League fines Titans defensive coordinator $20,000 for verbal abuse of official during game

By Teresa M. Walker, AP
Thursday, December 31, 2009

NFL fines defensive coordinator $20,000

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The NFL has fined Tennessee defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil $20,000 for prohibited verbal abuse of a game official as a result of 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 Thursday after practice that Cecil will explain who he was talking to when he appeals the fine. Fisher again declined to discuss what Cecil said and that coaches usually get warnings.

“Hopefully, it’ll be recognized as a misunderstanding,” Fisher said.

This isn’t the first time this season the NFL has fined someone other than a Tennessee player.

Titans owner Bud Adams was fined $250,000 for obscene hand gestures after a 41-17 win over Buffalo on Nov. 15.

ESPN.com first reported the fine.

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