August 15, 2020

Interesting Week for NFL’s Assistant Coaches

posted on: Thursday October 7, 2010

Nick Aiken ’12 / Assistant Sports Editor

On Monday, the NFL took Charles Schwab’s advice and talked to Chuck, fining the Tennessee Titans Defensive Coordinator Chuck Cecil $40,000 for flicking game officials the bird during Tennessee’s game against Denver. Television cameras caught Cecil using his right hand to “communicate” with officials after his defense was flagged for a neutral zone infraction in Sunday’s game. The league said Cecil violated a rule that prohibits use of abusive, threatening, or insulting language or gestures to game officials. Who knew?

“Clearly, I’m speaking on behalf of the organization that kind of conduct on the sideline, any place for that matter, is inappropriate. The league has already dealt with the issue,” said Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher during his Monday news conference.

“I want to apologize to the NFL, the organization, the fans, and my family for my gesture yesterday. It was inappropriate, and there is no excuse for that type of behavior under any circumstance,” said Cecil in his apology statement on Monday.

Is Cecil as dumb as he looks? Unfortunately for him, the answer is yes. This isn’t his first fine as a coordinator. The NFL fined him $20,000 last December when he was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct in the Titans’ loss to the Chargers.

“Clearly, Chuck’s an emotional individual, and it was a heat of the battle thing and he got frustrated. He understands he’s got to maintain his composure, and we move on. We’ve moved on. He’s done a nice job with the defense thus far,” said Fisher.

Fortunately for Cecil, he is not the only coach wearing the dunce cap after Week 4. Miami Dolphins Special Teams Coordinator John Bonamego was fired only 12 hours after his unit’s embarrassing performance against the Patriots on Monday night. Special teams cost Miami 21 points in a 41-14 loss, as two blocked kicks led to touchdowns, and a kickoff was returned 103 yards for another score.

“It’s a hard decision to make,” said Head Coach Tony Sparano. “I know how hard this guy works. Nobody works harder than him at what he does.”

Obviously, Bonamego’s hard work didn’t pay off.

“I don’t think probably much of anything that happens in the league these days is a surprise or unheard of,” said Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. “It’s unfortunate…I’m sure those decisions aren’t easy.” Bill, I thought a highly-paid NFL head coach wearing a hooded sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off on the sidelines was unheard of, but then you came along and proved that nothing in the NFL really is unheard of these days.

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