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Zierlein apologizes for sending raunchy e-mail to Goodell, NFL employees

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach Larry
Zierlein apologized Thursday for accidentally e-mailing an explicit
sex video to numerous NFL employees, including league commissioner
Roger Goodell.

Zierlein said the incident has been difficult for him and his
family and that he intends to use his team-issued computer only for
football business from now on. He sent a note of apology to all NFL
employees and those with the Steelers who received his raunchy
e-mail.

"It's hard because I made an inexcusable mistake," Zierlein
said, discussing the matter for the first time. "It was hard first
for the organization. They had to explain and go through ... and my
family, for what they're going to have to hear. So it was tough,
but when you've been at this stuff for as long as a lot of us have,
tough things happen and you've got to move on and that's what we're
doing."

The incident is the first blemish on new Steelers coach Mike
Tomlin and his staff, and it clearly bothered team chairman Dan
Rooney -- a Hall of Fame executive and one of the league's most
respected owners. It is uncertain if the Steelers, or the NFL, will
discipline Zierlein, though Rooney has talked to him.

"I'd rather just keep it within," Zierlein said, asked what
the Steelers said to him. "I will say this is a very supportive
organization."

The problem occurred two weeks ago when Zierlein -- a 61-year-old
grandfather -- intended to forward the video clip, which was
e-mailed to him by another Steelers employee. However, Zierlein
accidentally e-mailed the video to numerous league personnel,
causing staff members with other NFL teams to begin discussing the
foul-up.

"It was 100 percent unintentional," Zierlein said. "I don't
even know how to mass e-mail. I don't know these machines very
good, it was just a 100 percent unintentional thing. Hit the wrong
button. It's something I really regret for obvious reasons: for the
organization, for my family, for the whole thing. It's been a tough
deal, but it's like anything else. You learn from it and you move
on."

Zierlein did not explain why, when after he initially viewed the
video he didn't delete it rather than attempting to e-mail to
someone else.

"I'm not very good at these machines and I hit the wrong
button," Zierlein said. "There's nothing else to say, no other
explanation."

Zierlein was hired in January after Tomlin replaced Bill Cowher
as coach. Zierlein has been a coach since 1970, working at the
Texas high school level, collegiately at Houston, Cincinnati,
Tulane and LSU, and in the NFL with the Bengals, Bills, Browns and
Steelers.