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Minnesota football connections: Decker honored; Tomlin fined $100K

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It's been quite some time since Eric Decker was one of the best wide receivers in the country at the University of Minnesota, 2009 to be exact, but just because time has passed doesn't mean we've forgotten where the Cold Spring native came from.

So we took notice when Decker caught four touchdowns from Peyton Manning in the Broncos big win in Kansas City Sunday, and the NFL did the same, naming Decker the AFC offensive player of the week today.

Decker sits just 93 yards short of his 2012 receiving total, and 29 yards short of his second straight 1,000-yard season, while he has hauled in seven touchdowns this year.

In other news from the football league that monopolizes our time for most of the sports year, former Vikings defensive coordinator and current Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was fined $100,000 by the league today for his actions on Thanksgiving during a kick return.

Baltimore's Jacoby Jones was returning a Pittsburgh kickoff down the sideline against Pittsburgh, and Tomlin, with his back turned to the play, was standing with one foot in the field of play before jumping out of the way of Jones at the last second.

Tomlin yesterday called the action embarrassing, inexcusable, and a blunder.

The NFL also said Pittsburgh may have to forfeit a draft pick when the NFL draft order is determined. Tomlin said he accepts the punishment and will not address the issue again.

While Tomlin has been very serious on the topic, Pittsburgh linebacker Lamarr Woodley had fun some with the dipsy-do Tomlin pulled to get out of the way of Jones.

The running of the bulls is our favorite.

Woodley included with the picture that Tomlin has "all the integrity in the world," saying he would never purposely interfere with on-field play.

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