Cassius Marsh does a spinning heel kick to celebrate a sack Monday. Seconds later, he was flagged for walking toward the Steelers’ bench. | Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
In his weekly recap video of the weekend’s most controversial calls, NFL senior vice president of officiating Perry Fewell highlighted Marsh’s behavior Wednesday on Twitter.
The NFL’s leadership agrees with the taunting penalty called on Bears outside linebacker Cassius Marsh in the final minutes of Monday night’s loss to the Steelers.
In his weekly recap video of the weekend’s most controversial calls, NFL senior vice president of officiating Perry Fewell highlighted Marsh’s behavior Wednesday on Twitter. A video clip of Marsh didn’t even include his spinning heel kick celebration after sacking Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with about 3:30 left in the game and the Bears down three.
Rather, the video shows Marsh walking toward the Steelers sideline after the celebration.
“He takes several steps toward the Pittsburgh bench, posturing toward their sideline,” Fewell said. “Taunting is a point of emphasis to promote sportsmanship and respect for opponents. This was recommended by the competition committee and coaches.”
— NFL Officiating (@NFLOfficiating) November 10, 2021
Fewell, the former Giants head coach, gave a response similar to that of referee Tony Corrente, who threw the flag and explained his rationale in a pool report after the game.
“First of all, keep in mind that taunting is a point of emphasis this year,” he said. “And with that said, I saw the player, after he made a big play, run toward the bench area of the Pittsburgh Steelers and posture in such a way that I felt he was taunting them.”
Rather than punt — the sack was on third down — the Steelers kept the ball and kicked a field goal to go down six. The Bears took a one-point lead with a touchdown but lost on a field goal with 26 seconds to play.
Marsh, who was signed last week, took issue with the fact that he and Corrente bumped into each other as the outside linebacker was leaving the field following the flag. Marsh thought it was intentional after viewing film of the collision. Head coach Matt Nagy did not.
Asked about the contact, Corrente said Monday night he “didn’t judge that as anything that I dealt with.”