution. "Your conduct following the hit fell fair below the high standards of sportsmanship expected from an National Football League player". But for the Bengals, any hope they had at the postseason ended on Monday night, which means they will be traveling to Minnesota with only pride on their minds.

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"I'll stand by my statement last night that his actions after the hit are more disturbing than the actual hit", Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday.

"I'll acknowledge that there were some unfortunate situations in that game that we don't need in our game", Tomlin said. "You do the wrong things, you get the wrong things out of it". And that's not going to happen overnight.

"I was just playing to the whistle", he said. Sure, it's a violent game, but the rules expressly forbid hits like the one Smith-Schuster laid on Burfict. Also, I believe that that's not me. He was also penalized for standing over the linebacker and taunting him.

Other reports by GizPress

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