If the NFL was hoping for some controversy to come out of its season opener between the Patriots and Steelers on Thursday, they got that … and a lot more. Following Mike Tomlin essentially accusing the Patriots of tampering with the Steelers’ coaching headsets and Ben Roethlisberger complaining that New England bent the rules on a crucial goal-line play, there are now reports that a Pittsburgh coach assaulted a Patriots fan during halftime.
From ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
NFL security is investigating Pittsburgh Steelers tight ends coach James Daniel for allegedly assaulting and verbally accosting a New England Patriots fan on the way to the locker room before halftime, according to league sources.
A league official confirmed the NFL is aware of the incident and is looking into it. A Steelers spokesman said NFL security has informed them about the incident and the team is also investigating.
Daniel, who was on his way to the Steelers’ locker room, was seen allegedly kicking a Patriots fan in the back of his leg and yelling at the fan in front of witnesses.
Schefter also reported that when Daniel was confronted by police after returning to the field, the coach also began yelling at an officer.
It’s surprising that video- or first-hand accounts have yet to surface online but, if the report is accurate, one would assume it’s only a matter of time. It’s also probably inevitable that we’ll find out the Patriots were behind the whole thing, planting one of their most infuriating fans with a punchable face right by the opponent’s tunnel as to gain an advantage by distracting the Pittsburgh staff.