Monday, April 15, 2024

Sean Payton: Taunting penalties ‘being over-officiated’

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Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy recently became the latest prominent figure to speak out in favor of the NFL’s controversial and widely disliked crackdown on instances of taunting during games less than two full weeks after Chicago linebacker Cassius Marsh found himself on the wrong end of one of the most disputed penalties, to date, of the 2021 season. 

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton voiced a different opinion on the matter during a Thursday appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show.” 

“I think it’s being over-officiated,” Payton said of taunting, per Nick Shook of the league’s website. “I don’t think any of us who discussed it [on the competition committee] saw it going where it is now.”

Interestingly, Payton admitted last week he had left the NFL’s competition committee but gave no reason for that decision other than saying it was time. 

“I’ll leave it at that without getting fined,” Payton added. 

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach and committee member Mike Tomlin defended the league’s emphasis on flagging players for taunting after his team’s win over the Bears, as did fellow committee member and Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera following Week 2 of the campaign. 

The committee could, and likely will, at least revisit the issue during the offseason, but no change to the league’s clampdown on taunting is coming before Super Bowl LVI in February. 

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