Titans assistant fined $20,000
By Teresa M. Walker
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The NFL fined Tennessee defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil $20,000 yesterday for verbal abuse of a game official for his sideline comments in the Titans' 42-17 loss to San Diego on Christmas night.
The Titans had just been flagged for roughing Philip Rivers when an official heard Cecil say something. The Titans were penalized another 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Coach Jeff Fisher defended his first-year coordinator, saying Cecil was overheard talking to fellow coaches on his headset. Fisher said yesterday that Cecil will explain who he was talking to when he appeals the fine. Fisher again declined to discuss what Cecil said, adding that coaches usually get warnings.
"Hopefully, it'll be recognized as a misunderstanding," Fisher said.
Meanwhile, three Oakland Raiders were fined a total of $40,000 yesterday for their actions in last week's penalty-filled game against the Cleveland Browns.
Tight end Tony Stewart got hit with the biggest amount, being docked $25,000 for "making intentional physical contact with a game official." Stewart said Monday he was arguing with the officials after he claimed he was punched by Cleveland linebacker Alex Hall on a kickoff return. Stewart said the official put his hand on his chest and Stewart pushed it aside, leading to the penalty and ejection.
Defensive end Richard Seymour was fined $10,000 for hitting running back Jerome Harrison after the play was over. Seymour was called for an offsetting personal foul on the play, with Cleveland's Rex Hadnot also getting flagged for pushing at Seymour. Seymour also got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the play for arguing with referee Jeff Triplette after the original call.
Seymour complained Monday that the calls were "ticky-tack" and was upset he wasn't even allowed to talk to the officials about the call.
Also, cornerback Stanford Routt was docked $5,000 for head-butting an opponent after the play. Routt said the infraction came after he was being blocked by a Cleveland player. He was ejected on the play.
"They said I head-butted him. That was it," Routt said yesterday. "That happened four days ago. That might as well have happened four years ago, in my opinion. Know what I mean? What's done is done."
Also, Broncos receiver Brandon Stokley was fined $25,000 for making contact with an official against Philadelphia, and Redskins linebacker London Fletcher was fined $10,000 for striking a defenseless receiver, Dallas' Patrick Crayton, in the head area.
"It's a good lesson for everybody to learn, especially myself," said Stokley, an 11-year veteran who was upset over the lack of an interference call. "You have to be able to handle yourself better in those situations and I didn't handle myself very well. I paid the price for it."