Titans get another hefty fine, but this time it's assistant coach

The NFL fined Tennessee defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil $20,000 on Thursday for verbal abuse of a game official for his sideline comments in the Titans' 42-17 loss to San Diego on Christmas Day night.

The Titans had just been flagged for roughing Philip Rivers when an official heard Cecil say something. The Titans were penalized another 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Coach Jeff Fisher defended his first-year coordinator, saying Cecil was overheard talking to fellow coaches on his headset. Fisher said Thursday that Cecil will explain who he was talking to when he appeals the fine. Fisher again declined to discuss what Cecil said, adding that coaches usually get warnings.

“Hopefully, it’ll be recognized as a misunderstanding,” Fisher said.

It wasn’t the first time this season the NFL has fined someone other than a Tennessee player. Titans owner Bud Adams was fined $250,000 for obscene hand gestures after a 41-17 win over Buffalo on Nov. 15.

Elsewhere on the fines front:

 • Three Oakland Raiders were fined a total of $40,000 for their actions in last week’s penalty-filled game against the Cleveland Browns.

Tight end Tony Stewart got hit with the biggest amount, being docked $25,000 for “making intentional physical contact with a game official.” Stewart said Monday he was arguing with the officials after he claimed he was punched by Cleveland linebacker Alex Hall on a kickoff return. Stewart said the official put his hand on his chest and Stewart pushed it aside, leading to the penalty and ejection.

Defensive end Richard Seymour was fined $10,000 for hitting running back Jerome Harrison after the play was over. And cornerback Stanford Routt was docked $5,000 for head-butting an opponent after the play. He was ejected.

In all, the Raiders were penalized 13 times for 126 yards, with six personal fouls and the two ejections. They were one off their season high for penalties, set two weeks earlier against Washington. The penalty yards were the most since the 2005 opener in New England, when Oakland was called for 16 penalties for 149 yards.

 • Broncos receiver Brandon Stokley was fined $25,000 for making contact with an official against Philadelphia.

The 11-year veteran was upset over the lack of an interference call on a third-down play in the first quarter against the Eagles. Seeing no flag, he sprinted down the field and started yelling at back judge Todd Prukop, who pointed for him to go to his sideline. As Stokley started to run off the field, he spun and swiped his right arm in frustration, inadvertently nicking Prukop’s hand.

 • Redskins linebacker London Fletcher was fined $10,000 for striking a defenseless receiver, Patrick Crayton, in the head area Sunday in a 17-0 loss to Dallas.

For love of writing, explosions

Some lucky contest winner is going to get to blow up Texas Stadium.

The City of Irving and Kraft Foods provided details of their sponsorship deal for the building’s implosion – including a national essay contest with the winner getting to pull the trigger that finishes off the iconic stadium.

The city council unanimously approved the sponsorship deal. Details on the essay contest will be announced next week.

The stadium, home to the Cowboys from 1971 to 2008, will be taken down in March or April.

Extra points

Buffalo Bills national scout Buddy Nix has been promoted to general manager in team owner Ralph Wilson’s first move to revamp his front office. Nix fills a void after Marv Levy stepped down as general manager following the 2007 season. Chief operating officer Russ Brandon, who had been filling the GM’s role, was promoted to chief executive officer. … Brandon Marshall sat out the Denver Broncos’ practice with a strained right hamstring, and coach Josh McDaniels said he wasn’t sure how serious the injury was or if Marshall would be able to return to practice today. … The New York Giants placed running back Brandon Jacobs (right knee) and cornerback Aaron Ross (left hamstring) on injured reserve, ending their seasons.