Jason Tarver has came under some heat since giving the officials in Sunday’s Raiders-Steelers game the middle finger salute. The price for going all 1990’s Stone Cold Steve Austin on the refs was a stern wag of the finger from NFL snitch/FOX rules expert Mike Pereira and now a punishment in house from owner Mark Davis according to ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez.
Tarver flipped a middle finger, on separate occasions, at the officials after a personal foul for targeting a defenseless receiver was called on cornerback Mike Jenkins for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell with 8:48 left in the third quarter.
“It was just an emotional outburst by a coach in the heat of the game,” Davis told ESPN.com. “We don’t condone those actions and we’ll handle it in house.”
Tarver also issued a statement on Monday, apologizing for his gestures and reaction to what he felt was a missed call.
“I apologize for my action on the sideline of yesterday’s game,” Tarver said in the release. “It was in the heat of the moment, and I regret drawing attention away from the Raiders players and what they accomplished.”
The Raiders are expected to impose discipline on Tarver, league sources informed Adam Schefter.
In 2010, Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil was hit with a $40,000 fine for flipping off the refs when he disagreed with a penalty so it is safe to say that Tarver is catching a break by getting an in-house punishment.
Raiders coach Dennis Allen was asked about Tarver’s actions and opted to take the route of forgive and forget. Natural given Allen’s preference to keep distractions away from the team.
“I don’t know if it’s one of those things you just say, ‘Let’s forget about it,’ ” Allen said.
“Listen, he’s made his statement about what’s happened. I think the only thing I’ll say is I think he’s done an outstanding job with this defense. I think he’s a fiery and emotional guy and I think our players have really taken to that, and I think they’ve embraced that type of attitude and he has the defense playing at a high level right now.”
Raider fans can breathe easy knowing that Tarver won’t somehow be suspended for giving the bird to the officials. Tarver will now go back to what he does best, gameplanning for Chip Kelly and the Eagles who come to O.co this Sunday.