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Tomlin: Officials will be at Steelers practices this week

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He may have said it tongue-in-cheek, but judging by the Steelers' rash of penalties in their 24-13 loss to Washington, it wouldn't be surprising if NFL officials are brought into practice this week, at the behest of Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was kidding in his post-game press conference when he said there would be NFL officials at practice this week.

After the Steelers' penalty-filled slop-fest (eight of them for 95 yards), the Steelers have every reason to believe he was serious. And maybe it's a good idea.

"Poor execution," Tomlin said after Monday's game. "I just told the guys we are not going to provide lip service. We are going to practice how we intend to play. Maybe an official or two will be at our practices next week to help us in that regard."

Not that such a move would be rare or even odd. It's more in line with a smart move by a coach who can't convince his team to play within the rules - or at least find better and less conspicuous ways to bend those same rules.

Eight penalties in a preseason game isn't exactly a power stat, nor is it indicative of how anyone can expect a season to be played, but it isn't something that should be ignored, either. And if a crew of NFL officials descend upon Steelers practices this week, it's a sure sign Tomlin isn't ignoring it.

For the Steelers' sake, it better work. The first team offense has not yet scored a touchdown. In fact, they've barely threatened the end zone in two games. Of their 14 drives that started in their own territory, just six of them ended on the Redskins' side of the field - two field goals, one touchdown, one fumble and one turnover on downs.

Penalties have played a big part in that lack of offensive production. Some extra time this week figuring that part of the game out seems like a good idea right about now.

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