The NFL has reportedly fined Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians $50,000 for striking safety Andrew Adams' helmet during Sunday's Wild Card Round win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the fine, which was expected after Arians' on-field outburst. The Bucs coach came on to the field and smacked Adams on the helmet from behind and elbowed him when the whistle blew after a muffed punt by Eagles returner Jalen Reagor.
Arians told reporters he had no regrets over his actions, saying he was trying to prevent Adams from drawing a penalty for pulling players off a pile for the loose ball:
"No, and I've seen enough dumb. You can't pull guys out of a pile. We just got a big play, great field position, and he's trying to pull a guy out of a pile, and I was trying to knock him off of that guy so he didn't get a penalty."
When asked about the fine Wednesday, Arians said he plans to appeal but added, "it ain't got nothing to do with the game, so we're good."
While he's still defiant about his actions with days to reflect, Arians has little grounds for appeal and arguably should be speaking with contrition. A coach cannot lay his hands on a player. Even if Adams has no issue with his coach's actions—he's yet to make a public comment—the power dynamics at play make Arians getting physical unacceptable.
The incident was an especially bad look for Arians given he's been accused by Antonio Brown of trying to force the wide receiver to play through an ankle injury.
Brown tweeted the clip of Arians hitting Adams on Tuesday with the caption "pit not the palace." It's possible Brown uses the clip to prove he was in a hostile work environment when and if he attempts to collect the $2 million in incentives he lost when he was cut by the Buccaneers.
The NFL coming down with a $50,000 fine shows the league wants to send a message this type of behavior isn't condoned.